PA Announcer Guidelines
NFHS Learning Center Launches Course for Public Address Announcers
- Be early and be prepared. If possible, arrive at the facility one hour before game time. Visit with both coaches to ensure proper pronunciation of players and coaches names. Also, review any scripted pre-competition announcements required by the school (i.e., National Anthem, emergency procedures, concession and facility announcements, etc.).
- Work with the officials. Communicate with the officials before the game regarding plans for the pre-competition, during competition and post-competition announcements and ask for their feedback. Make sure the final plan works for all involved.
- Promote sportsmanship. Create a positive competitive environment through non-biased promotion of fair play. This may be in the form of a scripted pledge of sportsmanship and/or in the vocal display of respect for all participants (players, coaches and officials).
- Stick to the basics. Deliver pertinent information while avoiding the use of play-by-play and cheerleading.
- Be accurate. Understand the proper terminology used for the sport and avoid the use of slang terms. Wait until officials complete their call(s) before reporting to the spectators.
- Never talk over the action. Understand the appropriate information to be announced and the proper time in which to announce for each sport.
- Be on your toes and keep your cool. Weather alert, emergency evacuation, severe injury are possible reasons that play could be delayed, and communication becomes essential to facilitate coordinated school/facility emergency procedures. Be familiar with the emergency management plan. The calm tone and direct delivery of instructions to participants and spectators is essential.
- Be professional. Take your job seriously by addressing coaches, officials, administrators and athletes with respect regardless of team affiliation. Be properly dressed and exhibit professional behavior at all times by respecting all school/facility policies.
NASPAA Code of Conduct
The National Association of Sports Public Address Announcers (NASPAA) is the professional association for sports public-address announcers. The following principles and expectations underscore the NASPAA’s public-address announcing philosophy. Public-address announcers who utilize these guidelines will be in a position to announce virtually any athletic event with confidence.
- Announcers shall understand that their role is to provide pertinent information in a timely manner and to do so professionally and not attempt to be bigger than the game or event by doing play-by-play or by providing commentary in an effort to entertain or to draw attention to himself or herself.
- Announcers shall understand that because they have a tremendous influence on the crowd and that cheerleading, or antics designed to incite the crowd for the purpose of gaining an advantage for their team is inappropriate.
- Announcers shall promote good sportsmanship and a positive environment by what they say and how they act.
- Announcers shall treat the opponents and their fans as guests, not the enemy.
- Announcers shall respect the individuals who are responsible for the conduct and administration of athletic games and events, such as coaches, officials and administrators, and avoid making any comments that reflect positively or negatively on them.
- Announcers shall respect the participants of all teams and remain neutral when introducing the starting participants, announcing substitutions and the outcome of plays or performances of the participants.
- Announcers shall be competent. This means following approved announcing guidelines, expectations and policies, such as emergency procedures, provided by the administration or the host facility.
- Announcers shall be prepared, such as being familiar with the correct pronunciations of the participants’ names, knowing the rules of the sport, the officials’ signals and how the game is played.
- Announcers shall exhibit professional behavior and represent their school, organization or association with respect and dignity at all times by what they say, how they act and how they appear.
- Announcers shall avoid using alcohol and tobacco products at the venue.