A spotting board is usually an over-sized, one page chart of all players on a team. It is more useful in some sports than in others, but its use is the same. To provide nuggets of information at a quick glance. For sports like football, it can also double as a depth chart, providing a variety of discussion points. In a quicker sport like hockey, it is more difficult to use, but still has a place.
This is only a small segment of a very detailed, colour coded piece of art that Leahy has up on his web site. You can check the full version out here. As you can see from Leahy’s example, there are places for just about every bit of information. Player stats and backgrounds, head to head, last results, leaders, standings, the whole range of stats any broadcaster would need.
Spotting boards are wonderful because they come in so many different versions. Click here for some examples of other spotting boards we have on the site. The key in designing a spotting board is that it has to work for you. Leahy’s board above may not work for everyone, either by the design of it, or the clear time and detail it takes in making it. It should allow you to categorize and organize your notes and make them easily accessible on air.
Here’s another example of a spotting board. This is taken from the book ‘Call of the Game’ (more info here) and is the football spotting board of a former network announcer. While the picture is black and white (the way the book was printed), there are different colour codes for different stats and numbers and everything you could think of. There are codes and cryptic notes, just a maze of information that the author can decypher in his broadcast.