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Editorial Style Guide: Athletic Terms

B. Usage of sports-related terminology

acronyms

It is unnecessary to spell out the most commonly used sports acronyms: AFC, MIAA, MVP, NBA, NCAA, NFC, NFL, PGA.

See also A.acronyms.

All-America/ All-American

1. Use All-America when referring to the team and All-American when referring to an individual.

2. All-America and All-American are hyphenated, even when not used as compound modifiers.

3. Do not capitalize the names of individual All-America(n) events.

CORRECT: Three South Dakotans are on the current All-America team.

CORRECT: Jethro Tull was selected as second-team All-American.

See also H.hyphen..

championship(s)

1. A season-ending event at the conference, regional or national level in cross country, basketball, volleyball, soccer, baseball, softball and other team sports that allows for only one champion is referred to as a championship. A season-ending series of events in swimming and diving, track and field, golf, tennis and other team sports, through which athletes can win individual honors, is referred to in the plural: championships.

2. Capitalize the words championship and championships when used as a part of official names of athletic events.

CORRECT: One twin won the 100-yard butterfly, and one twin won the freestyle event at this year’s NCAA III Swimming and Diving Championships.

CORRECT: Fans are still talking about the Calvin player who repeatedly served the ball into the net at the NCAA III Volleyball Championship.

coach

Capitalize coach when it is used in front of a name. Lowercase coach when it stands alone, when it appears after a name or when it is used in apposition as though it were a job description.

CORRECT: The Calvin soccer team was united and fervent in their praise of Coach Cheryl Booter, who, unfortunately, was the coach of the opposing team. Coach Booter knew how to motivate, they said.

CORRECT: The players mutinied when Bob Hardwood, the basketball coach, forced them to do synchronized swimming as part of the training regimen. (Following the name.)

CORRECT: The new play, designed by men’s hockey coach Henri Skaetz, was known as “The Tooth Extractor. ” (Used in apposition.)

See also L.titles.

cross country

The term cross country is not a compound modifier and should not be hyphenated.

INCORRECT: The design of Calvin’s new cross-country course included water hazards with live-in crocodiles.

CORRECT: The design of Calvin’s cross country course included water hazards with live-in crocodiles.

See also H.hyphen.

facilities

See also C.facilities/recreational areas.

The Game

See also C.events and C.The Rivalry.

hole in one

This term is unhyphenated.

Knights

All Calvin College athletic teams bear the official name Knights. There is no distinction—i.e. “Lady Knights,” “Knighties”—made between Calvin’s male and female sports teams.

CORRECT: The Calvin Students for Christian Feminism and athletes from several women’s teams demonstrated in front of the Calvin College fieldhouse after members of the women’s volleyball team were referred to as “Knighties” in the Chimes spoof issue.

MIAA

Do not capitalize the names of individual Michgian Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) teams and events. Do capitalize the word All in the term All-MIAA.

INCORRECT: Lynn Smith made All-MIAA First Team, and Jeff Brown won an All-MIAA Honorable Mention in volleyball.

CORRECT: Lynn Smith made All-MIAA first team, and Jeff Brown won an All-MIAA honorable mention in volleyball.

CORRECT: While the college played in the MIAA tournament, the team did not win an MIAA championship.

See also A.acronyms and B.acronyms.

NCAA

1. Capitalize the official names of NCAA-sanctioned events.

CORRECT: Larry Parched drank 12 quarts of Gatorade after winning the pole vault at the NCAA III Track and Field Championships.

2. Calvin is a member of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III. Use NCAA Division III on first reference. Thereafter NCAA III may be used. Capitalize the word "Division" except when standing alone. Always use Roman numerals when referring to Division III.

CORRECT: Three Calvin long jumpers met their girlfriends (one from Calvin, one from Dordt, one from Valparaiso) at the NCAA Division III Track and Field Championships.

CORRECT: At the NCAA III Golf Championships, one golfer hit his ball into a sand trap only to discover it was a sinkhole. (That was a hard hole to score.)

See also B.acronyms and B.championship(s).

swimming and diving

1. The official name of the team including both swimmers and divers is the swimming and diving team.

2. Do not hyphenate swimming and diving, even when it is used as a compound modifier.

INCORRECT: At a recent swimming-and-diving event, Julie Freestyle swore she spotted mermaids.

CORRECT: At a recent swimming and diving event, Julie Freestyle swore she spotted mer-people.

3. Hyphenate compound modifiers for swimming events, such as 400-meter medley relay and 400-meter individual medley.

4. Use the full title of the swimming event on first reference; condense in following references.

CORRECT: Katie Speedo won the 400-meter backstroke and the 200-meter freestyle. Brittany Tyr placed fifth in the 400-backstroke.

See also B.track and field and H.hyphen.1.

tennis rankings

In tennis, refer to the level of the player as No. 1 singles, No. 2 doubles, etc. Do not use number 1 singles or #2 doubles, etc.

INCORRECT: Eileen Love dreamed of being the number 1 singles player in the country, even back when she was the number 2 singles player in the city.

CORRECT: Eileen Love dreamed of being the No. 1 singles player in the country, even back when she was the No. 2 singles player in the city.

track and field

a. The official team name for track and field athletes is the track and field team.

b. Do not hyphenate track and field, even when it is used as a compound modifier.

INCORRECT: During his track-and-field event, Greg Springen knocked over a couple of hurdles and a slew of hurdlers.

CORRECT: During his track and field event, Greg Springen knocked over a couple of hurdles and a slew of hurdlers.

See also B.swimming and diving.

c. Hyphenate compound modifiers for track events, such as 100-meter hurdles and 4x100-meter relay.

d. Use full titles of the event on first reference; condense in following references.

CORRECT: Kate Smith (not that Kate Smith) won the 400-meter hurdles and the 200-meter sprint. Bridget Jones (not that Bridget Jones), along with her three roommates, placed fifth in the 400-relay.

e. Use a hyphen—not quotation marks—to indicate feet and inches in running text for track and field achievements in Calvin publications.

INCORRECT: She jumped 6’-10.”

CORRECT: She jumped 6-10.

See also B.swimming and diving.3 and H.hyphen.1.

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