I’ll share with you a copy of the STAA pyramid, a device created by the Sportscasters Talent Agency of America (STAA) which covers the important elements to discuss during the course of your broadcast. This pyramid is a tool used by play by play announcers which covers the crucial building blocks to effective play by play. Developed by Jon Chelesnik, the CEO of the Sportscasters Talent Agency of America (STAA), it covers those elements which are necessary to good, quality play by play announcing.
The lower tier of the pyramid deals with the most essential functions of the play by play announcer’s responsibilities – giving the score and time remaining at least every :90, capturing the relevant sights, sounds, and emotions associated with the participants in the competition, and pinpointing the exact location of the ball or puck.
The middle tier covers the all important aspects of storytelling – and developing storylines from your broadcast. The focus here is explaining what is at stake – not only in the game, but also in each possession, or each at-bat, whatever the case may be….. and also discussing who is important (i.e. developing the characters, such as teams, players, and coaches, etc.) This is true of any sport you may cover, but it is especially important in baseball, where storytelling is so critical due to the slow pacing and time between pitches.
The top tier discusses the importance of recapping the game for your audience frequently, with the time frame being every 8-10 minutes. New listeners do not want to have to wait for this information. And finally, the pyramid covers how to use your voice – always being in control, never screaming. You want to match your vocal tone to the experiences of the game. Be energetic and excited but never scream and be out of control. Another valuable tool that broadcasters use is silence- knowing when to say nothing and let the sounds and pictures tell the story.