NCAA women’s basketball is making an exciting change heading into the 2015-2016 season and beyond and it concerns how games are heard by allowing music during all stoppages. Some like it, some don’t. We think it will work with a few guidelines for game operations personnel to remember and follow as the season goes on.
NCAA women’s basketball is making an exciting change heading into the 2015-2016 season and beyond and it concerns how games are heard by allowing music during all stoppages. Some like it, some don’t. We think it will work with a few guidelines for game operations personnel to remember and follow as the season goes on. Below, we’ve put together a few tips for NCAA women’s basketball game operations personnel.
- Try your best to put the music and announcer in the same spot at the scorer’s table. If not, make sure you have a functional communications system in place from the game director to these two positions.
- Think about the various situations that can come up in games and adjust accordingly. There are situational songs for traveling and other basketball happenings, but categorize music so it makes sense. It will make the game more fun. We have several playlists available here on the web site, under “Playlists”.
- Be original. Just because other schools are doing something, doesn’t mean you have to. Find what works for you and cultivate that.
- Edit your music to fit the situation. Start the music where it should play, not just play the song and hope people get it.
- If the officials are talking, turn the music down. Let them communicate with the scorer’s table, replay officials, etc. It’s hard enough sometimes to hear the official giving a foul call when the crowd is excited, allow them to communicate properly with the table.
- Don’t repeat songs. You’re going to find you’re going to run out of music if you try to fill every stoppage. Even if you play a couple of seconds, unless it is a crowd prompt, don’t repeat it.
- Double-check those lyrics. If you need to get the instrumental version, then do it. Nothing wrong with that. Promo Only and other record pools are great for getting clean cuts and instrumentals.
- Allow the fans to breathe every now and then. While yes, it would be cool to fill every dead ball, it gets overwhelming when you have a stoppage, then 10 seconds later another stoppage, and two more in the next 15 seconds. Let the atmosphere breathe, you don’t have to fill every second of silence with music. If you don’t allow the fans to catch their breath with everything you’re doing, you will detract from the fan experience.
- Load up on crowd prompts. We have a whole list of different organ music CDs and MP3 downloads right here on SportsAnnouncing.com. Use it, spend the money, use the crowd prompts with other sports. Remember, if the athletic department buys it, they can use it for all athletics. Depend on at least a dozen per game to help keep it fresh. We have over 100 at our fingertips.
- Make life simple on your game operations person, and get, at the very least, Sports Sounds Pro for music playback. There are going to be teams who still think iTunes works, it really doesn’t. So they’ll use software meant more for mobile DJs, still doesn’t make it as simple as you think. We’ve seen some people using sound boards, still, it doesn’t give you the functionality that you need. And if $150 is steep for your school, consider you can use it on multiple machines, so you’re not limiting it to just women’s basketball. You have other options like Sound Director or Click Effects, those are more expensive and have their plusses and minuses like everything else.
- Have fun, but also please allow the P. A. announcer to make announcements. Instead of going right into a song after an “and-one”, allow the announcer to announce the basket, who the foul was on, and then have a little stinger before the announcement of the person shooting the foul shot. This goes for any time the announcer should be announcing. The music doesn’t need to drown out the announcer, the announcer is informing the fans of what they need to know. Competing volumes detract from the fan experience, and with other new rules this year, please allow the announcer to explain all information necessary to the crowd.
- If you have a band, encourage the band to play too, the college basketball atmosphere sounds so much better with a pep band. Look at different things a trumpeter or drummer can add.
Good luck out there and have a good time with it. This is something we see eventually moving to men’s basketball in a few years. We also know there are going to be some growing pains this year, some schools will not want the music added while others do. There are going to be complaints about certain songs, and how long music is played, but try your best to accommodate and learn.