What is the volunteering protocol in The Hunger Games?

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In most of the districts, there is no protocol. Usually, they wait to ask for volunteers until after they introduce who has been chosen, but clearly that is not set in stone because Katniss volunteers for Prim before Prim even makes it onto the stage.

However, it is completely different in Districts 1, 2, and 4. The tributes from these three districts are known as the "Career Tributes" because they spend their lives training for the Games. Each of these three districts has an academy that trains all the children until they're 18 (when they are no longer eligible for the Reaping), which is technically against the laws that the Capitol set down, but since these districts are so close and important to the Capitol, they do not get in trouble. Instead of a normal Reaping, the tributes from these districts are hand-picked by the people who run the academies (usually former victors, which are in abundance as most victors come from these districts) from the best in the classes. Being a tribute (especially a victorious one) is seen as the ultimate honor in these districts, so it is a very competitive situation.

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