In Little League, everyone is a winner. These are very tender hearts you are talking about so it’s really very important that no one goes home crying all sniffly and puffy-eyed after a game. The winning team may get to have the trophy but everyone should get a medal for a job well done. It’s in the rules. Check the Little League International Congress Handbook.
Meantime, here’s how you can plan an awards ceremony for your Little League team.
- Go drop by the trophy and medal suppliers. You and a group of parents should make the rounds of trophy and medal suppliers to look for the perfect trophy and medal designs that will make your Little League team burst with happiness. Do not forget that this is a community effort so you might want to invite the suppliers to sponsor an “x” number of pieces in your order form.
- Aim for a “Wow!” moment. When choosing the design for the trophies and medals, you don’t have to stick to an obvious design of ball-and-mitts. Go for something symbolic, tall, and awesome. Your goal is to elicit that “wow!” jump-for-joy moment.
- Design the Certificate of Appreciation (CoA). Aside from the trophies and medals, design a CoA using your computer and printer. Inexpensive and all you need is creativity and thick paper. The CoA will be handed out to the members of the coaching staff.
- Pledge a fixed amount to cover the cost. The Little League is practically family so it will also take family action to make this award ceremony happen. Pledge any amount from $20.00 to $50.00 to cover the cost of trophies and medals for the players and the coaching teams.
- Perform an accurate headcount of trophy and medal recipients. Count the whole team including coaches, assistant coaches, umpires, water boys. Just about everyone on the team belonging to the Little League family. All of these people should receive due recognition in the form of trophies, medals, and the CoA.
- Have special Plaques of Appreciation made for the team managers. Choose a design and have the names inscribed along with a message of gratitude. Make this extra special by having the Little League team photo inserted inside the frame.
- Collate the names of the Little League teams and have the names engraved. Write the names down clearly and type it on a computer if you must. Engraving is a free service of the trophy and medal supplier but you have to meet a certain number of letters per trophy and medal to avail. You have to consult with your group to decide on how short you can keep the names and your citations. You can try to go for nicknames and fun citations like “Best Catcher With the Best Tan.”
- Schedule the awarding ceremony. Immediately after the last game of the season would be the perfect time! You can work secretly with the other parents bringing in the trophies, medals, plaques, and certificates while the game is going on. Just make sure you are not obvious about it, which will distract the teams.
Prepare simple food and beverage to celebrate the Little League season and capture the wide smiles with a video camera.