Preparation is important to announcing. While there are some out there who can literally be thrown behind a microphone and sound like they had all day to prepare, there are many others who simply need to sort through everything to make sure they’re set for that day or night’s events. We’ll go over a few things you should do and how to best go about doing them.
An old military adage called the 7 P’s has many variants, but all get the same idea across, “Prior proper planning prevents painfully poor performance.” Following the 7 P’s can be a daunting task when starting out because there are a lot of little things you need to worry about. We’ll help you out and make a list for you:
Obtaining rosters can be the hardest part of your preparation but with the internet available, most teams and schools have their rosters available online. Don’t wait until the day of the game to try to get the rosters unless you know they’re going to be online because the team may not have a web site or even publish their rosters and you would need to go further to make contact with someone at the school. When collecting roster information, the very basic information you need is number and name. Important secondary information is the grade and position of each player. In some sports, height and where they are from are also good pieces of information to have during the introductions.
For high schools, contact with the Athletic Director might be tough, so make a phone call and speak to the secretary. For colleges, each sport has a Sports Information Director (or SID) who should be able to assist you. You should only go as far as talking with a coach if you have exhausted other avenues, have a relationship with the coach or have been recommended to speak with the coach.
Pronunciations can be difficult, but during your planning, this is the time you need to note the names you will want to clarify. That way, your pronunciation session with a coach, manager, parent or other representative on site will go a lot faster and smoother. Plus, you’re less likely to miss a name because you’re trying to do it in a hurry.
Now that you have your rosters, you’re going to want to fill in time with other informative announcements, whether or not you also have sponsor ads. Upcoming games are important and let fans know how they can follow their team. It’s best to drop one in close to the beginning of the game, in the middle (halftime for sports who have halftime), at the end, and after the game is over. Simply announce when the next game will be, the time, place and opponent.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the Cavaliers will be on the road next week as they travel to Ashburn to take on Stone Bridge at 7:30 next Friday night.” You don’t need to mention the date if it’s within the next seven days, otherwise it causes some confusion. As long as you announce “Friday night”, there isn’t a need to announce “p.m.”, it’s redundant. Mentioning the city, or area, the team will be traveling to is also good for fans who might want to go on the road to see the game, it gives them an idea of where the site is located. However, if the school shares the same name as the area, you can change the school name to its nickname.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the Cavaliers will be home in two weeks on Friday, October 12 to take on Yorktown in a non-district match-up. Kick off will take place at 7:30 p.m. and it’s Homecoming. Be sure to arrive early for all the homecoming festivities.” Since it’s a home game, make sure to mention any promotions along with the game. It could be something simple as a feeder school night to a giveaway to a sponsor donating a lot of money for the night.
Websites were mentioned above and if your school or team has one, make sure to let the fans know about it. With a lot of people holding internet-enabled devices in their hands, pockets, or on their belts, they may even check out the site while they’re at the game.
“Ladies and gentlemen, keep up to date with all the latest happenings of the Cavaliers at www.SportsAnnouncing.com. There you will find updated information including news, notes, statistics, standings, game photos and more. That’s the official web site of the Cavaliers, www.SportsAnnouncing.com.” Keep it simple, but mention the web site at least twice. Be sure to check the web site to see if there are special contests or if they don’t have anything mentioned in the announcement above.
Concessions are a great source of revenue in a lot of sports, from amateur to major professional. Make sure your fans know where the concession stand(s) are located and what they are selling. Give directions using obvious landmarks if you can and if there are any specials that night, include those as well.
“Stop by the concession stand, located at the scoreboard end of the field on the Cavaliers side, to pick up something to eat before tonight’s game. Hot dogs, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, pop corn, sodas, water, sports drinks and snacks are all available at the concession stand. Don’t forget about the Big Deal Meal Deal where for only $5 you can get two hot dogs, a drink and big bag of popcorn, but only in the first half and only while supplies last.”
Restrooms are another good piece of information for people to know about, tell them where they are, again using obvious landmarks.
“Restroom facilities at Smithson Stadium are located behind sections 4 and 6 on the home side, and sections 3 and 5 on the visiting team side. Additional restrooms are located at the video board end of the stadium.”
Other events can also allow you to add more information to the night. If your school has other sports teams, they’ll appreciate the fact that you’re announcing their upcoming games or matches. If other departments in the school are putting on productions, doing fundraisers, holding sales, etc., find a way to work those in as well. It’s better to have too many announcements and not get to them all than to not have enough announcements.