The Participation Trophy Debate

At All Time Awards, your trusted San Diego trophy shop, we understand the importance of recognizing achievements, both big and small. One of the most debated awards in recent times is the participation trophy. Whether you call it a “participation trophy” or a “participant trophy,” these awards have sparked conversations across sports fields, classrooms, and boardrooms alike. But what are the pros and cons of participation trophies? Do participation trophies have value? Let’s explore these questions and shed some light on this controversial topic.

participation trophies

The Pros and Cons of Participation Trophies

The Pros

Encouragement and Motivation

Participation trophies can serve as a powerful motivational tool, especially for younger participants. Receiving a trophy for their efforts encourages children to stay engaged and continue participating in activities.

Building Self-Esteem

For many children, a participant trophy can be a confidence booster. It acknowledges their efforts and dedication, helping to build self-esteem even if they did not come in first place.

Promoting Teamwork

These trophies emphasize the importance of teamwork and collaboration. Recognizing everyone’s efforts reinforces the idea that every participant plays a crucial role in the team’s overall success.

The Cons

Diminished Achievement Recognition

One of the main criticisms of participation trophies is that it might overshadow the recognition of truly outstanding achievements. If everyone receives a trophy, the special significance of first place can be diminished. 

Do Participation Trophies Have Value?

The value of participation trophies is a complicated subject. For many, especially young children, these trophies are a great idea. They are reminders that effort is worth celebrating, even if perfection is not achieved. However, as participants grow older and more skilled, the emphasis might shift towards only recognizing specific achievements.

Funny Participation Trophy Ideas

If you’re interested in participation trophies, we have compiled a list of funny participation trophy ideas below for you that you can incorporate.

  1. Always Enthusiastic Award
  2. Best Spirit Award
  3. Most Persistent Award
  4. Perfect Attendance Award
  5. Best Buddy Award
  6. Most Fearless Award
  7. Awesome Attitude Award


At All Time Awards, we believe in the power of recognition. Whether it’s a participation trophy for a youth soccer league, a participant trophy for a school spelling bee, or a fantasy football participation trophy, these awards play a crucial role in celebrating effort. In the end, the value of a participation trophy lies in how it is perceived and utilized. 

If you’re interested in a participation trophy, contact us at All Time Awards. We can be best contacted by phone at (858)277-4165 or you can click here to contact us via our online form. To view our shop click here.