We write about organizations (high schools, clubs), teams (girls’ JV lacrosse, boys’ varsity basketball) and events (games, practices) a lot. To keep both us and our users sane, we put some standards in place so we’re not reinventing formatting across channels, platforms or even different screens in our products.
At Hudl, an “organization” is any entity that contains a hierarchy of teams or programs (boys’ basketball, girls’ lacrosse). Since organizations input their own name during sign up, be sure to stick with whatever they choose to write.
- Don’t add an organization type — like “High School” or “Club” — to the end of a name, even if you know what the organization is.
- Don’t change capitalization.
- Don’t abbreviate. The only exception here is within reports, where we can abbreviate an opponent’s organization to its initials, since the user will already be familiar with the organization given the context.
The full team name consists of the organization name + gender + level + sport (e.g. “Jefferson High School boys’ varsity basketball”). Unless any piece of information is clear from other context clues, be sure to include each part of the team name.
Gender and sport are never capitalized. Level is also never capitalized, unless you’re giving an abbreviation like “JV” for “junior varsity” or “U18” for “under 18.” We never abbreviate “varsity,” “sophomore” or “freshman.”
- The exception: Use title case for a full team name as a headline, like on the public team profile page.
The gender on a team is always possessive. That means an apostrophe is always necessary.
- For “girls’” and “boys,’” simply add the apostrophe at the end. No additional “s” is needed.
- For “men’s” and “women’s,” the plural is formed with “-en,” so an apostrophe “s” is needed.
When describing an event, such as a game or practice, be sure to include all the information necessary so that the user has what they need. This may include team names, date, time, venue, outcome, etc.
In the product, we require different variations of that information in different places.
In the user’s schedule:
- Always list the user’s team first. If the game took place at home, use “vs,” then list the opponent. If the game took place away, use “@” instead. (Read more about how to display “versus.”)
- Always include the date. Be sure to follow our guidelines for writing the date in product.
- If available, indicate the outcome with “W” for a win or “L” for a loss, followed by a comma and then the final score, “W, 68 – 59.” Be sure to use an en dash between the numbers.
For anything outside the user’s schedule, like highlights, only use “vs,” never “@,” regardless of where the game took place.