This stage in sports coverage is one of the more time-consuming stages in the process, but is also the one where the information is obtained.
Coverage of the game is done by taking notes as to what happened on a particular play or a series.
After the game, you ask mostly open ended questions about the game itself to obtain information about what happened throughout and see things from the player or coaches perspective.
As you go about this, an angle can be developed. This angle benefits the writing stage because it develops what way the story will go. Creating great leads comes from this stage and translates to a great story in the writing stage.