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Website Style Guide

Please follow the guidelines below when writing and changing copy on the website. We want to present a professional and consistent voice to our website across all departments at the NSC. 

General copy writing guidelines

Omit needless words and write concisely. “A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences...” – E.B. White’s 17th rule in The Elements of Style.

  • Excessive words makes a page looking daunting. Eliminate “happy talk” that is really just fluff and doesn’t provide any substantive information. Usually it’s just self-congratulatory and never gets read.
  • Use bullet points instead of long sentences. It helps break up the page and creates more white space, which is easier on the eyes.

When creating links, DO NOT use the actual URL string as the link. Write text that is appropriate and then create link to it.

Do not use slang or abbreviations. Always spell out words.

  • Incorrect:
    • Fee: TBD
  • Correct:
    • Fee: The fee for the upcoming session will be announced shortly.

Do not use symbols or all caps as a point of emphasis, use bold if need be.

  • Incorrect: ***** Each session is $11/per player Beginning June 26, 2014
  • Correct: Each session is $11/per player beginning June 26, 2014
  • Incorrect: NEXT EVENT:  Volleyball Spectacular March 28, 2015
  • Correct: Next event: Volleyball Spectacular, March 28, 2015

Do not double space after a period

  • Incorrect: This is the end of the sentence.  Now we are beginning a new sentence.
  • Correct: This is the end of the sentence. Now we are beginning a new sentence.

Use colons, not hyphens to separate information

  • Incorrect: Girls U8 - July 1, 2006 to June 30, 2008
  • Correct: Girls U8: July 1, 2006 to June 30, 2008

Inserting Copy

If you are copying and pasting already written copy from any other source, even another page on our website, click the clipboard icon with the letter T in the Text Block element. See image below.

Creating a link that opens a new browser window

Whenever you create a link to a PDF or to a different website or our applications/team account, make the link open in a new window. See below on how.


All pages on the NSC websites should follow the terminology used below:

  • email: Use “email” instead of e-mail; do not hyphenate; lowercase except at the start of a sentence.
  • homepage: Use as one word; lowercase.
  • online: Use as one word; do not hyphen, lowercase.
  • internet: Do not capitalize as it is now regarded as a common noun.
  • webmaster: Use as one word, do not capitalize.
  • website: Use as one word; do not capitalize.
  • webcast: Use as one word; do not capitalize.

Numbers in text

When writing figures please use the following:

  • For the numbers one to ten, always use words.
  • For 11 upwards, use figures.
    • ex: Four game guarantee
    • ex: There are 12 spots available each session
  • Where there is a mixture of the two in the same sentence, use all figures:
    • ex: We have 8 U.S. states represent over 48 teams at our tournament.
  • Exceptions are when you have adjacent numbers:
    • ex: Three 17-minute periods

Other exceptions are when using numbers in a table or expressing numbers for statistics, scores, clock time, etc. in which data should expressed using numerals.

  • When referring to age, always use the numbers:
    • ex: Admission price for 17-year-old and up: $7


The NSC will be using the 12-hour clock format. We will end the time with dotted lower case a.m. or p.m., preceded by a space:

  • 2:30 p.m. (not 2:30pm)

For time “on the hour” zeros are not needed to denote minutes

  • 2 p.m. (not 2:00 p.m.)

You should also use an en dash (ctrl-hyphen on numeric keypad when using Microsoft Word) with no spaces between the time range. If both times are am or pm, only write that after the last time:

  • 9–11 a.m.
  • 11:15 a.m.–1  p.m.

Use  12 noon or 12 midnight rather than 12:00 pm or 12:00 am

  • 12 noon-1:30 p.m.

The 24-hour clock has no am or pm, noon or midnight suffix. Hours under 10 should have a leading zero:

  • 08:00


The NSC will use the month, day then comma and year to display date and always spell out the month:

  • June 9, 2012

If a date range is abbreviated, use the format of an un-spaced en dash:

  • January 5–7, 2012

An un-spaced  dash is also used for month or year ranges:

  • July–October, 2012

However, between two months and days, use a spaced dash:

  • June 3 – July 5, 2012

Do not use the DD-MM-YYY or MM-DD-YYYY format because it could be ambiguous:

  • 03/04/2012

That date could refer to March 3 or 4 April, depending on what part of the world you live.

Yearless dates (March 5) are inappropriate unless the year is obvious from the context.

There is no reason to write the date as April 1st or March 9th. Please do not write dates that way.

Incorrect Correct
9th June June 9
June 9th June 9
June 9th, 2015 June 9, 2015
June, 2015 June 2015
June 9 2015 June 9, 2015

Capital Letters

Do not capitalize “The” unless part of a title:

  • Incorrect: We’re excited to host The USA CUP soccer tournament.
  • Correct: We’re excited to host the USA CUP soccer tournament.
  • Incorrect: This weekend we host the Rush 3v3 Festival
  • Correct: This weekend we host The Rush 3v3 Festival

Offices, positions, and job titles such as president, king, emperor, executive director, chief operating officer are common nouns and therefore should be in lower case when used generically:

  • Todd Johnson is the executive director of the Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission

When followed by a person’s name, they can be considered to have become part of the name and therefore capitalized: Executive Director Todd Johnson, not executive director Todd Johnson.

Points of the compass (north, southwest, etc.) and their derived forms (northern, etc.) are not generally capitalized: nine miles south of the National Sports Center, which is in the northern part of the Twin Cities. They are only capitalized when they form a part of a proper name, such as the Great North Road.

When referring to a geographic area (Southwest, Midwest, Southern California) that have reaching status of proper names, then you capitalize:

  • This tournament is the Midwest’s largest Memorial Day gathering.

Heading Samples

H1 - Sample Text -

Some normal text with strong and italic styles.


A normal link

H2 - Sample Text - 24px

Some normal text with strong and italic styles.

A normal link

H3 - Sample Text - 20px

Some normal text with strong and italic styles.

A normal link

H4 - Sample Text - 16px

Some normal text with strong and italic styles.

A normal link

H5 - Sample Text - 16px

Some normal text with strong and italic styles.

A normal link

H6 - Sample Text - 16px

Some normal text with strong and italic styles.

A normal link

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