Everyone likes a party. But scheduling and planning a party at the end of any youth football season isn’t always easy. Here are five ideas.
1. Timing is everything
Sometimes the best way to almost guarantee every family can make the party date is to plan it right after the last game of the season. You can plan to host it in the parking lot of the complex where the game takes place, or you can use any of the other following suggestions.
2. There’s no place like home
If there’s a willing family – maybe with a pool in the warmer areas of the country or a finished basement with lots of games in the colder regions – having the party at a house keeps it simple. Everyone chips in for pizza and families sign up to provide drinks, side dishes and desserts. My one rule of thumb in this instance is that the host family doesn’t have to provide anything except a clean house.
The positive of having the party at a restaurant is weather is not an issue and the food is provided. The negative is that kids are basically confined to sitting and eating. I always suggest this option is better for older kids than younger ones.
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4. Local park
One of my most successful end-of-season parties was a picnic at the local state park. Everyone brought their own sandwiches and drinks along with a side dish and dessert to share. The wide-open fields and playground provided plenty of entertainment for not only the players, but also their younger and older siblings.
5. Football game
Why not end the season doing one of the things this particular group of families enjoys the most, and go to a football game? While an NFL game might not be feasible, maybe attend a local college or even the big high school game in town. You can tailgate before, after, or maybe even both.
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One more suggestion: Try to schedule the party within two weeks of the last game. If you wait much longer than that, families will have moved onto the next sports season, and the busy schedule that goes along with it.
Jon Buzby has been involved in and writing about youth sports for the past 30 years, originally as a coach and board member with his now-adult son and most recently "just as a dad" with his 8- and 10-year-old sons. Jon is an award-winning writer and his latest book, “Coaching Kids Made Easier,” is available on Amazon. Send comments or future blog topics you'd like to see to JonBuzby@hotmail.com and follow him @YouthSportsBuzz on Twitter.