STATS | Style Guide STATS | The Global Leader in Sports Information, Technology, and Content

STATS

Style Guide

  • Numerals
  • No. 1
  • 12th-ranked
  • 3-to-4 weeks
  • 6-foot-2
  • 6-foot
  • 7-footer
  • 1st-and-10
  • 4th-and-2
  • 1st-and-long
  • 3-4 or 4-3 defense
  • 5-yard line
  • 350 pounds
  • 350-pound
  • 10-second violation
  • 20-second timeout
  • 24-second violation
  • 100-yard game(s)
  • 1,000-yard season(s)
  • 1999 NFL Draft
  • 1999 draft
  • A
  • airball
  • accused of (not accused with)
  • ACL
  • AFC
  • AFL
  • afterward (never afterwards)v All-Pro
  • ALCS
  • All-Star
  • All-Star break
  • All-Star Game
  • a.m.
  • AFC/NFC championship (champions)
  • AFC/NFC divisional playoffs
  • American League (AL)
  • assist-to-turnover ratio (should be in the form 3.78-to-1 or 3.78-1 if numbers in front of word "ratio")
  • assistant captain
  • assistant coach
  • AstroTurf
  • at-bats (ABs)
  • B
  • backboard
  • backcourt
  • backdoor (n. or adj.)
  • backfield
  • backhand
  • backstop
  • back up (v.)
  • backup (n., adj.)
  • ballcarrier
  • ballclub
  • ballgame
  • ballhandler
  • ballpark
  • ballplayer
  • baseline (n. or adj.)
  • basepath
  • baserunner (-ing)
  • basestealer (-ing)
  • base(s) on balls
  • base hit
  • bat speed
  • batterymate (not battery mate)
  • batting average
  • beanball
  • best-of-five
  • best-of-seven
  • big league(s) (n. or adj.)
  • big leaguer
  • blitz (n., v.)
  • blocker
  • blocking foul
  • blue line
  • body check
  • bounce pass
  • box score
  • breaking-ball (adj.)
  • breaking ball (n.)
  • brushback
  • bullpen
  • C
  • call-up
  • career high (n.)
  • career-high (adj.)
  • career low (n.)
  • career-low (adj.)
  • center field, fielder
  • center ice
  • Central Division (MLB)
  • change-up
  • Class A
  • cleanup
  • conference final
  • conference semifinal
  • courtside
  • crossbar
  • crosscheck, -ing
  • crossfire
  • crosstown
  • curveball
  • cut fastball
  • cutoff
  • Cy Young Award
  • D
  • defenseman
  • defensive coordinator
  • delay of game (n. or adj.)
  • delayed penalty
  • designated hitter (DH)
  • disabled list (first reference; DL after that)
  • Division Series
  • Double-A (not AA)
  • double-double
  • double dribble
  • double-figure (adj., as in double-figure rebounding games)
  • double figures (n.)
  • doubleheader
  • double minor
  • double play (n.)
  • double-play (adj.)
  • double-reverse
  • double switch
  • double team (n.)
  • double-team (v.)
  • downfield
  • draft pick
  • E
  • e-mail
  • Eastern Conference (NBA)
  • Eastern Conference finals (NBA)
  • Eastern Conference semifinals (NBA)
  • empty net (n.)
  • empty-net (adj.)
  • end-around
  • end line
  • end zone
  • ERA (acceptable on all references)
  • even strength (n.)
  • even-strength (adj., as in even-strength goals)
  • everyday (adj.)
  • extra-base hit
  • extra point
  • F
  • face off (v.)
  • faceoff (n., adj.)
  • fadeaway (n., adj.)
  • fair ball
  • fastball
  • fast break (n., adj.)
  • field goal (n.)
  • field-goal (adj.)
  • fill-in
  • first baseman
  • first down
  • first-down (adj.)
  • first intermission (not first-period intermission)
  • first line (n.)
  • first-line (adj.)
  • first period (n.)
  • first-period (adj.)
  • first quarter (n.)
  • first-quarter (adj.)
  • first round (n.)
  • first-round (adj.)
  • five-second violation
  • flea-flicker
  • flied out (v.)
  • flyout (n.)
  • flyball (n., adj.)
  • follow shot
  • foot speed (not footspeed)
  • forecheck, -er, -ing
  • forkball
  • foul ball
  • foul line
  • foul-line (adj., as in foul-line jumper)
  • foul shot
  • foul tip
  • four-point play
  • free agent, agency (n.)
