How do you feel about participation trophies?

In most cases, these are awards children get for participating in a sport. Do you agree that everyone who participates should receive something or do you think it's unnecessary and does more harm than good?

I saw this commercial recently and it made me laugh but I think it makes a good point. Thoughts?



  • I agree with giving kids participation trophies
    35% (15)26% (15)30% (30)Vote
  • I disagree with the concept of participation trophies
    53% (23)67% (39)61% (62)Vote
  • Other
    12% (5)7% (4)9% (9)Vote
And you are? I'm a GirlI'm a Guy

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Most Helpful Guy

  • Bad idea, get rid of them.

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Most Helpful Girl

  • I feel like we need to teach kids about being okay with not winning. So I voted against the trophies for participation.

    Not everything in life works out. You don't win every game, not everyone is the best, and sometimes you will mess up. We should teach kids how to gracefully accept failure and be able to pick up and try again. It's okay to not be the best this year, but with some practice maybe we can place higher next year?

    I remember being a kid in public school and during track and field kids would win ribbons for placing in events. They would hand out 1st, 1nd and 3rd place ribbons to the kids who placed. It was always a competition to see who would win the most ribbons. It did suck because usually the same kids won all the ribbons. But that's life.

    I always enjoyed it because it was a day we didn't have to do school work. When my brother started track and field they started with the participation ribbons. I kind of thought that was silly.

    I get that some kids get upset they don't get a ribbon, but sometimes in life you don't get what you want. Somebody else has that big tv or that big house and you live in a small apartment. But you basically have to just make the best of what you do have.

    I think by handing out participation trophies we are teaching kids that they all win and they never learn to deal with disappointment.

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What Guys Said 32

  • I disagree with them, in the sense that there are winners and there are losers. This isn't to suggest that the winners need to be ugly about winning, but if you won because you practiced and worked hard for it, then you earned it. If everybody "wins" then what is the point of competing at all. My biggest problem is that it doesn't prepare anybody for anything. Life is about competition, you compete for jobs, for relationships, for many many things in life. Do I agree with all of the things we must compete for? No, but unfortunately that is the way it is, sparing somebodies feelings so everybody can win won't prepare them for the realities of life. I'm not suggesting that a 6 year old kid needs to be worried about finding a job, but they need to know that you can't always get the things you want just for showing up and making a token effort. If you want good grades you have to work for them, if you want to improve a skill, you have to work for it, there is only a very small percentage of people who don't have to work for the things we want, and as frustrating as this is to me, I also don't envy them because in my opinion they have the most to lose, because they have no perspective. If you don't know how you attained the things you earned you have no way of knowing how to get them when you lose everything. Working towards your goals allows you to recover when you fail, and there is no greater symbol of success than knowing how to recover from a given failure.

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    • I agree, in life there are winners and losers and i think those lessons are very important to learn. Do you want a trophy and win? You better work hard and learn to earn that trophy. Dedication, discipline and emotional stamina.

      - Even after all this.. if the kid doesn't get a trophy? he'll learn the value of handwork and should be proud of his progress. Or learn "hey, sometimes things don't go your way."
      IE: "Working towards your goals allows you to recover when you fail, and there is no greater symbol of success than knowing how to recover from a given failure."

  • While I have no problem recognizing someone who participated in a sport, it has always bugged me when trophies are handed out to kids for participation. I think a participation certificate or ribbon is where it should stop (if at all). However, to be pragmatic, I think participation trophies are here to stay. Our society is full of people who will sue you if you hurt their feelings. When one of the kids of these parents gets their feelings hurt, the first thing they will do is sue. Since most sports leagues are made up of volunteers, it is easier to just give everyone a trophy and avoid the issue. Unless we change society, and get away from the “I deserve to have my feeling respected” mentality common this day and age, participation trophies are here to stay.

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  • Against them.
    Losing in a sport or event is a teaching experience they can learn from. Giving participation trophies bypasses that and makes it seem like success doesn't or shouldn't matter.
    But in my experience kids know the truth in their hearts and the participation trophies are more for the moms that don't want their child to feel bad.
    I've gotten 1 participation trophy in my life.
    I threw it in the dumpster. I didn't deserve one and all it served was a representation of a loss. Kids are smart, we should treat them as such.

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    • If you believe kids are smart, then you should believe that kids know the difference between acknowledging effort and acknowledging victory.

      I was smart enough as a kid to want the big, shiny, three foot tall first place trophy more than the little six inch participation one.

    • @Dandeus

      By handing them a trophy you are removing the difference.

      Yes, it's good to give partial credit. But you don't do that by giving them a trophy. I just think a participation trophy is more an insult than a way to spare feelings. Take the kids out for icecream or something, but don't commemorate a loss.

  • Believe it or not, "participation trophies" are ubiquitous in the working world. Large companies give out plaques for all sorts of things. I got a nice little plaque for being with my company for two years. Also, one technique of enhancing worker self-esteem is to give them faux promotions in lieu of raises. So, for instance, some administrative assistant might want a raise, but the boss doesn't want to give it. Instead, he gives the admin a promotion to "Senior Director of Xerographic Technologies". The admin feels happy now that they have a more pompous title, but, really, their job did not change.

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  • I remember being really sad in early grade school because I never got a medal or trophy for anything while some of my classmates showed theirs during show-and-tell. So my parents got me a medal after I learned how to tie my shoelaces. It obviously left a good impression because I still remember it.

