Every team needs a team name. The name should be chosen by the students.
- Returning teams can use the same name if they want (but they don’t have to)
- Returning teams that have some new kids or lost a few kids may want a new name since it is a new team.
- DO NOT pick your team name at the first meeting. The team name is a big deal. This is how the team will be known the whole season. It usually is a fairly contentious process. Your first meeting should be all about bonding and having fun. I would give the team a meeting to get to know each other before attempting to pick a team name.
- You do not have to decide your team name in one meeting. It is okay to brainstorm names one week, narrow it down to a few favorites, and then vote on a name a different week.
- I do not allow my teams to use any licensed characters in their team names. It limits creativity. (I just tell them it is not allowed — copyright infringement)— (technically it is allowed, but strongly discouraged; parodies are okay)
- Potty humor, violence, and political humor are all frowned upon. Tell your kids they have to come up with something else.
How to come up with a name:
**** You do not have to do it this way. This is ONE EXAMPLE of how your team might come up with a name. There are a million ways to come up with a name. As long as the team is behind it, then the process worked!****
Example of how to pick a team name:
- Start with a brainstorm
- Once the kids start slowing down on ideas, toss out some ideas for fodder: Talk about the attributes of your team. See if they can use any of these as creative fodder for a team name? What shared interests do they have? What skills or talents do they possess? What are the names of the people on your team? What similarities or differences exist among our team members?
- Is there any way to use alliteration, onomatopoeia, or rhyme? Could you add an adjective?
- What kind of cheer or call-n-response could you come up for that team name?
- Can you add humor?
Once they have come up with a long list of names, now you need to narrow it down. Here is one example of a way to do that:
- Have everyone close their eyes. Tell them they can vote for as many names as they want. Read the names aloud and tally the votes. Eliminate any name that doesn’t get a certain number (i.e. 2) of votes).
- Once the list is smaller, read all the names again. Let each team member campaign for the name they like best. Let them discuss the pros and cons of various names.
- Give every one 3 votes. Read through all the names once before voting. Then have everyone close their eyes and vote. Each person may select 3.
- One you get down to 2-4 names, let the team discuss again. And make their final selection.
After all this, your kids may decide to do none of these names and go with something entirely different— and that is totally fine! Sometimes decisions by committee suck the life out of something, and you just need to walk away from it and pick something else.
Once they have a team name:
- Create a team cheer (often as easy as “Go….. [Team Name]”
- Create a call-and-response. When the appraises say, “[Team Name], are you ready?” The team should have a call-and-response that is tied to their team name. (I.e. Appraisers say, “Team Pirates, are you ready?” The team says, “Yes we ARGGGGGRH!”)
Once all that is created, USE THEIR TEAM NAME! Use their team name AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE!
- When you are addressing the team, use their team name. “Okay Blueberry Butterflies, it is time to clean up and get ready to go home.”
- Do a team cheer after every instant challenge “Goooooooo Purple Puppies!”
- Send messages to the parents by team name, “Hello Dirty Dragon Parents! I need a volunteer…”
- Every time you practice your skit, introduce the team as if you were an appraiser and let them practice their call and response. Appraiser says, “Home-run Heroes, are you ready?” Team responses, “Play Ball!”
You should use there Team Name several times per session. The repetition of the name helps the kids feel like a team and reinforces the concept of teamwork. Do not miss this opportunity to keep the concept of a team at the forefront of their minds.