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«To: Football Playoff Tournament Managers From: John R. Johnson, Communications Director Re: 2004 Tournament Public Address Scripts Enclosed are the ...»

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1661 Ramblewood Drive

East Lansing, MI 48823-7392

Phone: 517/332-5046

To: Football Playoff Tournament Managers

From: John R. Johnson, Communications Director

Re: 2004 Tournament Public Address Scripts

Enclosed are the public address announcement scripts to be read by your

announcer for the MHSAA tournament games at your site.

Please note that there is a different welcome statement for the District,

Regional and Semifinal rounds of the tournament. Please use the welcome statements as indicated. If you are hosting a game on your own field, please remember, this is a tournament game – not a home game – and you should plan to have your announcer conduct him or herself accordingly.

In the interest of good sportsmanship, please follow the script when introducing the participating teams. Your announcer shall be a neutral party when introducing teams, and should not show any favoritism to either team, even if one of the participants is the host school; or perform in such a manner that is designed to evoke a response from the crowd (i.e. -Are You Ready!” or “Let’s Rumble!” etc.).

Please find enclosed a copy of an article from the MHSAA publication MENTOR, which describes the desirable attributes and behavior for public address announcers.

PA05-FB Public Address Announcer Copy – Pre-District & District Football Playoffs Good _____________________________. The Michigan High School Athletic (Morning, Afternoon, Evening) Association welcomes you to ______________________________ for today’s (Name of school/field) District game in the 2004 Division ____ Football Playoffs.

Coaches make the difference in high school sports. These educators help instill lifetime character traits in our young people which will serve them well in the most important game of all – the game of life. High school sports – it’s about team!

And now let's meet the starting lineups for today's game between the ____________________ of _____________________;

(Visiting team nickname) (School) and the _______________________ of ____________________________.

(Home team nickname) (School) (Introduce the visiting team and its head coach first; followed by the home team and its head coach) Your officials for today's game are: __________________________, ___________________________, __________________________, ___________________________, and __________________________.

Public Address Announcer Copy – Regional Football Playoffs Good _____________________________. The Michigan High School Athletic (Morning, Afternoon, Evening) Association welcomes you to ______________________________ for today’s (Name of school/field) Regional game in the 2004 Division ____ Football Playoffs.

High school sports are more than about wins and losses. They’re about developing young people of character – tomorrow’s community leaders! The coaches and officials involved in this contest are teachers of the game and teachers of life skills. High school sports – it’s about team!

–  –  –

(Introduce the visiting team and its head coach first; followed by the home team and its head coach) Your officials for today's game are: __________________________, ___________________________, __________________________, ___________________________, and __________________________.

Public Address Announcer Copy – Semifinal Football Playoffs Good _____________________________. The Michigan High School Athletic (Morning, Afternoon, Evening) Association welcomes you to ______________________________ for today’s (Name of school/field) Semifinal game in the 2004 Division ____ Football Playoffs High school sports come from a different perspective. They emphasize sportsmanship, citizenship and character. They educate. They’re about participation for everyone. Let’s celebrate those differences as we cheer these students positively today. High school sports – it’s about team!

–  –  –

(Introduce the visiting team and its head coach first; followed by the home team and its head coach) Your officials for today's game are: __________________________, ___________________________, __________________________, ___________________________, and __________________________.

Page 2 – Football Playoff Public Address Announcements (To be read during breaks in the action and at halftime)

–  –  –

Scholar-Athlete Award (1x before game, 1x during game) Nearly 3 thousand of the state's top student-athletes will be recognized for excelling academically and in school activities through the M-H-S-A-A’s Scholar-Athlete Award, underwritten by Farm Bureau Insurance. The applicants will be in the running for a total of 28 one-thousand dollar college scholarships -- one in each sport in which the M-H-S-A-A sponsors a post-season tournament. Application materials are available on-line on the M-H-S-A-A Web site or through your school athletic director.

Attend The Football Finals (1x before game, 1x during game) The 2004 M-H-S-A-A Football Playoffs will culminate in the Pontiac Silverdome on November 26 and 27 with eight champions being crowned. The finals in Divisions 2, 4, 6 and 8 will be played on Nov. 26th, while the title games in Divisions 1, 3, 5 and 7 will take place on the 27th. Make plans now to attend this year's championships at the Pontiac Silverdome on November 26 and 27.

Good Sports Are Winners Award (1x before game, 1x during game) The Good Sports Are Winners! Award recognizes those teams displaying good sportsmanship at selected M-H-S-A-A tournaments. Over one thousand teams will be recognized this year by Meemic Insurance. Meemic is also providing sportsmanship educational materials to M-H-S-A-A member schools and is an underwriting sponsor of this year’s series of regional Sportsmanship Summits. Remember, sportsmanship is the educated choice, and Good Sports Are Winners!

Page 3 – Football Playoff Public Address Announcements Sportsmanship: A Must Win Situation (1x before game, 1x during game) There's nothing wrong with positive cheering for all of the participants at a high school sporting event. Loud and proud cheers for your team on every play, and acknowledging good plays by the student-athletes on the other team is the educated choice. Remember, Good Sports Are Winners!

High School Sports: It’s About Team! (1x before game, 1x during game) Face it, we put too much emphasis as a society on winning in sports. The educational nature of school sports needs to be different. Our games teach kids skills which will last them a lifetime, long after the results of this game are yesterday's news. High school sports - It's About Team!

