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 Elite Baseball Play-by-play

Discover the key fundamentals to great baseball broadcasting and learn advanced techniques for setting yourself apart in one of the most competitive genres of sports broadcasting.

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STAA Play-by-Play Pyramid

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

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Group Critique 13: August 2017

This month our Group Critique includes radio and TV demos. Under radio we have plenty of baseball PBP, football PBP, an interview,

On the TV side Jon reviews basketball and baseball play-by-play,

Here’s what you’ll learn:

    The question you must answer to turn your broadcast into a story
    One thing to track in football PBP
    How often to reset an interview guest
    How long to your questions should be during an interview
    A good example of providing captions in TV PBP

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Group Critique 10: Winter 2017

The first Group Critique of 2017 packs a punch with plenty of radio and TV critiques. The radio session covers sports talk, football, basketball and baseball play-by-play. For the TV crowd Jon reviews hockey, a sports anchor/reporter reel, soccer and basketball.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • Why you need to structure your post game show
  • How to add clarity when you give the time and score
  • What to do if you feel like you need to speak faster in basketball PBP
  • An illustration of PBP character development
  • Aiming for the bigs? Discover why you need to add pitch type and location to your PBP
  • A great example of voice control in hockey PBP
  • The facial expression you must use as a sports TV anchor/reporter

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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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Interview: Mel Proctor, Former MLB Baseball TV Broadcaster

Mel Proctor is the former TV voice of the Orioles, Padres, Nationals and Washington Bullets, among other teams. He is also the author of I Love the Work But I Hate the Business. In this interview Mel shares how he balanced family and a career on the road, why a sense of humor is crucial to a sportscasting career, how to handle executives who don’t know broadcasting, and more.

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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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