As a coach, sponsor, administrator or principal – you are often tasked with determining what criteria qualifies a student for lettering in a sport or program. There are many considerations for this determination, and we’re here to help.
There are three things you look to accomplish by offering letter jackets to your students:
- Reward & recognize students for their achievements and contributions to the school.
- Encourage students who are not yet participating in a program to join.
- Incentivize current program participants to excel & meet goals.
Understanding the purpose of letter jackets, how do you decide what qualifies a student to letter? Does everyone in the program receive a jacket?
Lettering criteria is important to a school and its programs. Lettering requirements need to be an accomplishment that is earned and that a student feels proud to have achieved. Making the jacket too obtainable can demean the hard work of high-achieving students and discourage participants from striving toward growth.
Simply put, lettering criteria sets the bar for student expectations and performance. Create standards for your students with your recognition policies.
So, what are you trying to accomplish in your program? This is how you determine your lettering qualifications.
- Participation? Set lettering criteria for all Juniors in the program.
- Academic excellence? Make a grade point average requirement part of lettering.
- Performance? Choose qualifiers and benchmarks for performance you’d like to see in your students.
- Commitment? Choose a number of years of participation as a requirement for lettering.
- Well-roundedness? Set goals for cross-program participation.
The bottom line is that the criteria for lettering in your program is dependent upon the goals you would like to achieve. Setting a criterion for lettering is important to assign value and even the playing field for hard working and high achieving students.
Shape your student body by setting a standard of excellence in the areas you want to see your school succeed and excel.
Lettering In Real Life
Here are some examples of what other schools are implementing in their programs.
- GPA of 3.5 or ACT Scores of 26 or higher.
- 1 honors class, 1 AP class and a minimum GPA of 3.5
- National Merit Scholars
- Literary Rally participation
- Number of quarters, innings, or minutes played
- # of points earned at an event
- Length of time on the team
- # of sports programs participated in
- Presentation in 3-5 productions
- Participation in the theater program for at least 2 years
- Participation in both marching and concert band.
- Representing the school in a state or district honor band.
- Becoming 1st chair of a band section.
- Number of service hours performed.
- Participation in the activity at a competitive level.
- Holding an office in the club or program.
Do you play a role in your school or program’s lettering process? The Recognition Company would love to help you navigate the qualifications for your students. Whether lettering is new to your program or you’d like to re-evaluate your goals in an existing one, let’s brainstorm together.