Should everyone receive a trophy?


Photo via Pixabay under Creative Commons License

By: Emily Spillar, Reporter

In America, there has lately been controversy about participation trophies. Should those that lose receive a trophy for just showing up or should only the winners receive a trophy?

Participation Trophy

A participation award is an award given out to people for participating. These awards seem to give people an award for just showing up. There are multiple different sports that give out these awards. Some people really love the idea of participation trophies and everyone being rewarded for what they do. However, there are others that disagree with this idea and believe that only winners should receive a trophy. In an article, it states that 57% of Americans believe that only winners should receive trophies, and 40% believe that everyone should receive a trophy.

Some sports are most likely to give out a participation trophy. When asked what sport gives out the most participation trophies in a survey, surveyors responded that soccer gives them out the most. After this was cheerleading, and then tennis. In soccer, there are a lot of participation trophies given out. In a lot of recreational soccer teams, they’ll give the players a trophy for being on the team. Most of the time, this happens with little players, but there are also instances when it happens with older players, also. Cheerleading is also known for giving out these participation awards. A lot of the time in cheerleading, the cheerleaders will also receive a trophy for just being on the team.

Personal Opinions and Entitlement

In their lives, some people have received a participation award, and some have not. Their experiences might be the same or different, it depends on the person. Most people do not enjoy receiving these trophies because they feel like they don’t deserve it. However, there are others who do not care what the trophy is for, and they’re happy just because they got one. In a survey, 12.9% of people responded that they always feel like the receive a trophy they do not deserve. Then, there were 25.7% of surveyors who responded that they never felt this way.

Participation trophies may also stem from the fact that people feel entitled to receiving a trophy. This mentality is the root of these participation trophies because they believe that they should be rewarded for whatever they do. This happens a lot of times because of a players’ parents, or it may be just because that’s how the player feels. However, these opinions make the importance of a trophy decrease.

In a survey, there was a question that asked respondents if they felt some students felt entitled to a trophy. There were 52.9% of people who believe this happens sometimes. 40% of surveyors believes this happens often. Then, there were 7.1% of respondents who believes this happens never. Most of the respondents believe that some students do feel entitled to a trophy and that the problem of participation trophies stem from this.


Participation trophies can be received in many different sports. However, this does not mean that they should be a reward. The entitlement that created these participation awards have created a whole different definition of what it’s like to receive a trophy. Even though there are a lot of people who believe that these should not be a type of award, there are many people who contradict them and insist for them to stick around.



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