Wikipedia:Naming conventions (sports teams)

This page lists naming conventions for articles on sports teams. For proposed conventions relating to sports competitors, see Naming conventions (sportspeople).

In cases where there is no ambiguity as to the official spelling of a club's name in English, the official name should be used. No ambiguity means that:

  • The name is used on the English-language section of the club's official website
  • The name has been adopted at least by a significant section of the English-language media and it is recognizable
  • The name is not easily confused with other clubs' names.

In cases where there is some ambiguity as to the official spelling of a club's name in English, the name most commonly used by the English-language media should be used.

Where an article is clearly about a particular sport you do not need to put a prefix or suffix (like RLFC, CCC or FK) throughout the article text but merely in the title. For example, FC Barcelona is the article name but throughout the body Barcelona is sufficient. However, for cross-sport references it may be appropriate e.g. "St Helen's share Knowsley Road stadium with St Helen's FC". Do not extend this to nicknames as they may confuse unfamiliar users.

For North American teams, use both place and nicknames (e.g. Detroit Red Wings rather than Detroit or Red Wings) as non-Americans may not know who the Bears or the Falcons are and it aids cross-referencing. Furthermore, where there is more than one team from a city – New York Giants and New York Jets, for example, this specificity is essential.

It is permitted for the same team name to be used in different professional sports leagues in a given location. For example, in the United States, as of late 2019, the Cardinals (the NFL franchise in Arizona and MLB's in St. Louis), Rangers (NHL New York, MLB Texas), Giants (MLB San Francisco, NFL New York), Panthers (NFL Carolina, NHL Florida) and Kings (NBA Sacramento, NHL Los Angeles). See List of shared franchise names in North American professional sports.

Despite the increased possible confusion, the same name can be used for different professional leagues' teams in the same metropolitan area, though none in the US currently fall in this category. Some historical examples include the Boston Braves (MLB and NFL), Cleveland Indians (MLB and NFL predecessor APFA in 1921[1]), Brooklyn Dodgers (MLB, NFL), St. Louis Cardinals (MLB, NFL), New York Giants (MLB, NFL), New York Yankees (MLB, AFL I, AAFC) and Pittsburgh Pirates (MLB and NHL, later MLB and NFL) [2]