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Elements of the ASU brand

Sun Devil Athletics spellings and abbreviations

This section provides style guidelines helpful when writing about Sun Devil® Athletics, including common words, spellings and abbreviations.

All-America, All-American: Use All-America when referring to the team; use All-American when referring to an individual; players named to unofficial preseason All-America teams should not be referred to as All-Americans. If a player is not a consensus All-American, named to the majority of recognized All-America teams, reference should be made to the organization naming him, such as a Walter Camp All-American.

All-American generally is assumed to mean first-team status. Specify if it’s second-team, etc. (and possibly for first-team athletes if story goes back and forth among lists).

AT/versus (match-up): When writing the match-up for your respective sport, Arizona State should always be written first. If playing at home, it should be “Arizona State vs. UCLA.” If on the road, it should be “Arizona State AT UCLA.”

  • Correct (home): Arizona State vs. UCLA.
  • Incorrect (home): UCLA AT Arizona State.
  • Correct (road): Arizona State AT UCLA.
  • Incorrect (road): UCLA vs. Arizona State.

Athletics: Correct way to use when writing about the Athletics Department or athletics director. An athletic director is a director who is physically fit.

  • Correct: athletics director.
  • Incorrect: athletic director.

Athletics director: Unofficial title for Ray Anderson. Full title is vice president for university athletics.

Conferences, college: Use lowercase nouns when referring to things such as the SEC championship or the Pac-12 tournament unless you are using the official title (e.g., Aeropostale BIG EAST Women’s Basketball Championship, Dr. Pepper ACC Championship Game) or when writing a headline. 

Date: For all days seven or more days before or after the current day, use the month and date; use the day of the week for days six days or less before or after the current date, including the current day, except in certain cases (see TODAY); the verb tense and context should indicate whether the day has passed or is coming up.

Month: Use abbreviation when referring to the following months of the year:

  • Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., Dec.

Month: Do not abbreviate the following months of the year:

  • March, April, May, June, July.

Month: Do not abbreviate month when referring to a month without a specific date

  • Correct: January 2017.
  • Incorrect: Jan. 2017.

Number: Use plain number without adding -th or -st to the end.

  • Correct: Jan. 1, 2017.
  • Incorrect: March 9th, 2017.
  • Correct: Sept. 24.
  • Incorrect: Feb. 3rd.

Day: Do not abbreviate the days of the week. Always spell out Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday.

Division I: The subdivision of the NCAA for the largest colleges in all sports except football. Avoid shorter versions in regular text, but when needed, use Div. I or for quotes/charts only D-I. See FBS, FCS entry for style on the football subdivisions.

Game day (n.), Game-day (adj.), “College GameDay” (ESPN show): The coach will announce on “College GameDay” his game-day decision as to which quarterback will start. A single word construction, “GAMEDAY or “Gameday,”  is also used as a shared brand naming of all of the ASU events on the day of major sporting events, including football and other sports. For sports that are not described as "games," related terms are used, including "Match Day" for wrestling and similar. 

Nonconference: No hyphen (ditto for most non- words). See AP Stylebook; if the non- prefix

just means “not,” generally no hyphen.

Figures are used for all scores, scorekeeping, timing, measurements, designations and labels, even when single digits, for example:

  • Scores: The Hurricanes completed a second-half comeback, defeating Georgia Tech 42-36 in overtime and The Baltimore Orioles knocked off the New York Yankees 6-4. (NOTE: For scores and series, the higher/winning number always goes first except in situations such as volleyball, tennis, boxing judging, etc., in which the order denotes who won which subset.
  • Scorekeeping: Jones was 5-for-13 from the floor and Morris got a first down on a 2-yard run and he carded a birdie 3.
  • Timing: She won the marathon in 3 hours, 2 minutes, 1.1 seconds.
  • Measurements: He is 6 feet 3 inches tall.
  • Designations and labels: The 3-handicap golfer used a 3-wood to drive the green and card a birdie 3. The team’s No. 1 pitcher was scheduled to start Game 1 of the series.
  • Numbers as numbers: Ruth’s No. 3; Jeff Gordon drives the 24 car.
  • Statistical shorthand: He has 7 home runs and 19 RBI this season.
  • For rankings, generic single-digit references are spelled out.
  • Miscellaneous: Game 3, Lap 8, Round 6, Turn 2, Day 1.
  • Hyphens: Besides being used in scores and (sometimes) when a compound of words and figures is serving as a modifier, hyphens are used with figures when the compound is to be read as a single unit even if not being used as a modifier.

