As another season of youth soccer comes to a close, it’s time to celebrate the achievements of players, coaches and their families. Here are a few ideas to host an end of season party that will keep the team spirit strong until the new season comes around.
Try some soccer-themed games
It’s party time, but there are still plenty of ways for everyone to show off their soccer skills and even demonstrate their great teamwork. Here are our top ten ideas:
- Dress-up Relay – Divide into two teams, each with a box of extra-large sports gear. Competitors must dress up in full gear as fast as possible and run to the end of the line where their team members must repeat the process until the first team finishes.
- Parents vs. Kids – Raise the energy level and encourage everyone to get involved in games, timed drills and relay races.
- Yankee Gift Swap – Also known as a white elephant exchange, wrap your most outrageous sports memorabilia collected from pro and college teams over the years and get ready for the laughter.
- Design Your Own Escape Room – An escape room can be a great activity to show off your group’s teamwork and problem-solving skills in a totally different, non-sport activity. There are many downloadable versions to create your own fun and challenging party atmosphere.
- Fanatic Fan Contest – Award prizes for the party participants dressed in the most outrageous representations of their favorite sports teams.
- Hula Hoop Soccer – Use hula hoops cut in half and inserted into the ground with dowels to create a fun course to kick balls through.
- Obstacle Course Challenge Races – Set up obstacle courses using cones, jump ropes and a variety of large and small balls. Participants must balance balls between their knees while maneuvering through the course.
- Sports-themed Scavenger Hunt – This can be played in pairs or teams. Instead of returning with the actual items, players must return with photos from their phones of the scavenger hunt items.
- Sports Trivia – Before the party, prepare player- and parent-appropriate questions at a variety of levels. If you have the space, consider setting up a mock playing field where players can “run the bases” or “score goals” after successfully answering trivia questions.
- Pin the Football on the Goal – Just like pinning a tail on a donkey, in this game dizzy blindfolded players must place felt footballs within the goal posts. Make a target for the middle section to see who can get the most accurate goal.
Catering for the masses
Be prepared to feed the five thousand, as parents, friends and siblings are likely to tag along to the party. A barbecue is always a winner, but make sure whoever is in charge knows what they are doing. End-of-season food poisoning is not the best way to bond!
An ice cream bar is a sweet alternative for feeding plenty of people quickly and easily.
You might also consider asking team members or their families to each bring a contribution for a giant buffet. That’s fine, but create a sign up sheet or there’s a risk that you will end up with 15 variations of mac and cheese.
Have an awards ceremony
Team trophies earned through the season are great, but a few fun and unique awards with small novelty prizes will be remembered far longer. Again, a few ideas but please add your own:
- Top parent awards for most enthusiastic support or loudest cheering
- Exceptional sportsmanship award for behavior on the pitch / sporting attitude
- Last out the door award for whoever always stays on to help after the game
- Most unusual pre-game ritual award
- Best goal celebration award
You will think of many more that have particular resonance with your team. For example, one team had a “best Tarzan impression” award specifically for a player who always let out a blood-curdling cry when she scored a goal!
And that is really what it is all about – celebrating the uniqueness of your team and looking forward to creating new memories together in the season ahead.