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Gordon Athletics style

Sportswriting is punchy and informal. Writing about Gordon Athletics should use brief, direct paragraphs. Put important information first in headlines and keep them short. Minimize sports jargon, so a general reader can understand everything posted on Gordon's website or published in print.

Writers should consult the Associated Press Stylebook about sports-specific issues such as how to spell and hyphenate sports terms, or format numerical data such as scores, seeding and standings. For guidance about general points of grammar and usage, consult other sections of this style guide and the online Chicago Manual of Style.


Gordon Athletics is the name of the department that oversees athletics at Gordon College.
Don't call it the Gordon Athletic Department, the Gordon Department of Athletics, or use
the word sports to describe it.

Use athletics or sports to refer in general to the activities overseen by this department.


Spell out the name of a league or organization on first reference and follow it with the acronym in parentheses, with no comma between them. In subsequent references use the acronym. If there will be no second reference, omit the acronym.

Use the same style to introduce sports acronyms some readers might not understand.

Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC)      personal best (PB)   

Some sports acronyms are so widely recognized they can be used without first spelling out the words they represent.

NFL      NBA      NCAA    PGA      RBI      MVP


Refer to Gordon College's athletic facilities by the names below on first reference. Thereafter, the less formal names in parentheses can be used.

the Bennett Athletic and Recreation Center (the Bennett Center; Bennett)    

Bennett Gymnasium (the gym)

the Bennett Pool (the pool)
Brigham Athletic Complex ( Brigham; the turf field; the lacrosse and field hockey fields)

the Brigham Tennis Court

the Brigham Track (Brigham track and field facility)

Harmeling Physical Therapy (Harmeling; the training room)

the Quad (the soccer fields)

the Softball Field (the softball field behind Bennett)

J. Tec White Field (the baseball field, the baseball field by Wilson House)


Use the styles below.

Measurements are recorded differently for different athletic events. For guidelines about issues not detailed here, consult the Associated Press Stylebook; copies are available at the Gordon Athletics office in the Bennett Center, and the College Communications office in Frost Hall.


Always use numerals. For College communications, separate them with an en dash.
In writing that will be sent to off-campus news outlets, separate them with a hyphen (AP style).

    College style: 5–4      Off-campus media style: 5-4      five to four   

How to create em dashes ➔

Measurements and race finishing times

Use decimal numbers for track and swimming times. 

Use metric measurements (with decimal fractions) to report distance in non-running field events such as the broad jump. (Consult the AP Stylebook for details.)

Swimming distances can be reported both in yards, and in meters. For Gordon communications, the rule of thumb is to use meters.

In lists, use this abbreviation for meters:    m
In sentences, spell it out.

Order of finish in a competition

Use ordinal numbers, and superscript the letters.

first place finisher      1st place finisher      came in 2nd      10th

Use words to express numerical sequence in all other cases.

Burnett was the seventh team member this year to score 20 points in a single game.


Use this style:    no. 3 seed


Spell and punctuate as shown below. 

Division I, II, III (do not abbreviate) 
field goal (noun); field-goal (adj., as in field-goal percentage)
Highlander Club (never booster club)
Kids Club
off season (noun) / off-season (adj.)
on the day, on the season (to express overall)
the PIT
third-ranked (and second-ranked, fourth-ranked, et al.)
student athlete
Track & Field
two-hour game (and three-hour game, four-hour meet, et al.)


Student Athletes

When writing about a student athlete for College communications, identify the student by full name and class year. In second references in news stories and formal writing, refer to the student by last name only. However, this is flexible; it is fine to refer to students by first name if that better suits the tone of a feature article.

Because of NCAA and conference reporting requirements, Gordon Athletics style varies from standard College style in news releases, rosters and a range of other materials. Articles may specify an athlete's hometown (with state abbreviated, using the traditional state abbreviations that include periods) and identify the student's class year as first-year (abbreviate as FY), sophomore, junior or senior. Do not use freshman.


For College communications:

Irene MacColl '16     Dillon Coleman '13

Dillon Coleman, a senior from Cromwell, Connecticut, could hold a bat before he could walk.


For Gordon Athletics news release:

Irene MacColl (FY/Poughkeepsie, N.Y.)      Dillon Coleman (Sr./Cromwell, Conn.)

Dillon Coleman, a senior from Cromwell, Conn., could hold a bat before he could walk.

Refer to female Gordon College student athletes as women.

Team Names

Refer to Gordon College teams by their official capitalized names (scroll down). These can stand alone, or be combined with lowercased words to create phrases such as the Men's Basketball team

Subsequent references can

  • substitute the team nickname the Fighting Scots or the Scots
  • use Gordon or Gordon College before the team name
  • make general reference to the team or the Gorden men (or women).

The nickname Lady Scots is no longer used.

Official and informal team names

When a team name includes an ampersand, don't substitute and


Men's Basketball
Women's Basketball
Women's Cross Country
Men's Cross Country
Field Hockey
Women's Lacrosse
Men's Lacrosse

Women's Soccer

Men's Soccer
Women's Swimming
Men's Swimming
Women's Tennis
Men's Tennis
Track & Field
Women's Volleyball


Dance Team
Ice Hockey Club

Gordon College Rowing

Ultimate Frisbee

Badminton Club

Rock Climbing Club


Capitalize Coach or Assistant Coach before a name (and any other major words in the coach's official job title if you wish to state it in full). Lowercase them when they follow a name. On subsequent references, it is fine to use the person's last name only, or to refer to the individual by title and last name. As a rule, Gordon communications do not include degrees after coaches' names.

Never refer to an individual simply as Coach.

Coach Peter Amadon      Peter Amadon, tennis coach      Amadon


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