Creating a Sports Show – Part 3 of 3 – The Final Tournament


sports show

Sports Anime

In the Previous post, we discussed the essence behind our protagonist team losing their first tournament. This is to prepare them for the upcoming, greater event. The Second Tournament. This tournament is the final of finals, the absolute. For our context of the blog posts, it is the last before our teams final year all finish High School. For your story, it could be their last game before retirement, or before they move etc… It is up to you. Nevertheless, this is their final chance.

Easy Qualification

Our team is now the newly revived team. Their teamwork and skill are all advanced have become strong. The skills they obtained are now put to the test. They easily get past their obstacles to go through each round.


The second tournament provides more trials than the first one. Your team isn’t the only one who’s grown. Your rivals, who play in the same tournament, also grew in skill. There are other teams which will force your team to reveal some of its trump cards. But our heroes will win against these threats.

New Sub Rivals

With each team our heroes meet, there are certainly aces of opposing teams, which disturb your flow. These provide not only a challenge; they provide growth for characters individually, depending on what their ace’s abilities counter in our team. The sub rivals of each team our protagonists face all serve the purpose of building up the climax, the rival battle.

Their rivals

They approach near the end of the tournament. There are two ways to go about this, however, the latter most often occurs. They meet their rivals in the finals, or they’ll meet them in the semi-finals, setting up the story with a much bigger threat than their rivals.

Regardless of how the story progresses, this is the part where the losers challenge the winners one final time for victory. Their fight is harder, with the rival team revealing new tricks as they play. As our team struggles, they also grow. Our protagonist, our hero will ultimately triumph over his or her rivals, and win the game, through everyone’s hard efforts.

The final

sports show

Seirin vs Rakuzan Final

This is it,   the final match of the tournament. Throughout the tournament, there was always one final monster to face. Your team will struggle, struggle and struggle. They will use maximum energy from the start, and they will over exert themselves just to gain some points of their opponents. Little by little, they’ll get accustomed to the game. This is the culmination of all they have struggled through and worked desperately for.

You can use this moment of struggle to add in an injury, or a penalty. These serve for a bigger climax. However, your injured player will come back, boosting your team’s morale.

Our team and protagonist learn how to ultimately work together for one cause, victory. Their ultimate team play will guarantee them the victory.


The nature of the Japanese High School tournaments consists of regional tournaments, which are held before teams face each other within the nation. The winners of these regional tournaments represent their region at Nationals.

This can vary depending on the sport, and nature of your story. If you wish to just end it at the second tournament, like many of the sports anime, then that’s okay.

Nevertheless, some shows will take this to the next level. That is Nationals. There, your team will take on the nation’s greatest teams.

World Tournament

sports show

Japanese Football Team from Captain Tsubasa

All these sports shows originate from manga, which are weekly serialisation comics. Their author’s income is relied upon how long does the story go on for. For this reason, some author’s will bring a World Tournament Arc to our story. You have the opportunity to gather all the mighty sub-rivals our team has faced, forming a team with them and challenging the world. The world tournament typically faces a similar structure as the second tournament.

However, it is important to note that this story arc may not work well depending upon the origin of the country. Japan is a country which doesn’t often make it far in some of the popular sports where countries in Europe or USA may easily qualify. This makes us want to cheer for them, even if they face our own country and win. Depending on where your plot is occurring, you may or may not choose to do this. It would be if a story about a German team were struggling at the World Cup in your narrative.

The motivator

Regardless of sports you choose, or story format, I hope this caused you to ponder about the most important aspect of Sports shows. The great motivator.

These shows, help us learn that it is physically impossible to do it alone. We must accept the help of others, be willing to offer support ourselves, for one common cause.

They teach that hard work can achieve just as much as born talent. That weaklings can take on the mightiest, and all that matters to succeed is dependent upon our willingness to make it a reality.

Go watch some, learn from them. The format may spoil the arcs, but each story is different, each character is different and each reason to win is different. Let me know what you think, and see you next time.



Fig. 1 – Screenshot from (https://)
Fig. 2 – Screenshot from Kuroko no Basket
Fig. 3 – Screenshot from Captain Tsubasa

Shows Mentioned

Captain Tsubasa
Yowamushi Pedal
Baby Steps
Kuroko no Basket
Hajime no Ippo
Eyeshield 21
Diamond no Ace
Prince of Tennis

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