Great basketball play-by-play finds balance in word economy to match the pace on the court.

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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.


Group Critique 43: August 2020

Audio-only this month, featuring baseball and basketball.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • The reason you’ll want to divide your baseball broadcasts into thirds
  • The place to habitually give the score in your baseball broadcast
  • Tips for emphasizing the importance of base runners
  • A key to slowing down your basketball play-by-play


Group Critique 41: June 2020

We hit for the cycle in the audio program — football, basketball, baseball and hockey play-by-play. The video features sports anchoring and reporting, interviewing and baseball play-by-play.

Among the nuggets . . .

  • Subtle examples of using your voice as an instrument
  • A common mistake among basketball broadcasters
  • How over-using first and last names can hurt your broadcast
  • The advantage of sounding conversational versus polished
  • Examples of great script writing
  • Tips on effective structure for questions
  • How to emphasize the subtle but important storylines in your play-by-play


Group Critique 39: April 2020

We have audio and video this month featuring basketball, baseball and hockey play-by-play.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • Key info to include with time and score
  • Why fair and foul balls should be treated equally
  • Great examples of character development in a hockey broadcast
  • Why you give time and score immediately after a made basket
  • Two tips for maximizing the resonance of your voice
  • How to use your personality to set your broadcasts apart
  • How to vary your pacing
  • How to underscore key moments in a basketball game
  • Advice for setting up your analyst for success


Group Critique 37: February 2020

The audio features basketball, football and softball.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • How to help a nasally voice and bring out your bass
  • A common mistake that will cause you to fall behind in your play-by-play call
  • When to ignore the shot clock and when referring to it becomes mandatory
  • How to add texture to your delivery and why it’s important
  • How to find your third gear for play-by-play
  • A common phrase used in radio that should not be used on TV
  • Examples of why it’s important to keep your comments brief
  • Advice for when you are broadcasting without an analyst


Group Critique 35: December 2019

The last Group Critique of 2019 is here! The audio features football, basketball and baseball play-by-play. The video segment includes baseball and basketball.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • When it’s acceptable to give the score deficit instead of the numeric score.
  • Advice for doing live reads.
  • When statistics enhance, not hurt, your broadcast.
  • A suggestion for working a clever line into a broadcast.
  • Suggestions for keeping tabs on base-runners.
  • How talking less heightens drama.
  • How to use words to compliment the time and score graphic.


Group Critique 34: November 2019

The video features two football tracks and the audio features football, basketball and an interview.

Among the things you’ll learn:

  • TV:
  • The key time to NOT be talking on each play.
  • The difference between play-by-play on radio and TV boiled down to two simple sentences.
  • Who is right when you disagree with the on-screen graphic about how many yards are needed for a first down.
  • Radio:
  • How to punch up key plays.
  • A common mistake among basketball broadcasters regarding last names.
  • How to reset an interview and why it’s important.

And much more!


Group Critique 32: September 2019

The audio critique features football, basketball and baseball, while the one video we review this month is soccer.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • What you must do before breaks to avoid sounding hurried after them.
  • What must be included before and after each football play.
  • Why it’s important to vary your energy level.
  • Two pieces of info that should almost always be given together.
  • When to incorporate edginess into your broadcast.
  • A fundamental that is mandatory in TV play-by-play.
  • The times of your telecast when you MUST watch the monitor.


Group Critique 31: August 2019

This month’s group critique session reviews six clips, including baseball, basketball and an interview.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • An important consideration when choosing the start of a demo segment.
  • An especially effective way to phrase an interview question.
  • The thing that must not be ignored when a runner is on base.
  • A two-word phrase that does not belong in your play-by-play.
  • The critical thing you must do on every basketball change of possession.


Group Critique 30: July 2019

We have audio and video this month. The audio features basketball, baseball and softball. The video includes football and, for the first time ever, auto racing!

Among the things you’ll learn . . .

  • When it’s okay to use players’ first and last names in basketball . . . and when it should be avoided.
  • The piece of information that is even more important to give consistently than time and score.
  • A quick and easy way to immediately elevate the energy in your broadcasts.
  • How to make listeners who don’t care about either team still care about your broadcast.
  • The definition of a great home run call.
  • When to share stories during your baseball broadcasts.
  • When to leave the previous play and turn your attention to the next one.
  • The recurring instance in a football broadcast when you should say nothing.
  • How to borrow from other sportscasters without being obvious.


Group Critique 29: June 2019

This month we critique football, basketball and for the first time ever, wrestling!

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • The No. 1 way that insufficient preparation shows up in a broadcast.
  • Why it is important to get into commercial breaks quickly.
  • The point in a possession at which a basketball shot clock becomes relevant.
  • What it means to stay in the moment in a TV broadcast.
  • When to avoid sharing biographical and and historical information.