Box scores add to the story

Why do we publish box scores?

If you go further into The Munising Beacon, the results and standings from a number of sporting events are included, ranging from high school sports to adult rec leagues. It’s a legacy staple of newspapers called box scores and handles a number of sports-related results, transactions and statistics. They can take up at least a full page in most of the big newspapers across the country, if not more.

However, box scores are rarely published in weekly newspapers. By the time the new edition comes out, most fans know if their team won or not. Thankfully, there are still a number of reasons why including box scores is a good idea.

First, box scores are a good way for everybody to receive some coverage. It’s impossible to cover every game, but it’s even less likely when the one local reporter also has to be at other school events, government meetings and handling breaking news. For smaller schools like Grand Marais and Munising Baptist, nearby schools in news deserts like Mid Pen and Big Bay de Noc and cooperative programs like the Manistique hockey team, this is the only chance for consistent, reliable coverage. These athletes are working just as hard as the athletes in other sports, so why not make the effort to include their results?

Second, it brings the events back home. Some sports like cross country, golf, tennis and competitive cheer may have one or two home meets a year, but are often out of town for competition. Not every family member is going to be able to make that trip. Letting the public know how well their home team is doing will help build hype for these not-as-fan-friendly sports, especially when we run out of space and time for a full article.

Now these are great for high school sports, but what about adult leagues? Is it important to put down who dominated the pickleball courts and ran the table in pool league? Unquestionably!

The third reason why we run box scores is arguably the most important: it shows that people live, work and play in Munising all 12 months of the year. They do that through fishing derbies and card leagues, trivia nights and racing on foot, car or bike. These are great, organized activities that keep Alger County residents active and involved in the community through their own way. Including them in the box scores shows that we stay active in ways that make sense to us, and also gives a way for local businesses to support those efforts. Look at how many businesses are sponsoring the golf leagues this week and you’ll see an active and thriving community.

Box scores have been a helpful and welcome addition to The Munising Beacon and I hope that you’ll appreciate what they can do for the overall reporting of local sports.

In the hopes of better understanding how our local newspaper works, the staff editorial on the first week of every month will go over one specific topic of relevant local journalism that causes questions or concerns. To ask a question, email munisingbeacon@gmail. com with the subject line “Why do we”.