  • free-agent (adj.)
  • free throw (n.)
  • free-throw (adj.)
  • free swinger
  • frontcourt (n. or adj.)
  • front line (n.)
  • frontline (adj.)
  • frontrunner (not front-runner)
  • frontrunning
  • full-court (adj.)
  • full-time
  • G
  • Game 1 (of any series)
  • game breaker
  • game-breaking
  • game misconduct
  • game plan
  • game-time (adj.)
  • game-tying goal
  • game-winning goal
  • general manager (caps only as formal title before a name)
  • giveaways
  • glove hand
  • glove save
  • glovework
  • go-ahead (adj.)
  • go-to guy
  • goal line (n.)
  • goal-line (adj.)
  • goalie stick (not goalie's stick)
  • goalkeeper, -ing
  • goal post
  • goals-against average (GAA on second reference)
  • goaltender, -ing
  • goaltender interference
  • goal-to-go
  • grand slam
  • Griffey Jr. (not Griffey, Jr.)
  • gross misconduct
  • groundball (adj. or n.)
  • groundout (n.) (not ground out)
  • ground-rule double
  • H
  • H-back
  • Hail Mary
  • half-court pass
  • Hall of Fame (n. or adj.)
  • hand check (n., adj. or v.)
  • handoff (n.)
  • hand off (v.)
  • hand pass
  • hashmark
  • hat trick
  • headfirst
  • high-ball (adj.)
  • high post (n.)
  • high-post (adj.)
  • high-sticking (n. or adj.; refers to the penalty)
  • hip check
  • hit-and-run (n., adj.)
  • hit and run (v.)
  • hitters’ park (not hitter’s park)
  • hold
  • home court (n.)
  • home-court (adj., as in home-court advantage)
  • home field (n.)
  • home-field (adj.)
  • home ice (n.)
  • home-ice (adj.)
  • home plate
  • home run (HRs or homer) (n.)
  • home-run (adj.)
  • hometown
  • hook shot
  • HTML (lowercase in Web addresses)
  • HTTP (lowercase in Web addresses)
  • hurry-up offense
  • I
  • illegal defense (n. or adj.)
  • inbound (v.)
  • inbounds (adj., as in an inbounds play)
  • injury-prone
  • injured list
  • injured list (NBA only--not injured reserve; never abbreviated)
  • injured reserve (first reference; NFL only; IR after that)
  • interconference (NFL only)
  • interdivision (NFL only)
  • interdivisional (baseball only)
  • interleague (baseball only)
  • Internet (always cap.)
  • intradivision (NFL and baseball)
  • J
  • judgment
  • jump ball
  • jump shot
  • jumper
  • K
  • kickoff (n.)
  • kick off (v.)
  • knockdown (n.)
  • knock down (v.)
  • knuckleball
  • L
  • layup
  • leadoff (n. or adj.)
  • lead off (v.)
  • League Championship Series (LCS)
  • left-center
  • left field, fielder
  • left-handed
  • left-hander
  • left wing
  • lefty
  • lifetime
  • linebackers coach
  • line drive (n.)
  • line-drive (adj.)
  • linesman (NHL)
  • line up (v.)
  • lineup (n.)
  • linescore
  • locker room
  • long shot (n.)
  • long-shot (adj.)
  • long-term
  • low post (n.)
  • low-post (adj.)
  • M
  • major league(s) (n. or adj.)
  • major leaguer
  • Major League Baseball (MLB)
  • makeup
  • man advantage (n., as in scored with the man advantage)
  • man-advantage (adj., as in man-advantage goals)
  • man-to-man
  • match penalty
  • matchup
  • MCL
  • midcourt (n. or adj.)
  • midfield
  • midfielder
  • midseason
  • miles per hour (mph acceptable)
  • mind-set
  • minicamp
  • minor league(s) (n. or adj.)
  • minor leaguer
  • Monday Night Football (MNF)
  • Most Valuable Player Award (MVP Award)
  • multihit
  • multiyear
  • N
  • National League (NL)
  • NBA
  • NBA championship (or championship)
  • NBA Finals (or the Finals)
  • netminder
  • neutral zone (n.)
  • neutral-zone (adj.)
  • newfound
  • NFC
  • NFL
  • NFL Europe (not World League or WLAF)
  • NHL
  • NLCS
  • no-hit
  • no-hitter
  • no-huddle offense
  • No. 1 (not number-one)
  • No. 1 draft pick, No. 1 pick
  • O
  • offensive coordinator
  • off-guard (n.)