Pac-12 Conference: Athletics conference in which Arizona State competes. Members of the Pac-12 include: Arizona, Arizona State, California, Colorado, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA, USC, Utah, Washington and Washington State.

  • Incorrect: PAC-12 (unless all text is in all caps).
  • Incorrect: PAC12.

Postgame, pregame: One word.

Postseason, preseason: One word.

Season-ticket holder: One hyphen – between season and ticket.

Student-athlete(s): Correct way to reference our 600-plus student-athletes at Arizona State. Maintains focus on both education and athletic excellence.

  • Incorrect: student athlete.
  • Incorrect: athlete; player.

Sun Devil Athletics: Official reference of the athletics department.

  • Incorrect: Arizona State Athletics.
  • Incorrect: ASU Athletics.

Sun Devils: Mascot of Arizona State University

  • Incorrect: sundevils.
  • Incorrect: Sundevils.
  • Incorrect: Sun devils.

Sun Devil (modifier): Anytime you use ASU’s mascot to describe a team, athlete, or other noun, the S in Sun Devils is dropped.

  • Correct: Sun Devil Football.
  • Incorrect: Sun Devils Soccer.
  • Correct: Sun Devil student-athlete.
  • Incorrect: Sun Devils swimmer.

Sun Devil varsity sports: Capitalize the name of the program when used in conjunction with “Sun Devil” but not when used alone.

  • Correct: Sun Devil Football.
  • Incorrect: Sun Devil football.
  • Correct: Members of the football team.
  • Incorrect: Members of the Football team.

Time: Use noon for 12 p.m. and midnight for 12 a.m.

Time zone: Arizona is always on Mountain Standard Time (MST). Since Arizona does not observe daylight saving time, MST should be used all year long.

  • Correct: 9:45 a.m. MT.
  • Incorrect: Arizona Time or AT.

Vice president for university athletics: Official title for Ray Anderson.

  • Incorrect: vice president of university athletics.

Common mistakes

Devils: Always refer to our teams as Sun Devils. Devils is informal and used by fans.

Gameday: Gameday “one word” is a TV show on ESPN. Game day ‘two words’ is how to refer to elements related to a sporting event.

  • Correct: Game day parking is available for purchase.
  • Incorrect: Be mindful of traffic on gameday.

Lady Devils: Always refer to our teams, men and women, as Sun Devils. 

Abbreviations on first reference: The following abbreviations are acceptable on first reference: ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference), AFC (American Football Conference), FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile), FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association), MLS (Major League Soccer), NASCAR (National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing), NBA (National Basketball Association), NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association), NFC (National Football Conference), NFL (National Football League), NHL (National Hockey League), PGA (Professional Golfers’ Association). 

NOTE: There are others, such as colleges and universities, that can be used on first reference if your judgment is that their identity is readily apparent in context — e.g., UCLA, USC, LSU, TCU, VCU. 

All-conference, all-state: Lowercase for generic versions (all-state, all-conference), but cap for official conference/school teams (All-ACC, All-Florida).

All-Star: When referring to Major League Baseball, the NBA and the NFL, it is the All-Star Game and the participants are All-Stars. For the minor leagues and all other all-star games, use lowercase. For the NFL use Pro Bowl and Pro Bowlers. Note: All-Star Weekend seems to be pretty official now, but still All-Star break.

Athletics director: Unofficial title for Ray Anderson. Full title is vice president for university athletics.

Championship: Generally lowercase. 

Postgame, pregame: One word. 

Postseason, preseason: One word. 

Prime time (n.), Prime-time (adj.) 

Quarterfinal(s): One word. 

RBI, RBIs: AP style is to add s for the plural.