What is a Sports Commentator / Announcer?
A Sports Commentator/Announcer is a person who works at a radio station or in television and will give a live running commentary of a sports event, like soccer cricket, rugby, horse racing etc.
A Sports Commentator/Announcer tells the story of the game through a ‘voice-over’ in a sound-proof booth so that the noise of the game and spectators is completely blocked out or the volume turned down. The ‘noise’ therefore, does not interfere with the commentating.
Most Sports Commentators/Announcers specialise in a particular sport and have a wealth of background knowledge about it eg: soccer, cricket, rugby, horse racing, athletics, golf, motor racing, cycling etc.
They will be extremely well informed about:
- the players/participants – and their backgrounds
- up-to-date news on the players/participants
- interviewing players and other sports related people
- up-to-date information on upcoming matches, games, meets, races, events etc
- the rules and regulations of the sport
- history of the game
- various skills necessary for the sport
- interesting snippets about the game and the players/participants
Often Sports Commentators/Announcers enter this field as a well-known ‘ex’ player who has an abundant knowledge about the sport and the players. For example Naas Botha (rugby) or Marks Maponyane (soccer). Darren Scott moved from radio to television and commentated on sports in general.
Other Sports Commentators/Announcers like Kass Naidoo (cricket) moved into commentating through sheer passion and love of the sport. She started her career in journalism and eventually worked herself into broadcasting and became our first woman, cricket commentator in South Africa.
‘Kass Naidoo: Cricket Broadcaster | SABC Sport | South African Broadcasting Corporation
Johannesburg, South Africa | 2003 – 2007
Kass Naidoo made her cricket broadcasting debut when she anchored the 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup for SABC. In December 2004, she made her radio commentary debut. In October 2005, she realised her childhood dream when she commentated on TV. To date, Kass has hosted three World Cup broadcasts for SABC Sport.’ – Who’s who Southern Africa
What does a Sports Commentator / Announcer do?
- researches sports information
- keeps up to date on the sport: players, statistics, rules, news etc
- networks in the sports arena trying to make new contacts
- interviews players and managers
- commentates on games/events/matches etc
- keeps fit and healthy – you cannot speak clearly with a bad cold!
- attends award ceremonies and other sporting events
Are you … ?
- passionate about sport and/or a particular sport?
- able to speak freely and confidently?
- a person with a great, clear speaking voice?
- able to communicate well?
- able to read and write?
- be able to react quickly in an emergency?
- a person with a strong, positive personality?
- able to work well with others?
How do I become a Sports Commentator / Announcer?
- CLICK HERE to check for a training institution near you to see what they offer.
- Make sure you understand their entry requirements for each course.
- To avoid scams, make sure your institution is registered with the Department of Higher Education.
- CLICK HERE to check accredited Private Higher Education Institutions.
Training would be recommended – some commentators have journalism background. (see Journalist on our website for more details).
Is becoming a Sports Commentator / Announcer the right career path for me?