  • offseason
  • offside
  • offspeed
  • on-base percentage (OBP, not on-base average or OBA)
  • on-base plus slugging (OPS)
  • one-on-one
  • OK (not okay)
  • Olympic(s)
  • Opening Day
  • opponents' batting average, slugging average, on-base percentage
  • opposite-field (adj.)
  • opposite field (n.)
  • Original Six
  • out of bounds (adv.)
  • out-of-bounds (adj., as in an out-of-bounds pass)
  • outfielder
  • outrebound (v.)
  • overaggressive
  • overswing
  • overtime (or OT)
  • P
  • Pac-10 (not Pacific-10)
  • Pac-12 (not Pacific-12)
  • part-time
  • pass rusher
  • palmball
  • passed ball
  • penalty killing (n.)
  • penalty-killing (adj.; as in first penalty-killing unit)
  • penalty shot
  • percent (not %, always spelled out)
  • personal foul (or personal)
  • Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list
  • pick-and-roll
  • pickoff (n. or adj.)
  • pick off (v.)
  • pinch hit, pinch run (v.)
  • pinch hitter, pinch runner (n.)
  • pitchers’ park (not pitcher’s park)
  • pitchout
  • place-kicker
  • play-action (adj.)
  • play action (n.)
  • play off (v.)
  • playoff(s) (n., adj.)
  • Player of the Month
  • Player of the Week
  • playoff series
  • playmaker
  • plus/minus rating
  • p.m.
  • point forward
  • point man
  • poke-check
  • popout (n.) (not pop-out)
  • popup (n.) (not pop-up)
  • postgame
  • postseason
  • post-up (n. or adj.)
  • power play (n.)
  • power-play (adj.; as in power-play goals)
  • pregame
  • preseason
  • Presidents' Trophy (not President's Cup)
  • press box
  • press time
  • prevent defense
  • Prince of Wales Trophy
  • Pro Bowl(er) (NFL only)
  • puck-handle
  • pull hitter
  • putback
  • put out (v.)
  • putout (n.)
  • Q
  • quarterbacks coach
  • R
  • red line
  • red zone
  • red-zone (adj.)
  • regular-season (adj.)
  • regular season (n.)
  • re-sign (sign again)
  • resign (leave a job)
  • retool
  • ribcage
  • right field, fielder (n.)
  • right-center
  • right-handed
  • right-hander
  • righty
  • roller coaster (n.)
  • roller-coaster (adj.)
  • Rookie of the Year Award
  • Rookie League
  • roughing the passer, kicker (n.)
  • roughing-the-passer, kicker (adj.)
  • Rule 5 draft (not Rule V)(baseball only)
  • run-and-shoot
  • rundown (n.)
  • runner(s)-up
  • running back
  • running backs coach
  • runs created
  • runs batted in (RBI (sing.), RBIs (pl.))
  • S
  • sacrifice
  • sacrifice fly
  • sacrifice hit
  • Safeco Field (not SAFECO Field)
  • save percentage (should be in the form .897)
  • scoresheet
  • screen-and-roll
  • screwball
  • second-chance points
  • second period (n.)
  • second-period (adj.)
  • set offense
  • set shot
  • setup
  • shake up (v.)
  • shake-up (n., adj.)
  • shootaround
  • shooting foul
  • shooting guard
  • shooting percentage (should be in the form 10.3 percent, not .103)
  • short-handed
  • short-lived (adj.)
  • shot-blocker
  • shut down (v.)
  • shutdown (n., adj.)
  • shut out (v.)
  • shutout (n., adj.)
  • sidearm
  • sideline
  • single coverage
  • skate save
  • sky hook
  • Slam Dunk Contest
  • slap shot
  • slide step (not slide-step)
  • slot (high slot; low slot)
  • sinkerball
  • slugging percentage
  • snapshot
  • soft-toss
  • special teams coach
  • splitter
  • split-finger fastball
  • spring training
  • squeeze play
  • Stanley Cup (or the Cup)
  • Stanley Cup finals (Cup finals on second reference)
  • strikeout (n.)
  • strike out (v.)
