Homecoming Halftime Show

 

Spirit days, pep rallies, parades, and dances all have their challenges, but no activity is more crucial to get right than the Homecoming halftime show. With its strict timeframe, and penalty to the team if you run over time, it’s important to get every detail of the show right to ensure it runs smoothly. Consider the following points as you make your plans:

  • Collect information sheets. As soon as members of the court are known, have everyone fill out an information sheet with all the information you will need to introduce court members such as their name and grade, names of parents, activities involved in, club or class they represent, name of escort, and so forth. You should also obtain contact information so you can communicate details of the show with them.

  • Write the script. Using information collected from court members, write a script for the show. Begin with information about the results of spirit week, then introduce the court. Be equitable about the amount of information provided for each person and try to vary the way the information is presented so it doesn’t seem repetitious. Keep your time limit strictly in mind and practice the script often to ensure it fits within the time limit.

  • Select an announcer with a good voice and provide him or her with the script in advance so it can be practiced. Be sure the announcer knows how to pronounce all the names—adding a place on the information sheet for a phonetic spelling of their name might help with this.

  • Coordinate logistics of the show with the athletic director, football coach, band director, and cheer coach. Determine a timeline of events and how much time each group will have for its piece of the show. Create a sketch or diagram of the field and where everyone will be during the ceremony. Coordinate any details such as whether the band’s flag girls will create an arch with their flags for court members to walk through as they are introduced, where the football players will go when they return to the field for warm-ups, and so forth.

  • Determine the attire you want court members to wear during the halftime show. Will students wear nice suits or do you want something more formal?  Can students who are in uniform for cheerleading, band, or football wear their uniform?  Is there a color students should wear, such as school colors?

  • Establish who will escort members of the court during the coronation ceremony. Parents are often a good choice for this. Schools often have other requirements such as a member of the class or club that nominated the person or a class officer. Is there anyone who cannot serve as an escort, such as a football player?

  • Order coronation items such as crowns, sashes, flowers and any other items that are customary for your school. A special bouquet for the queen is usual as well as corsages for all the candidates.  Some schools add a scepter and cape for the king and queen, but check with your adviser to determine what the budget is for coronation items and stay within your limit.  Be sure to allow plenty of time for the order to arrive.

  • Identify who will crown the winner and invite that person to attend.  Some schools invite the previous year’s king and queen, while others have the principal do the honors. Identify escorts for anyone involved in the crowning.

  • Work out procession details. How will court members be presented? Will you have them drive past the stands in a convertible or on a golf cart and proceed to the visitor side of the field to walk on the field? Will you have them simply walk on the field from the sidelines? Where will they stand after being introduced? How will they depart the field in an orderly manner after the queen and/or king have been crowned? Have student leaders walk through the details on the field with a stopwatch running as you make your plan to ensure the ceremony will fit in your established time limit. Adjust the plan as needed before you rehearse with court members.

  • Arrange for a program insert for the football program with information and photos of the Homecoming court.

  • Reserve practice time on the field during Homecoming week for a run-through of the show with all court members in attendance so you can work out any problems and ensure that everyone knows what to do.

  • Send a letter to court members with instructions for what they will be expected to do. Include the date and time of rehearsal, requirements for escorts and attire, where you want them to sit during the game, and directions about the ceremony itself. Include the diagram created earlier for where everyone will stand and how the flow of the ceremony will work. Let them know when they should come down from the stands to line up (e.g., with five minutes left on the clock in the second quarter) and where to go to do so.  Clearly communicating all the details in writing ahead of time will cut down on the confusion during rehearsal and will help everyone understand what is expected of them. 

  • Practice, practice, practice! Require all members of the court to attend the show rehearsal and have them wear the same shoes they will wear during the ceremony. This will enable girls to ensure that the heels on their shoes won’t cause problems walking on the field and will give you a more accurate idea of how long it will take them.  Run through the entire show at least once, including the plan for how to leave the field.

  • Arrange for a photographer to be on the field to photograph the entire ceremony to cut down on the number of people who will want to crowd the field for photos. This could be a yearbook photographer, one sent from the company that does your school photos, or a local professional photographer.  Make these photos available to court members for download or purchase after Homecoming.

  • Reserve seats for the court in the stands so they can all sit together. It gives them a little perk for being on court and will make it easier for you to communicate with them if needed.

  • Stand ready to help. In the heat of the moment, students won’t always remember where to go or what they are supposed to do, so have a student leader standing by to remind people when it’s time to line up and be able to direct people where to stand during the ceremony. Court members also should look to this person to give the signal for when they should depart the field.

  • Have a rain plan in case of inclement weather. Will the ceremony go forward regardless of the weather, or will it be postponed? If it will proceed rain or shine, be sure to at least have student volunteers standing by with large golf umbrellas to shield court members from the rain.

 

With careful planning and practice, you will be able to successfully meet the challenge of organizing a smooth Homecoming halftime show that stays within the time limits you’ve been given. Good luck!

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