Are you in charge of doing a Senior Night Recognition? It’s really easy to do, just follow my tips…
This picture is from my sweet son Spencer’s senior night for basketball. Time goes by way too fast! As I was making my checklist for my son’s senior night I thought I’d make a checklist for myself and I thought I would share it with you and some tips for planning a memorable senior night. Not all Senior Recognitions have to be for sports. Most are typically but every senior deserves a night of recognition. My youngest daughter’s Senior Recognition was after her last time acting with our youth group at church. Be creative!
You know me, I LOVE my lists! I love checking things off and being organized. Even for an event that’s as simple as senior recognition, I need a list. I always feel like I’m going to forget something and a list really helps me out. If you’d like to print my list to help you plan an amazing Senior Night Recognition, just click here or on the link at the end of the post.
Senior Recognition night is usually pretty simple. I’m going to use my son’s senior basketball recognition night as an example here. Feel free to use this idea for any type of senior recognition. The end-of-season banquet, however, is where it’s a little more complicated, but that’s another post.
Tips For Planning A Senior Recognition
Planning the recognition night is pretty straightforward. Usually, you choose a game near the end of the season. Or a game near the end of the season that you know you will most likely win. It’s not a lot of fun to lose on senior night. Work with your Athletic Director and coaches (and board if you have one) to pick the best night. It helps if it’s a night when both the girl’s and the boy’s teams are both at home. This way you recognize both at the same time.
Consider getting a small team of parents together to help so that you are not doing everything. This could be senior or junior parents, cheerleaders, board members, etc. Divide out the duties of ordering the cake, getting a photographer, choosing an announcer/MC, programs, etc. Don’t forget to ask the seniors what they would like included and their parents.
Next, you need to get some biography information from the seniors and their parents. You can include this information in any programs that you have designed. I suggest sending out a Senior Questionnaire. Those include questions like how long they’ve played for your team, hobbies, where they plan on going to college, favorite scripture, etc. This is optional. If you have an MC/announcer, this gives them some great information about each senior.
If the girl’s and boys’ teams are playing, I suggest doing the recognition between games. This way you will have the most people there to see the recognition and it gives a nice break between games. It can be as simple or as formal as you like. It’s as easy as having the parents and players line up together and the MC announces each player. Then, as their child’s name is called parents and their senior would take center court. It’s that simple.
Don’t forget to make a fun and memorable night of it! You can decorate the gym, have a cake for the teams, or even get the cheerleaders involved. It’s up to you! We had a small senior display done by each senior or their parents that showcased pictures, schoolwork, awards, etc. Some years we had special buttons made for the parents to wear. They had their senior’s number on them or t-shirts with their numbers. We’ve even done face painting for anyone wanting to come and cheer that senior on. Just make the night fun and all about the seniors!
We use balloon bouquets that are about 6 ft tall with 3-5 balloons each. They’re placed on the court where we want the players and their parents to stand after moving from center court during the recognition. These serve a couple of purposes: first, they let the players and parents know where to stand after they have been recognized. Bonus! They help to decorate the gym. And serve as a nice backdrop for parent/senior pictures. Balloons are an inexpensive way to decorate and they can be taken home by the players.
Coaches Gifts and Programs
Our coaches give each senior some type of special keepsake as they are presented. Most of the time it would be a signed ball by all the coaches and players of that team. Note that some coaches prefer to save this for the end-of-season banquet. I’ve even seen seniors give their parents a small bouquet.
We’ve even done special game programs that focused on the seniors which make great keepsakes. These can be printed on a home computer or at a local printer. We typically include individual pictures of each senior with a short biography. Plus we include team photos of each of our teams. You can even get sponsors and showcase them in the program to offset the cost of printing.
Free Senior Night Checklist
Planning a Senior Recognition Night isn’t hard, it just takes a little organization and that’s where a checklist can help. Here’s the one that I made, feel free to use it!
If you would like more in-depth information about planning a Senior Recognition Night I have designed a book with tons of information. It has lots of helpful tips, checklists, and a senior questionnaire example! It’s a great way to keep you and your team organized. I love this book! I needed it when I was the one planning Senior Nights! If you would like your copy please click here.