Plan a Sports Theme Graduation Party


It's hard to not think of sports when you think of certain graduates. Whether they were a team captain or a great fan, they love the sport. I have one friend who cannot have a conversation without soccer coming up. It's his life!

If you have a sports loving graduate, it's an easy choice to plan a sports themed graduation party. This is especially effective with smaller parties or younger graduates, although it can work for anyone who's a fan(atic).

Sports Graduation Invitation
For the varsity athlete, the perfect invitation is a custom caricature invitation. Our amazing artist will create a one-of-a-kind caricature that will recreate anything you can imagine! Show your grad in uniform making the winning shot or running in for a touchdown. A caricature not only makes a great invitation, but you can also use it for your centerpieces and sign in board.

Or try one of these great sports theme invite ideas:

Make sure to choose invite wording that matches your grad's favorite sport.  Use one of these as inspiration:

Hut! Hut! Hike!
You've been drafted to kickoff
Brandon's graduation party!

It's game time!
Kick up some fun at
Cassie's graduation party!

He dribbles, he shoots, he SCORES!
Join the team and hoop it up
At Jason's graduation bash!

Come have a ball at
Ashley's grand slam graduation party!

Whatever you decide, make sure that if you plan on having everyone play a game of soccer, basketball, or touch football that you let them know on the invite to dress appropriately.

Sports Graduation Decorations and Party Supplies
First, decorate your party entrance! Have a personalized sports theme banner welcoming everyone to "Have a Ball!" Choose a message that's specific to your graduate's favorite sport. For basketball you can “Hoop it Up!” For soccer "Joey Graduated. What a Kick!" You get the idea.

Include a few more of these ideas to decorate your space:

  • Balloon bouquets in the team's colors are an easy and inexpensive way to decorate your venue. Add in foil balloons, like baseball, basketball, or football balloons, to match your theme!
  • Set out bowls of pom-poms and noisemakers  so guests can cheer the graduate on.  Want to get your party hopping?  Hand out stadium horns to energize your "fans".
  • At the entrance, add a custom cutout of the grad dressed in his or her favorite sporting gear or even as a cheerleader. This is another way to use that great caricature you had created.
  • If your party is outside, create a balloon arch mixed with sports theme balloons, or just have footballs, basketballs, or baseballs mixed with balloons in the grad's school colors. Continue these arches down your driveway or a hallway in your venue. Your guests will feel like they are coming through the tunnel and onto the playing field!
  • Start by having everyone check in at the "scorer’s table". Have a sign-in board using a caricature of the graduate, so guests can write their congratulations. We also have a great sports sign-in board. Make sure to have a mixture of graduation and sports balloons tied to the easel holding the sign in board.
  • Another fun idea is to have guests autograph a football, soccer ball, or baseball with a marker at your sign-in table. A sweet memento the grad will keep forever!

It is also important to display memories of the graduate's childhood memories. Maybe pictures of the guest of honor in uniform from little league, or sports trophies they earned while on the school soccer team. Display these throughout your party space, or on one special table where guests can gather and reminisce. And don’t forget teammates! One of the best things about playing sports is being on a team. Teammates often become lifelong friends. Sure your kid is the star on this day, but include pictures of teammates and take plenty of group pictures.

Your party can certainly be specific to one sport, so continue the sports theme throughout your venue by using some of these great sports theme decorations:

For football try some of these:

  • Take brown paper goods (cups, napkins, etc) and draw football laces on them with white paint marker.
  • Serve bottles of gatorade as drinks, and don't forget to dump the cooler on the guest of honor!
  • Green turf table covers are perfect for your buffet and sign-in tables.
  • Stick pennants, foam fingers and pom poms in buckets around your party space. 
  • Turn your party into a tailgate! If your grad party is outside, serve buffet foods out of the back of a truck or SUV.

