One of the responsibilities of the P. A. announcer is the disseminate information for the crowd in a quick and concise fashion. Fans don’t want to wait a long time to hear a basket, penalty, foul, play recap, etc. and it’s on the announcer to properly communicate the information fans need to know. “My whole
One of the responsibilities of the P. A. announcer is the disseminate information for the crowd in a quick and concise fashion. Fans don’t want to wait a long time to hear a basket, penalty, foul, play recap, etc. and it’s on the announcer to properly communicate the information fans need to know.
“My whole philosophy is to broadcast the way a fan would broadcast.” — Harry Caray
One of the biggest drawbacks fans have about going to sports events is they don’t get the information that the people at home are getting. That’s part of the reason you see so many people checking their phones, to be on top of the latest news. Why did this player leave, why did this happen, why did that happen?
Our roles as announcers is to make sure those fans don’t have to turn to social media, blogs, or other sources during games to get information that the announcer should easily announce. So when something out of the ordinary happens, how do you handle the situation?
If it’s part of the game rules, you announce it. If it’s not something that typically happens, announce it. If it’s something that would solely downgrade an opponent and you wouldn’t do the same for your team, then don’t announce it.
Remember a few weeks ago when Steve Harvey made one of the biggest gaffes on TV, when he announced the wrong winner during a beauty pageant? He owned up to it right away, it was his fault the wrong name was announced because there was something he could have done to rectify the situation before he made the announcement, and in this case it was that important he should have stopped the show.
Some situations and whether or not you should announce them:
- A pane of glass breaks in a hockey game, no need to announce it, fans can see it.
- A play is getting reviewed in football, announce it.
- A team forfeits a game, announce it.
- A field hockey goal was scored from outside the circle and doesn’t count, announce it.
- An opponent sets a league record for errors in a game, don’t announce it.
- A player mishandles the ball in volleyball, don’t announce their name.
- A player is ejected from a baseball game, announce it but with proper decorum. Every other sport announces the forced removal of a player by the game officials.
- A basketball team is forced to play with fewer than five players on the floor, announce it.
- The sprinklers activate during play, fans can see it, don’t announce it.
- An animal becomes loose on a sports field, unless it’s part of a promotion don’t announce it.
- Objects are thrown on the field, wait until a time that will not interrupt play and announce for fans to stop.
- A fan is blowing a whistle in the stands during a game that uses whistles, announce the fan to stop.
- A fan uses flash photography during a sport that this would be distracting and could cause injury or misplay, announce if the game, team, league or facility officials agree.
- Rain halts an outdoor sport, announce the game is being delayed and all efforts to play the game will be made.
- A game is postponed due to weather, announce it so fans know they can go home.
- A fire alarm sounds during play, follow proper safety codes and the lead of game officials who will most likely stop the game. If danger is eminent, ask fans to exit safely and quickly.
- A fan walks up to you and wants to make an announcement, do not allow them without prior approval.
- Lights go out while fans are in the facility, if the sound system still works ask the fans to remain where they are and await further instruction.
- A fight breaks out on the field, don’t announce it.
- A fight breaks out in the stands, unless it is in danger of affecting play, don’t announce it and allow security/law enforcement to handle the situation. If they want you to announce something then do so.
The NCAA provides announcers of tournament games with situational announcements to cover some situations including:
- Throwing objects on the playing surface
- Fans storm the court prior to the end of a game
- Inclement weather announcement
- Playing conditions are unsafe
- Game postponement
You can take the above lists with you into game production meetings, but can pretty much guarantee all will be approved. These are all good things to note ahead of time to help prepare yourself.
If you have other situations, please post them and we’ll be happy to address.2 comments