Example Play-by-Play Critique – Final Review

Broadcaster: REDACTED

Broadcast Review: 1/14/15 – REDACTED

Video with Audio Play-by-Play

Overall – I’ve noticed considerable improvement from your first submission compared to your third, and decent improvement from your last submission when compared to this one. I believe that you’re heading in the right direction in terms of a radio call, but there were periods of inconsistency where you would bounce back and forth between a less descriptive call suitable for television, versus the level of description needed for radio.

In this demo, I was really thinking about it as if I were a listener for radio for two reasons, primarily because we’ve discussed this before, that most of the opportunities for a younger announcer in play-by-play will be on radio/internet. Additionally, the video quality itself was choppy (which was expected), so it wasn’t the easiest in the world to follow.

There was improvement in areas of giving the time and score, but there’s always room for more. My rule of thumb is every stopped play at a minimum. There are always times where the puck can be in play for well over a minute (or longer), so you want to find the right time (a dump in for instance) to reset the time and score. You are also improved at player identification, not just for XXX, but also for the opposition, but there’s certainly room for improvement, which comes with more reps. There would also be periods of time where you were good at describing the player with the puck location, which is where you want to progress, but usually I would pick up one or the other.

Broadcast Specifics – Below are more specific items that I noticed from watching your clip. Much of what I’ve summarized already is based off of watching your clip, but the following are specific comments directed at particular points of the video.

Lack of Description – The first part below is exactly what I mentioned during our last discussion, but I’ve added some additional information. The positive is that while I still heard these things, it wasn’t prevalent during the entire broadcast, but just periodically—shows that you’re working to improve, but that you need more practice.

Paired with a difficulty to track the puck, I’ve noticed two distinct areas of your call that seem to be hindering your development:

  1. Trying to be an “analyst” when you should be calling the game – There’s still a little bit of this going on, but not as much as before. When calling a game solo there’s certainly a tendency to lean in this direction. One example was towards the end of the clip, where you go into some detail about a hand pass (too much detail) and you miss some on-ice play—nothing major, but listen back as you want to try and avoid that if you can. However, there are definitely some areas where in-game analysis interspersed with the play-by-play is ok to add:
    1. When the play is dead. Certainly ok then, but recognize what’s happening down on the ice so that you can make sure and wrap up before the next face off. You did this well on the 4th Temple goal, which was right off of a face-off. Had you run over you would have missed this entirely, but you were right on it, which is great!
    2. Slow play like a dump-in/clear out, slow setup through the neutral zone, etc. You really have to have a good feel for the game at this point, knowing if this is possible. A game with two teams that like to push the puck rush both ends make this very difficult—the game is too fast. But teams that slow the pace a little make this possible. I’d still prefer that you have a much better grasp of handling the play-by-play straight before really thinking much about also trying to handle the color role simultaneously too much.
  2. Using too many words – I’m definitely still noticing this at times, and it’s forcing you to miss passes, etc., but I’m also noticing that at times you’re really pulling back and not describing much at all. I noticed that I had this there the last time, and I would still hear it at times. There are periods of too much, or not enough talk on your part. As a result, the pace was uneven at times. In play-by-play—the great ones (Emrick, etc.), you can notice a definite rhythm and pace to their call—they’re using their voices as an instrument, and there’s a flow to their call—everyone’s is a little bit different, but you want to try to find yours.

Again, when describing the game, keep in mind the basics (from our last discussion):

When it comes to a radio broadcast, the goal in general is to “paint the word picture”, which is to describe the game in a way where it can be instantly visualized by the listener. Description is important. The link above will help you come up with some general ways to describe the play. Ultimately, it’s basic reporting—at least the “Who, what & where” part of it.

  1. Who has the puck (player name/team)
  2. Where is the puck (location on ice)
  3. What is happening (skating with, shooting or passing the puck)