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Herald-Mail does its best to get youth sports in the paper

May 20, 2002

As sports editor, I'm often questioned about The Herald-Mail's policy on publishing youth sports results. I'll try to clear up some of the confusion about what we run, and when and where it runs.

About two years ago, The Daily Mail, our weekday afternoon edition, underwent a facelift of sorts. At that time, it was decided that all youth sports would run in the Mail and not in The Morning Herald. The thinking was that more space would be available in The Daily Mail - primarily a Washington County newspaper - than in The Morning Herald, which is our Tri-State edition.

Still, we have had frustrated readers wondering why the soccer scores they submitted did not appear in the next day's Morning Herald, but all of the Little League scores did.

All of the youth soccer scores that are submitted are published in Thursday's Daily Mail. Four weeks ago, we began to pick up those scores for publication in Friday's Morning Herald. We also run youth lacrosse, hockey, gymnastics, etc.

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All of which begs the question: Why run the Little League scores every day and not the other sports?

The Little League Baseball results are a long-time staple at The Herald-Mail. They've been published on a daily basis for no less than 30 years - long before the soccer boom hit Washington County.

I still get reminders from readers that The Herald used to print the line scores on Little League games. And I do remember that, but that all ended in the mid-'70s.

I'm sure space constraints led to the discontinuation of those line scores, and with the volume of calls we now get from minor league, junior league and senior league, it would be difficult for us to ever begin running those line scores again.

We receive anywhere from 15 to 25 calls on youth baseball and softball every night. On the other hand, we only receive about 15 to 20 youth soccer results every week. We thought it more beneficial to combine all of those soccer results into one roundup instead of scattering them throughout the week.

The time may come when we are getting more youth soccer or hockey or lacrosse results on a nightly basis and we will have to rethink our policy. We invite those coaches and leagues to send us their results by fax (301-714-0245) or by e-mail (larryy@herald-mail.com).

n In the same vein, we have had an alarming number of coaches phoning in Little League calls one, two, sometimes three days after a game is played.

Please - please - give us a call the same night the game is played. Most Little League games begin at 6 p.m., and it only takes a minute (or less) for us to take the result when you call.

Just as important, we ask that you call as early as you can. We can take calls up until 11 p.m. (10 p.m. on Saturdays) and still get the results in the next day's paper. After that time ... maybe, maybe not.

And if you're just simply not a phone person, you can always e-mail those Little League results. Send them to sports@herald-mail.com and we'll take it from there.

Mark Keller is sports editor at The Morning Herald. He can be reached by telephone at 301-733-5131, extension 2332, or by e-mail at keller@herald-mail.com.

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