The nature of the game makes baseball the most difficult sport to broadcast. Learn how to master the art of play-by-play for America’s pastime.

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Keys to NBA-Caliber Basketball Play-by-play

Learn all the fundamentals you need to make your basketball play-by-play NBA quality.

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STAA Play-by-Play Pyramid

Use the STAA Play-by-Play Pyramid to build your basketball broadcasts from the foundation up or use the pyramid as a self-critique guide.

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Group Critique 9: Fall 2016

Fall and football are synonymous in this quarter’s group critique. This all play-by-play critique session features football and a few pinches of basketball to add spice.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • When to include the play clock during football PBP
  • A Kevin Harlan-esque example of PBP description
  • The PBP components that are like chocolate and peanut butter
  • A good example of shifting energy from third to fourth gear
  • The element you should never include on a PBP demo

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Group Critique 8: Summer 2016

The summer quarter group critique features play-by-play, sports talk, and an interview assessment. PBP critiques include baseball, basketball, and football.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • Why you need to include actualities during your sports talk show
  • The point when you should always be giving the time and score during basketball PBP
  • How to listen for “announcer voice”
  • A great example of basketball PBP that includes extensive vocabulary
  • What you might be doing too much of when conducting an interview

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Group Critique 7: Spring 2016

The spring quarter group critique will help you grow with evaluations of play-by-play and sports talk. PBP evaluations include basketball, baseball, and football.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • A great example of conveying drama in baseball PBP
  • How long you have to catch a listener’s attention in sports talk
  • A crucial editing tip for demos (PBP or sports talk)
  • When to reference the shot clock
  • Why you need to include uncut segments on your demo

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Group Critique 6: Winter 2016

This quarter we are all play-by-play, all the time. On the radio critique includes football, baseball, basketball, and hockey. On the TV side Jon critiques basketball and wrestling play-by-play.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • Why you should always give the Down/Distance/Yard line at the end of a play
  • One thing you should never include on a PBP demo
  • A common mistake in baseball play-by-play
  • Why you need to be careful about the audio quality of your demo

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Group Critique 5: Fall 2015

We’ve got another all-radio critique session for the fall quarter. Pour yourself a glass of Kool-Aid and listen in while Jon reviews baseball, hockey, sports talk, and basketball.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • How long to “let it breathe”
  • The importance of using inflection in your delivery
  • How to add more punch to a sports talk segment
  • The one description you should never use in basketball PBP
  • An example of outstanding broadcast vocabulary

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Group Critique 4: Summer 2015

It’s an all-radio critique session this quarter! Jon reviews baseball, basketball, sports talk, and football.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • How to find a balance between tracking on-field action and adding superlative info
  • How to get pristine audio quality for your demos
  • Why you need to vary your energy level
  • A professional way to call out bad officiating
  • Why you need to be consistent in identifying pitch type and location
  • A great example of making sports talk relatable

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Group Critique 3: Spring 2015

In the radio section Jon covers basketball, baseball and sports talk. In the TV section Jon reviews soccer play-by-play, an on-camera open, and a sports package.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • The importance of varying your vocabulary
  • The number one critique on play-by-play demos
  • Being specific in basketball about which team has possession
  • Why you need to should be avoiding getting deep into Xs and Os in sports talk
  • The dangers of overusing favorite phrases

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