Category Archives: Sportscasters Anonymous

This is the category that will hold all of my Sportscaster Anonymous articles. These are where I give my advice for anyone wanting to get into the field.

Sportscasters Anonymous – The Inglorious Return

SA big logoGreetings readers,

Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking on my life and career. To spare the obnoxiously fine details, I determined that I need to be more thankful for everything that has happened. I have a loving girlfriend that supports me and my career, I work for TWO NCAA Division I schools in the Dayton area, not to mention broadcasting for several pro teams in the region. I also have a very good core of friends and family supporting my drive. I have it pretty good.

So why am I writing this post? Sometime last week, I realize that I don’t help other sportscasters like I used to. Remember “Sportscasters Anonymous”, the series where I wrote about tips for up-and-coming broadcasters (if anyone actually read them, which I highly doubt because I’m not a good resource for anyone to be honest.) I stopped when I realized someone who struggles for employment wasn’t really good enough to give advice. While I’m not saying this will result in the series’ revival, I wanted to issue this post for any sportscasters.

If I can be of any help, fellow broadcasters, feel free to contact me!

Need an extra set of ears? I’ll take a listen or watch a demo! Want me to read a press release? I’ll give it a look-through! Want to shoot the breeze, just to talk sports or career-wise? I’m always available to talk!

I realized that while I always try to network, I also need to help out in my career field more. I want others to know that I care and that I’m indeed a friend.

While this post was short, I felt it didn’t need to be a long, windy post to say that I’m here. Let’s talk soon.

Until next time,

-Lee

Get to Know Your Voice

Greetings readers,

This is just a quick share with all of you. As you might know, I’m the play-by-play voice of the Dayton Demonz hockey team. I usually interview the coach and players for the post-game show. Afterwards, our cameraman uploads the highlights and interviews to YouTube.

There is one I wanted to share, in case anyone would like a little history on myself. I talk a little about when I started and about our hockey team in Dayton.

Before I forget, my color commentator Michael Lause and I are running for the best broadcaster(s) of the Federal Hockey League. I know we’d definitely love your vote. The link is located here.

Well, sorry for the short post today. I’ll think of a new topic to talk about next time.

Until then,

-Lee

Broadcasting Equipment 101

Greetings readers, Happy Thanksgiving!
It’s been a while since I last wrote to you, the readers. Hope everyone is doing well, and hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving!
So what have I been doing? Broadcasting. Lots and lots of broadcasting. I reached my 300th broadcast a couple of games ago, and I feel like I’m improving on each and every broadcast. With my new job at the Ohio Sports Radio Network, I couldn’t of done it without the great people and my equipment.
Now I know what you broadcasters are thinking. “I already have my own gear, why should I continue reading?” I’d just like to share my setup that I use. There’s millions of ways to get professional microphones and headsets through a live online broadcast, but here’s what I like to use.
The first thing you will need is a mixer. If you want two people on a broadcast, the mixer is a way to control everyone’s levels. Wherever you have a scroll or knob volume control, these things are essential to cover everyone. From the loudest mouth to the quietest voice, you can make everyone sound about the same level.
What type of mixer should you get? It just depends on what you need. How many people will be on at one time? Do you want effects with your show (some models have FX on them, such as mine.)? What will you be using it for? Also, USB-mixers are nice if you just need to plug into the computer, but non-USB mixers work just as well (and in my biased opinion, a bit better.) It’s nice to have outputs and inputs into my mixer board, in case I do an interview. This is the model I use for broadcasting, which is good for me because I need a couple more XLR ports for broadcasting purposes.

Now you need a cord to hook up your board. If you have an USB-connected board, that’s the way to do and you won’t need a separate cord. For non-USB boards, the best thing to get is a RCA to Stereo cord. The red and white ends go to the output part of the mixer board, while the single end goes to your microphone port of your computer.

Next up are your microphones. After all, a broadcast would be pointless if you didn’t have a way to send audio out, right? In broadcasting, the XLR is usually the standard. You’ll need your cords, and microphones if you so choose. You can also use a headset if you like, which lets you listen in and broadcast at the same time.

That’s the basics of what you need for broadcasting with your laptop. It sounds better than just plugging a two-prong headset into your computer, and it looks cooler too. You can always pick up small accessories, like wind socks over microphones.
Sorry for the absence, but life’s been kicked into the eleventh gear and turned up to…eleven. I’ll try to work on a couple more posts before 2012 ends.
Until next time,
-Lee

Keepers of the Final Score

Greetings readers,

It’s been a while. Over two weeks to be exact. Where have I been? Working. Lots of working, including a new sportscasting project in Miami County. The other is a retail job to brush up on my selling skills. Anyways, I’ve been busy and I do feel bad for not updating like I normally do. Anyways, it’s time for a brand new post!

To introduce you to this topic, I started keeping score for baseball broadcasts during my first year as the WWSU Sports Director. At the station, we had a NCAA scorebook, which was used once before. I gave it a whirl and thought about how it improved my broadcast.

Late into that Wright State Baseball season, the SID at the time gave me a Bob Carpenter scorebook worth $40. That was when I really took it seriously and vowed to use it at every single game that I could. There I noticed that I livened up completely on my baseball broadcasts. I got the job again the next year and I improved each and every time in the book.

As I look to begin broadcasting baseball and softball, I found that old Carpenter book and looked back on how much I filled it out as time went by. There’s still things I can work on, but I think it’s some solid work.

Recently, I was asked by a friend on how to keep score in baseball. I figure this is a nice little way on explaining how to.

