Article Guidelines for Somerville Journal

Articles

As part of our mission to recognize the positive efforts of all of the children playing in the Somerville Youth Soccer League (SYSL), and in order to promote our generous sponsors, as well as the League itself, each team is asked to write an article about their game several times each season. These articles are then published on a space available basis in the Somerville Journal. This program falls under the auspices of the Community Relations effort of the SYSL.

Purpose

The purpose of the articles is to enhance the overall SYSL experience for the children, to increase overall awareness of the Somerville Youth Soccer program, and to publicly acknowledge the many generous business sponsors of the SYSL.

Every child enjoys seeing his/her accomplishments highlighted in print! These articles give us the opportunity to bring attention to the contributions made by all members of each soccer team: showing that those who passed and played defense made a contribution equally important to those made by the high scorers.

The financial stability of the SYSL program is made possible through team support from many generous Somerville businesses. By acknowledging these benefactors in local newspaper articles we are able to contribute to their financial stability as well.

Publication

These articles are published as a community service by the Somerville Journal on a space available basis. While there is no guarantee that each article submitted can be published, if an article is not written, it is guaranteed that your team will not appear in the paper. Each week the League hopes to highlight teams from all levels of the program.

Team Responsibilities for Articles

Writing the articles is one of the responsibilities of the parents of the children on each team. The coach and/or manager of each team should clearly communicate this responsibility to the parents at the beginning of the season.

Intra-City teams are expected to submit one article for a pre-assigned week during the season (see U-6 and U-8 game schedules for the specific date), while Traveling Teams (U-10, U-12 and U-14) are requested to submit articles describing at least 2-3 different games over the course of the eight week season. Teams which exceed this required number are likely to get more articles published, make more soccer players and sponsors happy, and will win bonus points at the end of the season which will be appropriately rewarded by the SYSL Board. Each team should assign one parent journalist who is responsible for writing the article for the week. This is often done on a rotating basis so that no parent needs to write more than one article per season. Once assigned, if for some reason the designated parent cannot follow through, they are responsible for finding another parent to write the article.

Format

The articles can be typed (preferably double-spaced) or neatly handwritten. They do not need to be polished or lengthy; in fact, keep the articles as brief as possible (under 200 words) because the Somerville Journal is more likely to use them and this makes it more feasible for many teams to be represented each week.

The purpose of the articles is to highlight the individual teams, support player participation and promote community pride in youth soccer activities. Please try not to disappoint your players and parents. No one will remind you to submit articles. Articles received after the early Monday morning deadline simply will not appear.

Items to Include in the Article

The focus of Somerville Youth Soccer for both the traveling and intracity teams is fun. Try to mention the efforts of every team member who participated in the game. Remember that the assists to a successful goal are equally as important as the final kick. Look for the positive, putting as much emphasis on good sportsmanship, fine teamwork and genuine effort, as you do on winning the game and scoring goals. Mention defensive plays as well as those made by offense. Don’t forget about the goalies and the coaches and their assistants — often the most under appreciated and stressed out participants on the field! Use action-packed verbs to describe the plays, such as boot, dash, slide, dive, block and dart, and colorful words to capture the spirit of the game, like intense volley of attacking and repelling, stunning saves, polished passes and Olympic efforts. Avoid violent terminology and words that put down players, either on your team or the opposing one. Remember the goal is to promote player self-esteem, not destroy it.

Remember that for all Intra-City games both teams are the “home” team; competition between teams should be de-emphasized in favor of highlighting the effort made by all players.

If your team has a corporate sponsor, please use the sponsor’s name, as well as the age level, when referring to the team, e.g. The Boys 10 and Under Traveling Team, sponsored by Ames Safety Envelope. This is currently one of the few ways the sponsor receives public acknowledgment of their support for your team. It is also helpful if you give a copy of the published article(s) to the sponsor directly by the end of the season since it cannot be assumed that they read the Somerville Journal newspaper regularly!

Procedures for Submission of Articles

Please submit your article to to the Community Relations officer no later than 8:30 a.m. Monday morning and preferably before 11:00 p.m. on Sunday nights. Include your name and telephone number at the end in case there are any follow-up questions. You may also e-mail the article to the Community Relations officer.

Please note that the Journal prefers not to have the articles submitted to them directly by individual authors, but rather to receive them from one representative of the SYSL. Therefore, the Community Relations officer will review and coordinate the various articles she receives and present them to the Somerville Journal on Monday morning in a single batch, to make it easier for the newspaper’s staff and to ensure a balance of age groups and individual teams are represented each week.

The Journal is published weekly on Thursdays. Articles, of course, are not guaranteed to appear in the paper and are subject to editorial changes by the Journal editor. Please keep a copy of the article you submit (or give an extra copy to the Community Relations officer) in case it gets lost, misplaced or overlooked somewhere along the process.