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Techniques and Materials for High School Sports Announcers

School administrators should fully utilize school public address systems and exercise care in the selection of school announcers. Good announcers provide a friendly and cordial relationship between competing schools and the general public and assist with crowd control. An announcer should be mature, have good judgment, and be emotionally stable. Many situations arise that require quick judgment and a cool head. A good voice is important; nothing is more annoying than a lot of jumbled words spoken too quickly to be understood. Too much verbalizing also hinders crowd enjoyment of the contest.

Guidelines For School Sports Announcers

The primary function of a school public address system is to convey pertinent information about the game. Announcers are not part of the cheering section. They should never incite the emotions of the spectators. Information should be given with the same tone concerning both the home team and the visiting team whether they have made a touchdown or scored the winning basket. The announcer should remember at all times that the sole justification for his function is conveying simple, straightforward, unemotional information. When there is nothing significant to announce, silence is golden.

All announcements should be authorized by a designated school administrator. There should be no political announcements or advertising of liquor or tobacco. It is advisable to use a cutoff microphone so that nothing will go into the PA system other than what is intended. Many embarrassing situations can be avoided with cutoff mikes.

Pertinent Information For All Sports

Prior to announcing the starting lineup, announcers may wish to use some of the pre-game announcements available on the UIL Web site to encourage good sportsmanship and proper treatment of game officials. (Spot Announcements and Public Service Announcements may be used prior, during and following games.) 

Announce the records of the two competing teams in previous contests and their records of wins and losses during the current season. Announce the starting players and their numbers for both teams, as well as substitutes, their names and numbers, and the names and numbers of the players they replace. Announce the officials and their positions (when pertinent).

Techniques For Announcing Football Games

When the game starts, certain information should be given for both the offensive and defensive teams. On the offensive teams there should be included such items as: 1) who is in receiving position on the kickoff, 2) who kicks the ball, 3) who makes the tackle, 4) who receives the snap from center on scrimmage plays, 5) who is back in deep punt formation, 6) who does the punting, 7) who handles the ball in the back field, 8) who does the passing, 9) who receives the pass or for whom the pass was intended, 10) who runs with the ball, 11) who executes good blocks, 12) who fumbles the ball, 13) who recovers the fumble, 14) who holds the ball on P.A.T., 15) who kicks on try for point.

On the defensive team it is good to announce: 1) who receives the kickoff, 2) who makes tackles, 3) who intercepts or breaks up forward passes, 4) who takes out the interferences, 5) who blocks kicks, 6) who plays safety when the offense is in punt formation, 7) who receives punts, 8) who recovers fumbles.

The announcer can assist the crowd by interpreting the signals of the officials for violations as they are given on the playing field. Announcers should be thoroughly familiar with these signals and should never "second guess" an official by announcing the violation before the official gives the signal.

The downs and yardage should be announced regularly. If the scoreboard is in view of all spectators, this need be done only on occasion. It is good for the position of the ball on the field to be announced from time to time due to the fact that some spectators may not be able to get this information from their positions in the stands. The approximate time left in the periods is of interest if the scoreboard does not provide this information.

It is generally considered best to have at least two assistants, one checking the home team and the other the visiting team. These assistants are usually referred to as spotters. It is more practical to use regular spotters from each team for every game. The teamwork that goes on between the announcer and his spotters has much to do with the success of the public address system. It is also good for the announcer and his spotters to be on hand thirty minutes or more before game time with programs and other materials and information to be used during the game. If the announcer is not in an enclosed booth, clipboards with rubber bands are necessary to secure all materials and keep them in position for use.

Techniques For Announcing Basketball Games

During a basketball game, announcers should announce the player who scored, the player charged with a foul, the player attempting a free throw, the team granted a time out and the length of the time out, and any players entering the game. Announcers should not announce the number of points a player has scored, the number of fouls on player, the number of team fouls, the number of team time outs remaining, the type of foul or violation or an emphatic 2 or 3 point goal.

Announcers should not make announcements while the clock is running or while the clock is stopped and the ball is alive, such as during a free throw or a throw in. Doing so could potentially affect communication of coaches, players, or be disconcerting.

The appropriate time to make to make announcements or comments is during times when the clock is stopped and ball is not live, such as time outs, between quarters, pre-game, half time and post game. 

Read more about Basketball Announcer Responsibilities.