CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Three state senators have introduced a bill that would eliminate participation trophies awarded to children who play recreational sports through leagues operated by local governments.  

S.B. 430 was sponsored by Sens. Timothy Moffitt, Eddie Settle, and Bobby Hanig, and reads:   

“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. Awards provided in connection with the activity, if any, shall be based on identified performance achievements.”  

Hanig was the only senator who responded to QCN when asked about the reason behind the bill.   

“It’s past the sports,” he said. “What we’re not teaching our children is to be prepared for life, be prepared for failure.”  

The conversation around participation trophies has grown over the past several years, with politicians, parents and coaches speculating that children have become less motivated in the classroom, and in their future careers.   

He believes the root of that has been with participation trophies in sporting activities.   

“When kids are growing up they’re being taught it’s okay to just be OK,” Hanig explained. “You don’t have to be the best.”  

Dominique Brewer, who oversees a footage program for children ages 5 to 13, said he agrees with the bill.   

“Children can get a trophy regardless,” he said. “They’re not going to give it their everything. It can transfer over into life. It can transfer over into the classroom.”   

He said he has seen children switch from “participation trophy leagues” into his league because it challenges them.   

He also said he was for certificates that acknowledged the child has competed in the league, but said it was not acknowledging their participation.   

As parents at Myers Park fields watched their children play machine-pitch baseball, they told Queen City News they felt senators had better issues to solve than political talking points, given the shooting in Nashville.  

Children, in their eyes, had to worry about the dangers they face at school, grocery stores and movie theaters, and that the topic of participation trophies was a step to acknowledge the effort, not their achievement.   

“To keep them down mentally and physically … Is it logical in our children’s lives,” one family member said. “It’s not logical. That’s not talking about the issues, that’s deterring from the conversation. That’s deflecting.”  

Hanig said he hopes the bill’s filing would encourage a greater conversation that would lead to a more, fine-tuned bill to be passed in the future.