I’m going to say right now, you don’t need the expensive scorebook. There are cheaper ones out there, close to $6 if you look closely enough. Find one that will fit what you need it for. If you like to fill everything out, get one that gives you plenty of space to do so. I like to recommend that you find one that gives you more than nine innings to keep, because extra inning games can be common. Remember this though: the only person that matters in buying a book is YOU. What are you going to use it for? How much do you want to spend? What do you want to fill out?

How do you ACTUALLY fill out a scorebook? Well, you have your area for stats which you should fill out (but if you don’t want to, that’s your choice.) Next is actually filling it out during the game. Usually, you will find an example page in the scorebook itself. What I do is very basic, I just say “Hit” or “Walk” and draw a line with a dot on where that at-bat landed the batter (first base would be single or walk, second base double and so on…) If they advance, draw from that dot to the next base (but don’t dot it.) Runners crossing the plate receive a circle around their at-bat, but make sure to put a RBI somewhere for the batter that drove in the run.

For strikeouts, you could use the K and Backwards K, but I don’t do that. I write “SoL” (strikeout looking) or “SoS” (strikeout swinging) along with the count. For walks I use both BB and Walk. Stealing bases is a little tricky, since you don’t have that much space to write “Stolen Base” or “Caught Stealing.” I write the initials and put a little circle around it in the box. Passed Balls and Wild Pitches are the same story. If the runner is erased by being caught, I put an X near that base to simulate that event.

I’ll be honest, I have never seen a balk before. I have seen Batter’s Interference and Catcher’s Interference before, but I write that at the top of that player’s at-bat because those are rare to see.

For other outs, I will write “Line #”, “Pop #”, “Fly #”, “GO (groundout) #-#”, and “Foul #.” The numbers represent the defensive numberings on the field (1-9.) Errors are about the same setup, minus the whole base-runner.

For pitching changes, batting changes, and end of innings, I draw lines. For the changes, they are wavy lines.

This is a way that works for me. It’s clear, it’s precise, and it helps me keep track of every at-bat. You might follow along closer to the books tell you to do, instead of writing hit and whatnot. The point is, you need to keep score in a way that helps you.

Until next time (hopefully it isn’t another two week wait),

-Lee

Sportscasters Anonymous – Volume Twelve

Greetings readers, welcome back to Sportscasters Anonymous.

Today’s topic: watching/listening to other sportscasts.

I know I’ve probably touched on this issue many times, but it’s always going to be an important topic in this field. You’ll never be perfect and you’ll always have room to grow.

What’s one simple way of doing this? Record your broadcasts and listen to them. With this technique, you hear yourself (and hopefully get used to your voice) and can find the errors. I don’t mean just errors on saying names or saying something correctly, but how many times their were gaps, how the flow went, and the like.

Studying up before a game usually helps iron out the hiccups, but the way to get a flow is to record or watch a game and mute all of the sounds, then have a dry run at the broadcast to pick up the flow of the game.

There’s always a way to fix your mistakes. Making mistakes are what makes us human; how you fix them makes you an excellent sportscaster.

Until next time,

-Lee

Sportscasters Anonymous – Volume Eleven

Greetings readers,

It’s been a long time since my last Sportscasters Anonymous article. In fact, Volume Ten was published on October 27th, 2010. Things have changed since then, with the most important thing being retired from my Sports Director job at WWSU. While I might not be in charge of sportscasters anymore, I still feel I can offer something to the interested reader. After all, I know of a sportscaster that helped me once. Okay, I know of many that helped me out many times, but you got my point.

Today’s SA talks about statistics. Stats, if you will.

While broadcasting is not just “I have a stats sheet, I’m reading off numbers”, it is a crucial part. Who’s the leading scorer, what’s the score, who’s got the goals, etc… It’s important to be thankful for a stat crew, if you are lucky to have one. Granted, there’s some levels of sports that don’t do statistics and you actually have to record them yourself (GASP! Not work in this field!)

At my new internship with the Dayton Air Strikers, I assist the statistician on who did what. It’s not as easy as it sounds, but I make it similar to a basic broadcast. Instead of names, I use the numbers instead. Instead of describing the action, I call the basic plays.

Why am I talking about this? If you help with stats, you have a better feel for the game. I know that doing even one game makes me feel more confident in taking the microphone for the next broadcast.

If you can get any experience doing this, the better you’ll become. If you don’t do it for the team, do it for the broadcasters. If not them, do it for yourself. While having software would be nice, there are scorebooks for basketball and baseball for the observer to record.

The more experience, the better.

Until next time,

-Lee

Sportscasters Anonymous – Volume Ten

Greetings readers. Ten of these already? Holy cow! Also, this is my 50th post and the first SA in a while. Today’s topic is about learning.

From a quote I saw on Twitter, treat everyone as if they were a teacher.

Earlier in the week, when I was pulled out of class because of a tornado warning, I ran into the Public Announcer for Wright State. He also teaches a class in the Business Department. We began talking about the upcoming Wright State basketball season, on how excited we were with the new players and the mix of veterans. Then, we began talking about the history of the Miami Valley. The conversation trickled over to my hometown in Preble County. He told me that there were thirteen high schools at the time (there’s only 5 today and as far as I know back in the 1990’s as well) and they would play their district championship games in Richmond, Indiana because there wasn’t a gym in Preble County big enough to hold that type of game. We then continued on how those schools would become consolidated.

My point is to always strike up a conversation with the people you work with and learn about what they say. Talk to anyone who has been in the business for quite some time and has seen things change. It’s a good history lesson. Who knows, it could be good for your broadcasting game.

On that note, just a heads up that I am extremely busy this week and might not publish a new blog for awhile. I have a huge project that needs to be done that also determines if I graduate or not this quarter. I also have internship training on Saturday and a game on Sunday. There’s no rest for the sportscaster. However, there might be a new series I begin writing on this blog. It’ll be a surprise.

Until next time,

-Lee