When everything else is equal…when voice and vocabulary and veracity are all comparable, the ability to seamlessly work in the time and score of a game into a broadcast is what separates good broadcasters from great ones.
It’s the most important information sportscasters can convey. People watching or listening into a game want to know one thing…who is winning? All the other elements to a broadcast only lead up to answering that question.
At the end of the day, fans don’t care about backstories, scoring stats or the narrative you weave during your stint on air…they care about what the score is and how long is remaining in the game.
A recent conversation emerged on a post from Sportscaster Life’s Facebook of a meme highlighting the importance of saying the time and score frequently on air. A few sportscasters even believed they did it too much, while others (including us) agreed that you couldn’t do it enough.
So just how often should you give it? It obviously varies from sport to sport, but here’s a general guide for the ‘big four’:
At the setup of every down. You can vary and shorten this depending on the time between snaps but your fans should not be going more than 2 or so snaps without a full recap of the score.
Every 90 seconds and at most stoppages. Use time when the defenceman has the puck behind their own net or other ‘down’ times during play to do quick scoring recaps and give time and score remaining.
Full score recaps every half inning with quick score updates after every out. Baseball enables you to deliver this information almost at your leisure, but it’s important to not get complacent in informing your audience.
Score recap after every change with a time and score update every 90-120 seconds real time. Tighten this time period up in close games as the 4th quarter winds down.
What are your guidelines for giving the time and score for the sports listed above, or others? Can you give it too much (within reason obviously)? Let us know!