Once you have the seven fundamentals of basketball play-by-play down cold, these five bonus tips will help make you a star!
1. Be clear about which team has the ball
This is the most common mistake in basketball play-by-play. There are a lot of changes of possession in basketball. You can’t count on all of your listeners knowing which team has it based only upon the names of the players.
2. Avoid “good” and “no good”
Be specific about missed shots. Vary your vocabulary. Instead of good, maybe say nails it, drains it, drills it, or swishes it home. Instead of “no good,” describe how the shot was missed – off the heel, too hard, rolls around and falls off, etc.
3. Don’t reference the shot clock over 10 seconds
The exception is following a dead ball. However, be certain to reference the clock when it goes under 10 seconds. In other words, wait until it becomes relevant to your story.
4. Use mascot names minimally in your basketball play-by-play
There are a lot of Wildcats and Falcons out there, especially at the high school and small college levels. The majority of the time, when referring to a team, use the name of their city or school. Ex: Palisades leading Elsinore.
5. Use the one-ear headphone
In other words, cover only one ear with your headphones. Keep the other ear uncovered and you will hear a lot of info that will help your broadcast – things like the PA announcer saying which player was charged with a foul or coaches barking instruction to players.
If you are strong in the seven fundamentals of basketball play-by-play as outlined in the STAA Play-by-Play Pyramid, these five additional tips will help take your call from good to great.