CHARLESTON, W.Va. — High school basketball fans could hear a change at games this season after the National Federation of State High School Associations set stricter guidelines for public address announcers.

The NFSH, of which the West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission is a member, has banned PA announcers from saying things such as the number of points scored by a player, the type of foul or violation and the “emphatic” announcement of who scored a basket.

Emphasizing the new emphasis aims to promote sportsmanship, the NFSH wrote the PA announcer’s role does not include “cheering the home team on” or otherwise inciting the crowd.

Announcers can no longer call the number of points scored by a player or the type of foul or violation, according to NFHS guidelines.

“Evidently there are problems across the country in some areas where PA announcers are not taking care of responsibilities they’re supposed to take care of and going beyond that,” said Gary Ray, executive director of the WVSSAC.

WVOW’s Speedy Bevins, who serves as a broadcaster for MetroNews Sports, said he understands the new guidelines in light of some PA announcers taking a play-by-play approach or showing favoritism.

“Over the years, it became more of making the announcement with an emotional emphasis,” Bevins said. “For years (previously) the public address announcers were, ‘This is who scored it and this is who the foul was on.’ There was very little emotion brought into that.”

Having broadcast games across the state, Bevins doesn’t see the problem as being prevalent in West Virginia.

“My initial impression is that, probably, a lot of good public address announcers at high school events are being penalized for the overreaction of probably a few,” he said.

As for the WVSSAC, Ray said the change is needed. “If a (PA) announcer announces a 3-pointer and it’s not a 3, it really creates an issue for the official and the teams involved.”

Bevins predicted this coming season might be a challenge for some PA announcers.

“I’m sure there’s going to be points during the game to where habit is ‘the charging call is on this person’ or ‘3-point basket by so and so.’ It’s going to be a process to try and work toward following these guidelines.”

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  • a concerned educator

    Talk about MICROMANAGING!!! God forbid that little Timmy's feelings get hurt!

  • Roger

    If you cannot announce who scores and who commits a foul, what do you need an announcer for??--To remind people not to smoke and where the exits are!! This country is getting ridiculous!!!

  • Don

    Hey NFSH libs, you need FIIIIIIIIIRED.......


    • Harvey


      I don' t think this is a "lib" idea. It is just plain dumb. Dumbasses come in all stripes and persuasions. Just think, whoever wrote this stinker thought it was a good idea.

    • scott

      I agree Don.

      My problem is that the majority of people I talk to and whose comments I read on here agree with us, but somehow these associations continue to rule the opposite of the public and their constituents. How? Why?

      • ViennaGuy

        They live in their own little world, that's why. And the public does not hold them accountable.

        • scott

          Very true. Very, very true.

  • Kelly

    Does that mean the cheese nacho guy cannot show any emotion either? They are great during the state tournament!

  • Hundred guy

    So what this article is saying is there trying to make sure sporting events are a no fun zone. Sounds about like something the ssac or some other organization would try to do.

  • billy

    If you read the article this is a National Federation of High School rule. The WVSSAC had nothing to do with this rule. They just have to enforce it as it is a National rule.

    • Matt Miller

      I have trouble believing that the WVSSAC failing to adopt this silliness would somehow have any serious repercussions.

      Get kicked out of a group that until this very moment no one had ever heard of? Um, ok. So what?

      • scott

        Thee Matt Miller? FHS?

      • scott

        I checked with NFHS and state associations are not bound by their decisions although they generally adhere to them.

    • scott

      They're complicit

  • Rick S.

    “If a (PA) announcer announces a three and it’s not a three it really creates an issue for the official and the teams involved.”

    Let me tell you something -- if the PA announcer and scorekeeper both think it is a three and record it as a three and it is not really a three, but then the discrepancy is found four minutes later, it creates a horrible issue for the officials and the teams involved. If there is a mistake, it is way, way, way better to get that mistake corrected immediately rather than trying to figure it out later.

    I have had this happen with PA announcers many times, and it has never been a problem because it was always rectified immediately.

    • scott

      It's pretty simple. If the ref raises his hand, it's a 3, if not, it's a 2.

      How hard can it be?

      • Rick S.

        Scott, it should not be hard at all. But it happens quite a bit, usually because the people at the table are watching the game and eating snacks instead of watching the referee and umpires. The scorer's table is probably the worst vantage point in the gym. Watch some NCAA games and see how many times video replay has to be used to determine whether or not a basket was a two or a three. Anyhow, my point was that mistakes happen and it is better to get them fixed right away than later.

