Tips for Planning an End-of Season Sports Award Banquet

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As the various sports seasons wind to a stop and school terms end, spring becomes the time of year for the sports award banquet. Whether you’ve never planned one before or done it annually for years, here are some tips to help. Sports award banquets are special events and it’s important to cover all the bases.

Booking the Venue for the Sports Award Banquet

Booking the venue is important and must be done early enough to allow time to plan. Some venues fill up early, so the earlier the better. Depending on the location, you may need to book months in advance.  This is good because it gives you more choices. By waiting, you’ll eliminate some popular choices as they may be booked. Choose a facility that is large enough for your crowd and provides the extras you’ll need to host a successful sports award banquet. You will need tables, chairs, and a PA system at least. Also, consider the amount of room you’ll need to conduct your awards banquet.

Food Choices

Choosing food is often the easiest part of planning a sports award banquet. Firstly, ask if the venue provides food catering. This can save a lot of hassles. Work with the on-site coordinator to choose food and drink options. If the venue doesn’t provide catering, a local caterer can perform the service for you.

Sports Themed Decorations

Let your imagination go when it comes to decorating for the occasion. Consider displaying photos of team highlights from the season. Sports appropriate equipment can be used for display, and maybe even team uniforms. Team trophies also make for great displays at awards banquets. Allow enough time to collect then-and-now photos of the athletes. Use team colors for items like napkins or balloons.

Planning for the Sports Awards

Put a lot of thought into the various sports awards you will be giving. Consider the typical ones such as MVP, team captains, and the all-stars. But go deeper and present awards for the best defensive and the best offensive player for the year. Awards can also be given for specific skills like most points made, most hits or RBIs, best server, most blocks, or most assists. Vary the awards with fun and honorary awards like:

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  • Most improved player
  • Best team spirit
  • Best attitude
  • Leadership
  • Attendance at every game
  • Never missed a practice

Once you have created the awards decide how they will be presented. You have plenty of options including:

Allow plenty of time for ordering all the awards. Be sure to customize them with the player’s name and accomplishments.

Who to Invite to a Sports Awards Banquet

Make sure to request RSVPs at least a week in advance, sooner if you need it for the venue. You want to make sure you can accommodate the attendees with food, drinks, seating and such. Don’t forget to include meals for any volunteers who help with the banquet such as greeting and directing guests, helping hand out awards, or registration. Consider inviting:

  • Players/athletes should be invited of course!
  • All the parents of players and athletes should be invited.
  • Coaches, scorekeepers, and team managers should also be invited.
  • Any volunteers who helped the team regularly should receive an invitation.

Speakers and Awards Presentation

It is totally fine to have the head coach express his gratitude for the year. He/she may also share anecdotes from the season and hand out the awards. A team alumnus would be a great choice for a speaker. You may also consider a local hero like a retired professional sports player. Prominent community leaders such as the mayor, police chief, or city council member are appropriate speakers to address the players.

Ordering Sports Awards for the Banquet

Make sure to order the awards, trophies, certificates, or ribbons in advance to allow for customization. At Suburban Custom Awards, we engrave them for free and can even help you get the wording right.