  • strike zone
  • stopgap
  • subpar
  • sudden death (n.)(football only)
  • sudden-death (adj.)(football only)
  • Super Bowl
  • surehanded
  • swingman
  • switch-hit
  • switch-hitter
  • T
  • takeaways
  • teammate(s)
  • technical foul (or technical)
  • tendinitis
  • Texas leaguer
  • three-and-out
  • 3-point (adj., as in 3-point line, 3-point basket, 3-point shooting)
  • 3-point arc (or the arc)
  • 3-pointer (or three; refers only to a 3-point field goal)
  • three-point play (basket & foul)
  • three-second violation
  • third period (n.)
  • third-period (adj.)
  • tie up (v.)
  • tie-up (n., adj.)
  • tight ends coach
  • timeout
  • tip-in
  • tipoff (n.)
  • top of the key (n.)
  • top-of-the-key (adj., as in a top-of-the-key jumper)
  • top-notch
  • top shelf
  • touchdown(s) or TD(s)
  • triangle offense
  • Triple-A (not AAA)
  • Triple Crown
  • triple-double
  • tune up (v.)
  • tuneup (n., adj.)
  • turnaround
  • turnover (n.)
  • turn over (v.)
  • turnover differential (not ratio)
  • twinight doubleheader (not twi-night doubleheader)
  • two-guard
  • two-line pass
  • two-man game
  • two-minute warning
  • two-minute offense
  • two-point conversion
  • two-yard line
  • U
  • uppercut
  • upright(s)
  • U.S.
  • USFL
  • utilityman
  • V
  • versus (body of story)
  • vs. (headline or phrases)
  • W
  • waiver draft
  • wake up (v.)
  • wake-up (adj.)
  • walkoff
  • warmup (n. or adj.)
  • Web (always cap W)
  • Web site
  • Week 1-17 (of a season)
  • weightlifting
  • West Coast Offense
  • Western Conference
  • Western Conference finals
  • Western Conference semifinals
  • Western Division (MLB)
  • wideout
  • wide receiver
  • wide receivers coach
  • wild card (n.)
  • wild-card (adj.)
  • wind up (v.)
  • windup (n., adj.)
  • won-lost record (not won/lost record or win-loss record)
  • World Champions, Championship
  • World Series (the Series on second reference)
  • wrist shot
  • X
  • X-ray(s) (X always in caps, even in middle of sentence)
  • Y
  • yard line
  • yards per carry (catch, reception)
  • yards-per-carry (catch, reception) average
  • Z
  • zone
  • zone coverage
  • Abbreviations
  • Abbreviations such as 2B, 3B and HR should not be used in text.
  • “Ruben Sierra collected three doubles and a homer” is correct.
  • “Ruben Sierra collected three 2B and a HR” is NOT correct.
  • Abbreviations for leagues do not require periods:
  • AL (not A.L.)
  • NL
  • Phrases such as “number-one” should be abbreviated:
  • No. 1 (not number-one)
  • Apostrophes with Names Ending in S, X or Z
  • Do not add an “s” after the apostrophe in a plural noun or proper name which ends in s, but DO add "s" in nouns and proper names that end in x, z or ce.
  • Jones’ (not Jones’s)
  • Maddux’s (not Maddux’)
  • Cruz’s (not Cruz’)
  • Baseball Awards
  • When discussing awards such as the Most Valuable Player Award, always capitalize the word “Award.”
  • Most Valuable Player Award (not Most Valuable Player award)
  • Cy Young Award
  • Rookie of the Year Award
  • NHL Awards
  • Art Ross Trophy (not the Ross Trophy)
  • Calder Trophy (or Calder Cup)
  • Conn Smythe Trophy
  • Hart Trophy
  • Jack Adams Award
  • Jennings Trophy
  • Lady Byng Trophy
  • Masterton Trophy
  • Norris Trophy
  • Selke Trophy
  • Vezina Trophy
  • NFL Positions
  • Football positions are abbreviated as follows:
  • center = C
  • cornerback = CB
  • defensive end = DE
  • defensive tackle = DT
  • free safety = FS
  • fullback = FB
  • guard = G
  • H-back = none
  • inside linebacker = ILB
  • middle linebacker = MLB
  • kicker = K
  • kick returner = KR
  • linebacker = LB
  • long snapper = LS
  • nose tackle = NT
  • tackle = T
  • punter = P
  • punt returner = PR
  • quarterback = QB
  • running back = RB
  • safety = S
  • strong safety = SS
  • tight end = TE
  • wide receiver = WR
  • NBA Positions
  • Only three positions should be abbreviated:
  • center C
  • forward F
  • guard G
  • For references to more specialized positions (shooting guard, small forward, etc.), the position should be written out.