        • scott

          I'm not disagreeing or arguing with you. That's my point as well. As you mentioned, the officials themselves get calls wrong that are only overturned by replay. The book is official, not the announcer and not the scoreboard.

          • Aaron

            And the official book looks to the referee with the understanding that if he has a question, he is to stop the game at the next dead ball and call the officials over. This type of foul up occurs about once every 12 years or so.

  • Old School

    Absolutely ridiculous! What's next? Cannot publish in the paper either because someone may read it and become upset. I agree with Bill MC's comment on no wonners or losers. It's no wonder America is in the shape it is in today!

    • scott

      I keep saying to myself "three more years". That's how long I have until I'm out from under the rule of this tyrannical commission.

  • ViennaGuy

    So they can't announce the number of points or type of fouls anymore, eh? Yeah, we wouldn't want to hurt the feelings of the player who committed the foul or embarrass players who don't score many points.

    More political correctness nonsense!

  • scott

    More overregulation, but, this is nothing new for the egotistical, power hungry WVSSAC. They feel the need to rule and regulate everything, even when it's out of their jurisdiction and beyond the scope or their power.

    They need to understand that the schools are there for the community and the attending students. The community, maybe the elected school board or whomever they designate, should make the determination as to who should announce games (in good taste).....not the WVSSAC.

    The fact is, they don't trust the citizens or schools to govern themselves. Rather, they know what's best and will govern for you.

    From my readings of WVSSAC rules and conversations with their office, I find their attitude to be very much pretentious.

    Give liberty and freedom back to the community and athletes!!

    • Pensfan

      Thumbs up scott

  • WVU86

    What happens if a PA announcer violates the rule? Be nice if that was included in the article and who is to monitor for violations and enforce any required penalties? Goofy rules indeed. When three refs raise their arms in the air signaling a three-point goal, what's wrong with announcing that?

  • BC

    I don't see this so much as a politically correct move as it is helping officials control the game. If a PA announcer says, "THREEEEEEEEEE!" and the referee is calling it a two, are the fans going to gladly say, "Oh, I see he stepped on the line. I understand." No, they are going to scream at the referee. The same when they emphasize a BLOCKING foul call. It doesn't take much prodding to get a crowd fired up. Most announcers are fine under this rule anyway, but it obviously has come from places where the home guy wants to be a fan and not the announcer.

    • WVU86

      Disagree BC with these rules helping officials control a game.

      I've been to countless high school basketball games and I can't ever recall a time in which a ref had to stop a game to correct a PA announcer on whether a made goal was 2 or 3 points. And what's the difference between saying "blocking foul" by home team player and "foul" by home team player? If the game is close and heated, a foul call in itself on the home team player is going to rile the crowd, not announcing what type of foul. If refs lose control of a game, it's due to them calling a lousy game, not because of a PA announcer.

      What should be addressed by the national governing body is controlling the 'homerism' that some PA announcers show, not the verbiage in what they say.

      Considering how there are not many high schools that consistently have an in-game PA announcer, these goofy rules will not even be noticed.

    • scott

      I get the three call and the like, but what problems are the NBA and NCAA having with this?

      • Jarrod Wronski

        I announce the NCAA D-III National Championship basketball games, when I make a mistake, we confer, go to the replay (if available) and make the change as necessary. Since I watch the official for the call, if I make a mistake, then it's on the officials.

        Mistakes happen, why is it so wrong to add a very vocal part of the checks-and-balances system the announcer contributes to?

  • MyView

    I am a PA announcer in WV this rule is nonsense a lot like the WVSSAC. It had nothing to do with the players it's more of a PA announcer not offending the poor officials and the sad job they are doing.

    • scott


  • Bill MC

    Just another PC rule! Pretty soon no one will be able to say a word because it will hurts someones feelings! Next it will be the score won't be keep, because there can be no winners or losers in sports!

    • wvsteve77

      I agree Bill! Let's give everyone a blue ribbon at the end of the game with winner on it! Sports are played with emotion and these rules will continually suck that out of the game and the players.

  • Wirerowe

    Nonsense. Participation will suck the life out of sports. restricting the call on 2 or3 is good. The rest is nonsense.