Youth Football League Yanks Participation Trophies

Parents offer mixed opinions on Keller Youth Association's controversial move to end participation trophies

A North Texas youth football group has decided that it will stop awarding trophies simply for participation.

In order to get a statue, players with the Keller Youth Association's football program will have to advance to and win the league's Super Bowl. This year, the league will award participation medals to participants instead.

"Going forward participation medals and trophies will be going away," the group wrote on its Facebook page.

The post goes on to say that the KYA board feels participation medals and trophies do not send kids the right message.

"Life does not give you a participation medal or trophy. Life makes you earn everything you get," the group wrote. (See the entire post below.)


Some parents are applauding the decision.

Teresa Lugo-Sanchez commented on the post, saying, "If you want your kids awarded for participation, play at the YMCA, where everybody wins."

But John Summers, whose three sons have all played in KYA, sees it differently. His sons have all won the Super Bowl trophy, but their teams could hardly win a single game in other seasons. In those years, his boys still looked forward to the participation trophy that everyone took home the final day of the season, he said.

"A participation trophy is not a symbol of wins and losses," he said. "A participation trophy is rewarding a kid for their hard work."

KYA's vice president told NBC 5 by phone that the board knew the decision would be controversial. But members felt like kids were given too many things in this day and age and it is important to teach them that not everyone can be a winner, he said.

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