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IPFS News Link • North Carolina

North Carolina Seeks to Ban Participation Trophies for Children

•, By Matthew Gault

Three senators in North Carolina have introduced a bill into the local legislature that would ban participation trophies for children. 

"Youth sports or other youth recreation activities operated under the authority of a local government shall not include awards for participants based solely on their participation in the

sport or other activity," the proposed bill said. "Awards provided in connection with the activity, if any, shall be based on identified performance achievements." 

The senate bill—catchily named "An Act to Prohibit Awards In Youth Recreation  Activities of Local Governments Based Solely on Participation"—would amend North Carolina's General Statutes to include the ban. It's sponsored by Republicans Tim Moffitt, Bobby Hanig, and Eddie Settle.

Hatred towards participation trophies is an ancient conservative meme. It's typical for kids in the U.S. to get a bit of plastic or scrap of ribbon at the end of an event or game. The idea that kids should get trophies or ribbons simply for participating, and not winning, has been a popular source of anxiety and concern for 100 years. Literally.

An op-ed in an Ohio newspaper from 1922 decried the practice of handing out trophies to anyone who showed up to play in a high school basketball tournament. Since then, comedians have mocked the practice, pundits have bemoaned how it is weakening the youth, and now a group of politicians in North Carolina are trying to ban the practice.