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How do you deal with poor uniform numbers and bad lighting?

Posted: Fri May 25, 2018 11:44 am
by Jon Chelesnik
How do you handle a team with brutal uniforms w/numbers & names that can’t be seen or read, especially with long sight lines & tough light (ie football games)?

Re: How do you deal with poor uniform numbers and bad lighting?

Posted: Mon May 28, 2018 7:07 pm
by bschultz
How to deal with it? Be REALLY good so you're not at that level for very long! I've never seen either of those conditions in the MLB, NFL, NHL, etc.

In all seriousness, if it's baseball, talk to the team...or the umpires...before the game to try to get the info relayed to the press box.

A number of years ago, I was the radio announcer and also the official scorer for a collegiate summer baseball team. Bad lights. Black uniform. Purple numbers. Couldn't see a thing! I gave an error to the left fielder of the visiting team on a fly ball. It was a long run...but he over ran the ball, and it hit of the heel of the glove and fell. I put E7 in the scorecard.

As my postgame is just starting, the manager of the team (visiting team) comes storming up to the press box. I have a headset on and I'm doing a scoring recap. He starts screaming, "Who's the official scorer?!?!?!"

I didn't answer, as my highlight was just ready to end and I had to throw to the next highlight. He screams it again. I throw to the next highlight. As soon as I throw to the next highlight, he gets REALLY loud. Before I throw to the last highlight, I say, "And as I'm sure you've heard, FILL IN THE MANAGERS NAME HERE seems a little upset about something in the stats. We will take a break, and I'll try to talk him off the ledge. Final score tonight X-X."

During the break, he starts screaming that I shouldn't have thrown him under the bus on the air. I indicated that he threw himself under the bus since my mic was on.

Turns out, the stud left fielder was replaced by a pinch hitter the half inning before. With the color combination, I couldn't tell. As he is continuing to yell, I come back from break. As soon as I turn up the mic again...he runs out of the press box. Conversation over! Never saw him again!

Re: How do you deal with poor uniform numbers and bad lighting?

Posted: Tue May 29, 2018 12:45 pm
by JimRiley
well part of it is painting the word picture. I've had football games with silver numbers on white jerseys. describe that and on those occasions where you miss one you can refer back to it. Then you can add that the unis are legal as long as the ref/ump can read them

Re: How do you deal with poor uniform numbers and bad lighting?

Posted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 9:43 am
by Bob Rotruck
Think there are really only a combo of 4 options here:
- Politely mentioning to the coach for the future. However, at a low level league they potentially do not have the budget for new uniforms.
- Bring binoculars and actually use them more frequently.
- Do the best you can.
- Just wing it and don't hedge on players names too much. If your call includes, "...and I think that is still Smith in LF who makes the catch but I can't tell for sure" then you are more about referencing the drama of how much the uniforms are lousy than you are about attempting to maintain the quality of your broadcast.

That is in regards to the jersey color/number scheme.
Not really anything you can do about the lighting....except possibly below:

Another obvious solution that I was guilty of: Get glasses if you think there is even a SLIGHT chance you might need them. I finally did at 43 years old (in 2013). Never had glasses before. But I was squinting to try to read some numbers in some places arenas/stadiums...and a baseball park with one of those red-digit style scoreboards was very tricky for me.
My number of missed calls went down dramatically once I finally gave in and got glasses for the first time in my life.

Re: How do you deal with poor uniform numbers and bad lighting?

Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:50 am
by Jon Chelesnik
Great advice, Bob. Especially love this comment:
If your call includes, "...and I think that is still Smith in LF who makes the catch but I can't tell for sure" then you are more about referencing the drama of how much the uniforms are lousy than you are about attempting to maintain the quality of your broadcast.