“Sportswire” is the longest-running feature in our daily sports section.

The column was already a part of the Times sports section, usually on Page 2, when I joined the Central Coast Newspapers more than 16 1/2-years ago.

It’s a place where we can list your community news and notes.

It’s where the local schools run their notices; sports physicals, fundraising games, clinics and the like.

We run sign-up notices for Little League, recreation department leagues, youth leagues, sports camps, fundraising golf tournaments — the options are endless.

It’s the place for your group’s public sports notices.

And we’re happy to run anything you or your organization needs.

I regularly gets calls or emails from well-meaning people who want something listed tomorrow.

It seems ‘tomorrow’ is the final deadline and they need to get a notice into the Santa Maria Times, Lompoc Record or another of our Lee Central Coast publications.

I always try to do that but, with such short notice, I might not be able to.

So, there is one thing we’d like to request.

Give us at least two weeks advance notice of your upcoming event — more if you can.

I think that’s a fair request  it not only gives us time to put your notice into our rotation and get it online and into print several times, but it also gives your intended audience fair warning that they need to do something.

It’s really just an extension of how we plan our local sports schedule.

The sports department tries to build its coverage schedule about two weeks out.

Since there are far more schools and sports teams than we can cover in person every day, we try to map out our coverage about two weeks in advance.

We can do that because most sporting events are scheduled well in advance.

For instance, we’re in the process of gathering the high school fall sports schedules.

We’ll put together a tentative coverage schedule for the entire high school football season by mid-August.

We actually type up a master sports schedule that will include all the fall sports; girls’ golf, tennis and volleyball, boys’ water polo and boys’ and girls’ cross country.

And we'll do it again for the winter, spring and summer sports.

One of the reasons we do this is to give fair warning to our photography staff so sports coverage can be worked into the mix with the news side's needs.

There are slow times every year when not much is going on.

During those times, you will notice that the same Sportswire items get repeated on a near-daily basis.

If we’re going through one of those stretches, then I might give the Sportswire column a day off.

However, most of the year it’s pretty busy.

And short notice doesn’t help your organization get the word out.

There are a few elements to a Sportswire item that you should include; first and foremost, a phone number for us to use should we need more information and second, a phone number that we can publish to the public if they need more information.

We need to know what the event is, where and when it will be held, the times, costs and email address or website that can be used for more information — all the basic information people will need to decide if they want to participate.

If you have any questions on how to proceed or want to send in Sportswire submissions, send them to me at estern@leecentralcoastnews.com.

To make sure I don’t miss it because it might be my day off, you should also send the same email to Joe Bailey (jbailey@leecentralcoastnews.com), Kenny Cress (kcress@leecentralcoastnews.com) and Lorenzo J. Reyna (lreyna@leecentralcoastnews.com)

If email doesn’t work well for you, then leave me a message at (805) 878-7322 and I’ll get back to you as quickly as possible.

Elliott Stern is the Sports Editor for the Santa Maria Times. If you have a story idea or photos that you would like to share, you can email him or connect with him on Twitter @SMTSidelines


Senior Sports Reporter