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  • "Yay, you didn't do anything, but hey, here's your trophy, I'm sure when you're 30 years old, you can scratch your balls at work and still get paid. Good work son :) "

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    • 4 months of going to team practice Monday through Thursday and playing a game on Friday is "not doing anything?"

      Hard work is meaningless and valueless if you're not the best? That's a great lesson for kids "don't bother trying if you're not the best, you won't be recognized otherwise."

    • @Dandeus But when it comes to kids you can't leave it up to their interpretation, you gotta tell them why. It's not "don't bother trying if you're not the best, you won't be recognized otherwise", it's "try a hard as you can, cause great effort will always bring its recompense.

  • If it's really young children I think it's okay. Once we get to young adults and adulthood I don't think it's okay. I don't want people getting participation diplomas for college or anything..

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    • Haha yeah. I think that's part of the controversy. People who are against it thinks it gives kids unrealistic expectations of life.

  • Down with that crap!

    It's making people soft... Once the younger generation gets used to it then face the reality as grownups they're gonna get all butthurt...

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    • I kind of feel like that's already happening, to my generation even. Lol

    • Yeah.. I notice it sometimes as well.
      A lot of people are overly sensitive. >_>

  • I think kids need to learn that they won't always win. If they lose they find out why so they can improve.

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  • I always received them during youth sports. I was never under any illusion that they were anything more than commemorative "thank you for playing" tokens. The trophies for first place teams were unmistakable and infinitely more desirable.

    Why shouldn't kids get them? Is not as if pro athletes go home empty handed if they lose. Their share may be smaller, but they get a piece of the pie. Nobody was ever worse off for having their efforts recognized.

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  • If you suck at something you shouldn't get a reward for sucking instead you should be told to try harder next time because this is the real world nigga ain't nobody going to give you money for losing

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  • Participation certificates induces people to participate. Without them, there would be less participation, thus lesser competition. Then the value of the prize won without a tough fight would hold lesser value. So I believe there's no harm in participation certificates. (rather, there's more good then bad to it)

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  • Participation trophies were invented by people who think children are stupid and fragile. They are ok for four-year-olds but eight-year-olds know the score.

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  • Reminds me of How I Met Your Mother haha

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  • It's only undermining the value of the trophy. If everyone gets a trophy, then what's it worth? Nothing.

    I remember getting participation trophies when I was a kid and thinking how stupid it was since we didn't even win.

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  • I disagree that anyone should have a trophy for participating, I think that the winner should get a trophy. I think it's retarded to give trophy to someone who didn't deserve it. Ofcouse the winner / winning team or whatever it is should though,

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  • Up to a certain age. 6-7 is the cut off for me. I think after that, though, there needs to be clear winners and losers.

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  • The A/V sync sucks on this but Christopher Titus did a bit on this subject https://youtu.be/2Wydc9B_nJY

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  • They are awful

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  • It's retarded because the kids don't give a rats ass about them because they didn't do anything to earn them.

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  • Hell to the no

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  • All my trophies were earned if I with Hardwork not given to me because I want one if you work hard at something you'll be rewarded.

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  • Give kids trophies! It builds self esteem! :D

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  • Participation trophies were invented by socialists who hate competition with a passion,.

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  • If everyone gets a trophy they're not worth having.

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  • They have doing participation trophies and ribbons for a couple of decades now.

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    • I am aware of that. Lol

    • Show All
    • So you're saying participation awards help give kids motivation?

    • Yes I am. I think it works in a psychological way. They kids still gets something for his efforts. At the age in which theses things are given is a pretty crucial age for development. So if we tell them their hard work is for nothing then what will they do later down the road? Yes later on they might learn not all hard work will reward you. But do you really want an 8 year old to stop trying in science cause he feels his hard work is over looked.

  • I don't believe in competition, so I would remove all trophies.

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  • I don't think anyone should get something for nothing. It doesn't help them.
    Children shouldn't be run by drill sergeants but they shouldn't be completely coddled either.
    Besides, if a kid sucks at something, they know they suck at it usually. Giving them a trophy is patronizing.

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  • Kids need to know when they are losers and they need to be better next time. They also need to know when they suck and should just give up.
    Also, kids should learn that 2nd place is just a fancy word for losing.

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  • I think that participation trophies are good, I mean, at least they're being awarded for not being lazy, right?

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  • More from Guys
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What Girls Said 10

  • I think that for young children, it's good. You don't exactly want to damage their self esteem right from the get go.

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  • I feel a trophy should be given for simply breathing, because that is pretty much what a "participation" trophy means. What a bunch of nonsense!

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  • I don't think they are an issue because participant awards are usually embarrassing. Many people are commenting about how participant awards make it seem like losers are also winners, but I think it makes losers look like even bigger losers. In elementary school, it was embarrassing to be the kid with a participant award. Most people just threw them out. So I don't think it's that big of an issue.

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  • I don't have enough knowledge to know whether a trophy is good or bad so I can't comment either way.

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  • they're pointless
    it diminishes the efforts of people who actually did something
    i got something like that before and i felt bad because i really didn't do anything special

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  • You're basically telling kids they will be rewarded for nothing and just for showing up. No wonder the people these days are pussies.

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  • Trophy? No. Certificate or ribbon? Yes. Unless the prize is a ribbon then give a certificate.

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  • I don't know.. it shows that you at least tried. But if I'm competing, I don't wanna just "try", I wanna WIN!!!

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  • stupid as fuck. that's how children with entitlement complexes are born.

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  • This is how we will run out of resources to build other stuff.

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