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Warner's World 4-30
Language of sports
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Sports reporting has a lot of jargon.
This is true whether you’re a writer, announcer, or TV sports reporter. It is definitely beneficial. Stories would be awfully hard to read if I began every one the same way and described every shot using the standard vernacular.
Every story would begin “Warren County High School won 5-3 Monday night” and every score in basketball, being one of the longer seasons, would be “John Jones hit for a 3-point shot” hence the necessity for the specialized lingo.
Much of this sports jargon is very creative, and usually started by someone using it once and it catching on as it were. I like to use “tickle the twine” for another basketball term which has a similar but not exact meaning as “all net.” Now you might think these two terms are interchangeable but not quite. “Tickle the twine” is used when the shot is so accurate, you barely see the basketball net, or twine, move. The shot meets the same criteria for not hitting the rim as the “all net” shot but the basketball net, made of twine, can move a lot more for a shot that’s “all net.”
Now a 3-point shot in basketball can be described as, well, a “3-point shot,” a “3-pointer’, a “shot outside the arc” or even “dialing long distance.” Basically, these days it means the player earns 3 points instead of 2 from a shot made outside an arc laid out on the hardwood or court that differs in radius depending on what level of ball you’re watching.
The three-point jargon didn’t exist until 1979, or at least widely, as that’s the year the NBA adopted the 3-point shot with high schools not doing so until 1986.
Football also possesses its own special language. I use the term “pick six” to connote when a defender picks off the quarterback and scores a defensive touchdown worth, you guessed it, 6 points. Jargon is defined as a language that is special to a profession, culture, or subject, often technical, and is not easily understood by outsiders.
Each sport has a specialized jargon to go with it, although some are interchangeable and some have adapted with the sport they came from. For example, in rugby a touchdown is when a player touches the ball down in the end zone to create a try for 5 points. Since football is the Americanized version of rugby, it has adopted the term touchdown to its inception into a regulation sports term heard in every football game.
The term “grid iron” is used for an American football field but in England, when they say football they are referring to rugby where you most often hear the term “pitch” instead of field.
Whatever the sport, there’s a specialized lingo that goes with it. The lingo serves important purposes and livening up the game for readers and viewers is just one.