  • Abbreviations can also be used for multi-position players:
  • forward-center F-C (not C-F)
  • guard-forward G-F (not F-G)
  • Positions are not capitalized when written out:
  • Bulls forward Elton Brand was the team's first draft pick in 1999.
  • NHL Positions
  • Positions can be abbreviated as follows:
  • center C
  • defenseman D
  • goaltender G
  • left wing LW
  • right wing RW
  • NBA Statistics
  • Some statistics can be abbreviated after they have been referred to previously:
  • assists per game= apg
  • points per game= ppg
  • rebounds per game= rpg
  • (Note that only points, rebounds and assists should be abbreviated in the form ppg, rpg and apg.)
  • When a percentage is used as an adjective, always hyphenate between the number and word percent:
  • Boston's 38.3-percent field-goal shooting was one of the league's worst figures.
  • O'Neal was a 46.2-percent free-throw shooter entering this year.
  • NBA Playoffs
  • Playoff series should be referred to as follows:
  • first-round series (not conference quarterfinals, even though that is the league's official name)
  • conference semifinals
  • conference finals
  • NBA Finals (or the Finals)
  • miniseries (best-of-three series prior to 1984)
  • (note that conference becomes Conference if the specific conference is referred to: Eastern Conference semifinals)
  • NFL Playoffs
  • wild-card game(s)
  • 1999 wild-card game(s)
  • NFC wild-card game(s)
  • 1999 NFC wild-card game(s)
  • divisional playoffs
  • divisional playoff game(s)
  • 1999 divisional playoffs
  • 1999 divisional playoff game(s)
  • NFC divisional playoffs
  • conference championship game(s)
  • 1999 conference championship game(s)
  • NFC championship game(s)
  • AFL, NFL championship game(s) (for years prior to merger)
  • 1999 NFC championship game
  • Super Bowl
  • Super Bowl XXXIV
  • NHL Playoffs
  • Playoff series should be referred to as follows:
  • first-round series
  • conference semifinals
  • conference finals
  • Stanley Cup finals (Cup finals on second reference)
  • division finals (1982-93)
  • division semifinals (1982-93)
  • (note that conference becomes Conference if the specific conference is referred to: Western Conference semifinals)
  • Miscellaneous
  • Dangling Participles
  • Best avoided everywhere; definitely do avoid them at the start of essays. Full name of subject should be used in first sentence of each essay, unless there’s a good reason against.
  • Dashes
  • “The staff posted a 4.93 ERA—astronomical for Comiskey Park.”
  • Dates
  • Months are abbreviated: Sept., not September.
  • Years are spelled digitally, e.g. 1994.
  • Leagues
  • Use American League, National League, American League East, National League West, etc. On second reference: the league, the pennant in the West, the league’s Western Division, etc.
  • Numbers
  • Single digit numbers are written out (i.e. one, six, nine) EXCEPT for 1-for-4, 2 for his last 17, or 3 hits in 11 at-bats. All other numbers in numbers in numeral form. Scores are always listed as numbers, not written out.
  • ‘90s, but preferably 1990 (at least at the start of an essay)
  • 1980s
  • 90+ MPH fastball
  • 30-year-old (adj.)
  • 1-for-4
  • 2 for his last 17
  • 3 hits in 11 at-bats
  • Some sample uses of numbers; first inning, seventh-inning stretch, 10th inning; first base, second base, third base, first home run, 10th home run; first place, last place. The pitcher’s record is now 6-5. The final score was 1-0. The batter went 1-for-4.
  • Quotation Marks
  • A comma or period goes inside the quotation mark, but not if an incomplete sentence.
  • Question marks, dashes, colons and semicolons only go inside the quotation mark if they are part of the quote. Otherwise they go outside it.
  • Space Between Sentences
  • Use only one space, not two, between sentences.
  • Team Nicknames
  • Do not use an apostrophe at the end of a team’s nickname when using the nickname to identify the team’s players, except when the word “the” precedes the team nickname.
  • “Reds outfielder Ruben Sierra” is correct.
  • “Reds’ outfielder Ruben Sierra” is incorrect.
  • “The Reds’ Ruben Sierra” is correct.
  • Team nicknames that are nominally singular such as Magic, Blaze, etc., should be treated as plural when refereed to thusly:
  • The Magic were 8-3 last week.
  • The Heat won their first six games.