Officials Answer The Call (1x before game, 1x during game) Last year, over 12,000 men and women answered the call to make the calls by becoming high school game officials. To you, we say thanks for being involved in educational athletics. And while many have answered the call, many more are always needed. If you would like to become a registered official, visit the M-H-S-A-A Web site.

Go To The Web – MHSAA.COM To keep up with M-H-S-A-A tournaments – Go to the net! Information, pairings and more about the Association’s services can be obtained by visiting the Michigan High School Athletic Association Web site. Check it out at M-H-S-A-A DOT COM!

Women In Sports Leadership Mini-Grants Each year, the M-H-S-A-A provides programming to promote the role of women in school sports. During the 2004-05 school year, the M-H-S-A-A will be providing minigrants to local schools conducting their own Women In Sports Leadership conferences. Visit the M-H-S-A-A Web site for more information about the Women In Sports Leadership mini-grant program.

Page 4 – Football Playoff Public Address Announcements Stay in seats for trophy presentation (District & Regional Final Games ONLY) (To be read twice during second half and at least once during overtime play of championship game at your site) We remind you that following the conclusion of this championship game, we will award medals and trophies to the winning team. We ask all fans to stay in their seats so the awards ceremony may begin immediately at the conclusion of the game. Thank you.

–  –  –


Page 5 – Football Playoff Public Address Announcements Closing Statement The Michigan High School Athletic Association and ________________________

(Name of host site) have enjoyed having you at today's game, and we look forward to having you as our guest at future events. Please drive carefully on your way home.

Good __________________________.

(Day, Afternoon, Evening, Night) Heard, But Not Seen – The Public Address Announcer At many athletic contests, there are a number of behind-the-scenes elements which contribute to the atmosphere for the event. One of these elements is a person infrequently seen, but always heard -the public address announcer.

Sometimes, the job at our local schools is given last-minute attention, in terms of selecting the person for the job or preparing that person for the responsibility. Other schools have, like in coaching, a veteran in that position who provides stability and professionalism.

Selecting your announcer is as important as selecting someone to keep statistics, tape ankles, run the clock, etc. The person you select should have some public speaking experience, knowledge of the game to be announced, the ability to follow instructions and the wisdom to know when to speak, and more importantly, when not to speak and how to speak.

It doesn't matter if you're announcing a game at a field or a gymnasium where you have 170 people, or an arena with 17,000 fans looking on. This unseen voice is important.

One thing I personally find distasteful at high school athletic events is the announcer who literally tries to entertain from behind the microphone. No knock on those who do public address work for professional athletic teams, where entertainment is the goal, but remember that this is an educational event that is taking place in a classroom. Spectators will work themselves up on their own. They don't need a public address announcer to do it for them.

With that tone set, here are some tidbits I have found useful in selecting public address

announcers and some guidelines for them to follow when working games:

On Selecting Announcers

• Voice quality - Select a person with voice qualities that projects at a pitch where all can understand what is being said. This is generally someone with a low-pitched voice. A person with a high-pitched voice is often harder to understand. The latter person may be well intentioned and mechanically sound, but if you don't have the pipes, you don't have the pipes -- regardless of gender (I've heard many, many more male than female announcers at the college and high school level with this problem).

• Game knowledge - A good public address announcer should know the game to be announced. This includes knowing official's signals, and the appropriate times to be on the microphone (i.e., being silent once a free throw shooter in basketball has the ball and is ready to shoot).

• Emotionally neutral - Yes, you want a person who can be enthusiastic, but you do not want a "homer." Your public address announcer should handle all calls with equal vigor and delivery, even if the opponent just made the game-winning score.

• Follows directions - The best public address announcers work from scripts. You need someone who can deliver the announcements you want, when you want them.

Working The Game

• Be familiar with the teams - Most public address announcers develop spotting charts to use while announcing. These charts provide the basic information in a larger type format than a game program generally does.

Also, get a rundown on proper pronunciations before the game starts. Either arrive at the game 30 to 45 minutes early so you can talk with the coach or administrator from the visiting school to get pronunciations right, or call the visiting school a day or two before the game to review difficult names.

There's nothing more embarrassing for a youngster, parents and friends, for an announcer to butcher a name or be inconsistent in announcing it during a contest.

-2 Consider a spotter - This is needed primarily in football. A spotter is one who assists the public address announcer in identifying the key operatives on each play.

• Develop a script - Rather than doing everything off the top of your head each time, scripts can be developed for player introductions, welcomes, sportsmanship messages, announcements about upcoming events at the school, messages thanking people for attending the game, etc. (Scripts are also available from the MHSAA for certain announcements.) Writing a script and rehearsing it several times before working the game will make each announcement sound smooth and professional.

It is important to note that announcements welcoming the visiting team to the event and promoting good sportsmanship are vital at high school athletic events. They set the proper tone for the game.

• Keep the focus on the game - As stated above, the public address announcer should be enthusiastic, but emotionally neutral. When you talk too much, you draw attention away from the purpose of the event.

• Don't be a homer - Maintain the same delivery pitch for announcements involving the visiting team as well as your own. A "homer" literally creates at times an advantage for one team by unnerving the other, and sometimes disturbs the home team as well. Don't cheerlead on the public address system, and never make editorial comments about officiating.

• Make basic comments on plays - In football, wait until the ball is blown dead before describing the play, noting the ball carriers, tacklers, gain or loss on the play, the upcoming down and distance and the spot of the ball. In basketball, make the call on who made the basket, possibly the assist; who the foul was on, the shooter and how many shots are awarded. Stay away from mentioning the score or the time (that's why the scoreboard is in the arena), except at the end of periods. Above all, try to restrict your remarks to the time immediately following plays.

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