Livestream Commentator Resources
How to become a USQ Commentator
Commentating is a fun way to get involved in the quidditch community without being a player or referee. You can become a USQ commentator by signing up at this link and completing a few short forms.
- Fill out the interest form
- Attend Commentator Info Sessions (calendar to be announced soon)
- Fill out USQ Commentator Application (will be released August 4th)
- Review and take Commentator Guidelines Test
- Review Training Videos or attend training session
USQ official commentating* is currently broken into two levels, Tier II and Tier I commentator
- Tier II commentators can announce any non-elimination USQ official games
**For the 2021 Season*, after commentating on 3 USQ games, a Commentator can become a Tier I Commentator
- Tier I Commentators can announce at USQ Regional elimination games as well as Nationals.
*USQ will not regulate or be responsible for unofficial games or fantasy tournament commentary.
**In future seasons commentator submissions and reviews will determine Broadcast Tier. Commentator Review guidelines for future seasons can be found here.
- Be at the pitch before the game starts. It’s easy to assume quidditch games run late, but there is pre-work that needs to be completed before brooms up. We recommend you are at the pitch at least 10 minutes before the scheduled game if possible.
- If you have the opportunity to know what teams you will be commentating on try watching their previous games, looking up their statistics, and finding any recent news on the teams. This will be a great resource to provide more color commentary especially if you don’t have prior experience with the teams.
- If you are not provided with a roster by USQ or a tournament director, try your best to collect the names, jersey numbers, pronouns, and positions of players on the teams before the game starts. This way you can refer to your notes instead of relying on memory or guesses and avoid misidentifying or misgendered players on the pitch.
- Make sure to work with your livestream team before the start of the game to test your audio levels, your view of the field, and any other technical aspects are ready.
Dos and Do Nots
Code of Conduct
- Do be aware of the gender of athletes on the field when speaking about players and when in doubt use they/them pronouns (additional resources can be found on USQ's diversity, equity, and inclusion page)
- Do not use any offensive or obscene language (you can see additional details in the USQ code of conduct)
- Do not engage in personal attacks or gossip against players on or off the field (additional resources can be found on USQ's diversity, equity, and inclusion page)
- Avoid comments and generalizations based on players gender, race, nationality (if you have additional questions you can reach out to USQ’s DEI committee)
- If you believe anything constitutes harassment, you can submit a report via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com (more information is on USQ’s website regarding unlawful harassment)
- Do use your commentary partner (if you have one) to help support you when you are running out of steam, need a water or a snack, or run a blank on a name or team stat.
- Do treat your microphone like it is always on, every discussion when live is a public one.
- Do not go on the field during play or interfere with referees.
- Do be sure to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of both teams. No team is perfect and every team/player has made an effort to be commended for. Ex. a team down 0-100 could still have a strong beater pair or be performing good tackles. A team with a huge lead could be making sloppy passes or relying too heavily on drives.
- Do not make up history or strategies on the teams playing. In other words make sure you have a basis on what you are theorizing or basing an opinion on. It’s always better to talk from a place of knowledge than fabricating things to fill time.
- Make sure to register your games commentated to USQ so your contribution can be recorded.
- Make sure not to walk off with the microphone if you are wearing one. It happens way more than you think it does.
- Be sure to check out your stream afterwards on USQ’s social media channels!
The next step from basic game coverage is to work on tailoring your commentary to these specialized roles when working in tandem with a partner.
Play by Play Commentary
Play by Play Commentary focuses on the action on the field such as “Jenna passes to Josie”, “Rory drives to the center hoop to score”, “Jordan receives a red card on the field”. It is a fairly objective recounting of the events on the field. While it can involve some analysis of the game, like highlighting the formation of the two teams or pointing out in the moment strategies such as pump fakes or handoffs, the role is primarily the live action retelling of the events as they unfold. A good way to think of play by play commentary is to imagine that you are describing the game to someone who can not see it, what is essential that they know?
In other sports play by play is very apparent in basketball and hockey as the games happen at such a fast pace that there is only time to describe what is happening on the field when it is active. On the other hand, golf is a prime example of Analyst commentary where the large gaps between action require the commentator to fill in backstory, stats, context, and subjective language.
Analyst Commentary focuses on the subjective aspects of the game and its context outside of the play to play action such as “if the Orange Team can keep this up they will continue their unbroken win streak”, “The Purple team has a history of focused play around their primary ball carrier”, “Parker has done an incredible job drawing the opponents beaters out of position”. Analyst Commentary has a more decorative, less subjective purpose. The Analyst Commentary is what enhances the experience as opposed to what they need to hear. Analyst Commentary improves the game broadcast by educating the viewer on the teams/players/strategy or drawing them into debate/discussion. Analyst Commentary can be about the history of the two teams individually, their competitive history, the individual players, the statistics of gameplay, or the strategy being employed by players and coaches. The Analyst Commentary is also able to build a narrative around games or teams that viewers without context may not perceive. Think of the quotes by announcers in sports history (or sports movies) that stand out in your mind. They typically do not reflect the technical plays on the field, but the broader subjective context around them (“Do you believe in Miracles?!”)
Previously golf was referenced as relying heavily on Analyst Commentary, but other sports that contain high amounts of Analyst Commentary are baseball and bowling. You can hear Analyst Commentary in even the most fast paced sports during breaks in play or timeouts/penalties.
Remember no commentator is strictly one or the other always. There will be opportunities for both commentators to discuss plays or decisions on the field that feels similar to color commentary as well as moments where one commentator may be focused on the quaffle game while the other is highlighting the seeker play by play. Commentating is a conversation between you, the audience, and the other commentators. USQ does not require you to decide what commentator you would like to be or that you stay a particular style game to game, it’s between you and your commentator partner to decide between yourselves game to game.
We would also encourage you to experiment with how to improve your broadcast within the bounds of our standards such as having an assist or notepad for recording game stats to inform you as broadcast or having sideline reporters for pre and post game interviews. We hope we can amplify any and all innovations the community has to offer and if you would like to provide any feedback or suggestions you can reach out to our livestream coordinator, Michael O’Connor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interested in opportunities or what to learn more?
If you’d like to sign up, offer suggestions, or learn more about how to commentate you can reach out to our livestream coordinator at Michael.email@example.com. In addition if you’d like to be paired with a current commentator, coach and mentor be sure to contact the livestream team and we will work on matching you.
USQ’s Commentator INCLUSION Rider Program
USQ is committed to the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Recognizing that increasing the number of female and gender non-conforming volunteers and individuals from other underrepresented groups, volunteering them whenever possible in a manner pursuant to our mission statement, will create a stronger pipeline for more diverse representation on-screen and off-screen.
Based on similar rider documents used by professional productions and crews, USQ will aim to have commentator representation that reflects that our community at a minimum, we hold ourselves to schedule commentators in a manner that matches current census data as a baseline, which means our broadcasts will be comprised of
>46% Female >4% Non-Binary >20% Black and POC in future broadcasts.
You can read the entirety of the USQ Inclusion rider and how it will operate in the document here.