Selecting an appropriate aperture
When shooting sports in low light you're not going to be able to shoot at f/11. Most of us use f/2.8 lenses and shoot wide open. We do this not only because it helps isolate our subject(s) from backgrounds that are often cluttered but also because we need the "speed" of the wide aperture to allow a fast enough shutter speed. I typically shoot night/indoor sports using Manual exposure mode at ISO 3200-5000, f/2.8 (or wider with a faster prime lens), and 1/500-1/1250 second.
EOS 7D Mark II + EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II, ISO 2500, 120mm, f/2.8, 1/800 second.
How do I meter night sports?
Any tips about what would be the suitable metering mode for my pics?
A comment from the O.P. to another question:
What would be the suitable metering mode for this situation (I mean related to my pics)? I think, I chose matrix metering.
But I think that spot metering is difficult in this situation since the subject is moving randomly/fast. But Matrix metering is also not ideal for my situation since the background has dark trees (just thinking about it).
Under fixed lighting sources such as found in gymnasiums, hockey rinks, stadiums at night, etc. One usually sets the exposure (Tv, Av, ISO) manually using the light meter as a guide.
In most sport activities, one of the teams is wearing white jerseys. Ideally, one should expose so that the white jerseys are right at, but not past, the point of saturation. One can use any of the metering modes as long as one understands how that mode "sees" what parts of the scene and how that will affect the metering result. With "Evaluative" metering (Canon's more or less equivalent to Nikon's "Matrix" metering), when shooting night sports outdoors I tend to start with settings at about -1 stop exposure compensation. If spot metering the white jerseys, they should be somewhere between about +1 1/2 to +2.
Be aware that different areas of the field of play may be lit to different brightnesses. The end zones at most high school football stadiums, for example, tend to be darker than areas closer to the 50 yard line. There can be notable exceptions, though. Before you even start shooting, look at the field critically. Are there obvious "hot" spots? Darker areas?
I recently shot at the first game held in a brand new stadium. They'd spent what they needed to get pretty good lighting. But whoever installed it had not properly aimed each one to evenly light the entire field. Some of the lights were centered on the stands across the field and even on the trees behind and above the stands. Some were pointed almost straight down into the stands directly beneath them. In some places there were too many pointed at the same spot on the field while other areas of the field were not getting enough light. While standing on the sideline during a break in third quarter action I mentioned what I had observed to the assistant principal for the host school. He's also a former coach so is somewhat familiar with lighting requirements required by the state athletic association. He had not noticed it before, but once he started looking at it critically, he could see it quite clearly with his unaided eyes! He immediately turned to the principal standing nearby and told her to remind him to get the lighting contractor back out to properly aim the lights. We'll see in two years when we return to that venue if they sorted it out or not.
There's a lot of experience involved in metering difficult lighting situations to understand exactly how the camera you are using meters a scene in each of the metering modes. Not all cameras are the same, especially with "Matrix" or "Evaluative" type metering that can use sophisticated "libraries" of different lighting scenarios loaded in the camera's firmware to compare what is metered to the internal database and adjust the result based on which scenario more closely matches the metered scene. One camera's "spot" or "partial" metering area may be larger or smaller than another, even in the same brand. Higher end models tend to have smaller "spot" metering areas than lower models. If a camera does not have a "spot" metering mode, the "partial" metering area tends to be a bit smaller than the "partial" metering area in cameras that do have a "spot" mode. "Spot" metering modes can run anywhere from about 1-4% of the total frame. "Partial" metering modes vary anywhere from 6% to 10% or more of the frame. The size of "spot" and "partial" metering areas sometimes will vary when using Live View as compared to the viewfinder with the same camera.
Regardless of which metering mode one uses, one should check initial results using the histogram and "blinkies" available in the camera's image review functions. Since I usually shoot raw and have a bit of headroom with the raw files, I tend to adjust manual exposure until the white jerseys have just a few small spots scattered over a jersey blinking with an overexposure warning. If the entire jersey is solidly blinking, it's overexposed and you'll lose the details. The nice thing about using raw files is that you can pull the highlights back a bit without darkening the midtones in post processing. You can also cut off the threshold for the black level so that everything in the dark background outside the stadium goes to solid black. You also have the luxury of using an HSL tool to remove the purple/blue cast that white jerseys made from certain popular materials will show under artificial lighting. With most in-camera contrast controls, you have to choose one or the other (less contrast to pull back the highlights, more contrast to crush the blacks).
In most of the places I shoot regularly, I already know what works for those lights. I keep a "cheat sheet" on an index card in my bag for places I shoot occasionally. If I discover after the fact while doing post processing that I was exposing a little "hot" or a little "dark" at a particular venue, I'll make a note on my card for the next time. I still check initial results. On more than one occasion what had worked in the past at a particular venue was not giving the results I expected. Places do sometimes update or replace their lighting.