VIDEO REPORT: Announcer Mike Noble is the voice of the main court at the 2013 European Beach Handball Championships in Randers
The man who keeps the crowd informed
Whenever there is something happening on the main court of the 2013 European Beach Handball Championships, Mike Noble talks about it.
To be more precise, he actually tells everyone watching the game about it. It is his job.
Being the public announcer at the final tournament in Randers, he is positioned right at the top of one of the main stands from where he gets a perfect view of the beach handball action that unfolds in front of him.
“I like the outdoor element of it. I like that it’s new, fresh and exciting and I always like to catch the tail of something that’s going to be big down the road,” he tells eurohandball.com.
“The sport is fast -paced, the games are short. I also like to work with all the international players from around the world. I am very fortunate and very lucky to have that opportunity.”
Born in Anchorage, Alaska, Mike Noble has brought more than 20 years of public announcing experience with him to Randers.
Pursuing his love for broadcasting, he started off as radio DJ before he moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where he was able to land a job with national broadcaster, CNN.
Announcing handball NBA style
At the start of the 1990s he won an audition, becoming public address announcer for NBA side Atlanta Hawks.
Two years into this job it turned out that his NBA producer was also the producer for handball at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games, asking him whether he could see himself announcing at the handball venue.
“I had no idea how to do the sport, but I took the job,” he honestly admits. “They flew me to Oklahoma City for a test event and that’s where I got to know and learned about the sport.
“At the Olympics, I didn’t know how else to announce it other than NBA style because that’s what I was doing.
“So it was a little over the top, a little heavy on the ferocious behaviour and elongation of names. But the crowd seemed to like it, the officials for the most part seemed to like it and it stuck.”
Ever since Noble has been the announcer for handball at Olympic Games, his last gig being the 2012 Games in London.
In the same year he also got his first taste of beach handball, announcing the sport at the 2012 World Championships in Muscat, Oman.
“In 23 years of doing announcing, I found that the best style is just to communicate and not try to be too hokey,” he says.
“I try to pull away from the NBA style as much as I can. The game kind of dictates how I perform. If you try and push the button and you get too excited when there is really nothing to get excited about you just come off as a big cheese ball.
“I just try and talk to the crowd kind of like to talk to my friend sitting next to me
“Earlier in the day everyone is a bit more relaxed when it gets closer to evening people loosen up a little bit.
“The crowd, the people here couldn’t be nicer and friendlier. And I love how they come out and support their team.”
Chances for beach handball in the United States
With the knowledge of the game he gained at the 2012 World Championships as well as in the past few days in Randers at the European Championships, Noble reckons that beach handball has a chance to get a foot in the US sports market’s door.
“I think beach handball would excel very rapidly in the US. And, of course, where there’s a world, there’s a way. So I think there is a really good chance of making it happen,” he says.
“There are not a lot of beach sports in the US, especially on East Coast, on the West Coast you have beach volleyball.
“An event like this (the 2013 European Beach Handball Championships) would not only generate a really good time and an entertaining atmosphere, but it would also generate a lot of revenue.”
TEXT: EHF / ts
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