For basketball, these decorating ideas will be a slam dunk:

  • Place orange and black balloon bouquets all over your party space!
  • Include standups of your grad's favorite NBA players. They make great decorations and photo opportunities!
  • Hang pennants in the grad's school colors all throughout your party space.
  • Get creative and make a scoreboard to hang behind your buffet or sign-in table!

For soccer, you'll get a kick out of these decorations and party supplies:

  • Black, white and green balloon bouquets at your major party hotspots are an absolute must!
  • Cover tables in green table covers and add white lines to make a soccer field.
  • Make a mini-soccer goal out of pool noodles and fish net. Set it up on your buffet or drink station!

And then there is the great American pasttime…baseball:

  • Choose balloon bouquets in school colors or an all-American theme - red, white and blue!
  • Hang an American flag behind your buffet along with a few pennants fromt he grad's favorite team.
  • Create a "Hall of Fame" with baseball pictures of grad from little league on up!

Don't forget to decorate your tables to fit the theme! There are so many options...

Sports Graduation Table Decorations and Menu
Start by choosing fun sports theme paper goods. There are styles for all types of sports (including baseball, basketball, golf, cheerleading and more). Paper goods are fun, colorful and easy for fast clean up.

Make your tables pop with a few more of these sports themed additions:

  • Centerpieces can be a mix of graduation and sports mementos. You can use a personalized sports centerpiece.  Just attach a balloon bouquet in the grad's school colors!
  • Or take different sports equipment (football helmet, baseball bat, soccer cleats, etc) and attach a balloon bouquet. You might have all you need sitting around the house to complete these easy centerpieces!
  • We love a centerpiece that can be donated to charity after the event in honor of the grad. Find a basket and fill it with children's sporting equipment and donate it to a local children's charity. It's money well spent!
  • Don't forget to scatter confetti in the grad's school colors as a final touch! Foil chocolate baseballs, footballs, and soccer balls make great confetti, too.

Serve classic stadium food like nachos, soft pretzels, french fries, hotdogs, and hamburgers. You can set up a condiments station so everyone can load up their food with all of the mustard, onions, and relish they want. Decorate your buffet with a "Concessions" sign and use a few of these decorating tips:

  • Serve all food in classic paper food trays, just like you would find at a stadium!
  • For the adults, serve ice cold beer in big plastic cups, and for those under 21, fill a large plastic cooler with a sports classic, Gatorade!
  • You can also stock water with personalized sports theme water bottle labels along with pop in inflatable sports coolers.
  • Rent a snow cone, pretzel, or cotton candy machine for something really special!
  • Don't forget to serve popcorn in classic red and white striped paper containers.

The menu for a sports theme party is simple and fun! Your guests are sure to enjoy all the casual stadium food.

Sports Graduation Games and Activities
It's easy to plan activities for a sports theme party! If the graduate's classmates show up in force, prepare for a spirited game of baseball (or Whiffleball might be safer), touch football, or a little 3-on-3 basketball tournament in the driveway. With many parties held as open houses outdoors, these kinds of games make perfect sense.

Need a little more structure? One or two of these activities will do the trick:

  • A skills tournament would be fun! Free throw shooting with basketball. Home run derby (think Whiffleball!) for baseball. Dribbling or passing accuracy for soccer. You get the idea. Or, just make sure the equipment is available and the kids will figure out their own game.
  • Set up a photo booth with a 2019 graduation photo op so your family and friends can make some graduation day memories. You can also buy the large cardboard cutouts of famous sports stars for people to pose with, or get a sports themed photo op so your guests can pose as the sports star!
  • Give your party games a twist with inflatables!  Inflatable balls, like this soccer, football, or baseball bat, will make impromptu front yard games fun for guests of all ages.  Step it up a notch with an inflatable football goal post or soccer goal, too!
  • At the end of your party, guests young and old will love breaking open a sports theme pinata!  Fill a baseball, basketball, or football pinata with everyone's favorite pinata candy filler.

Check out our long list of Outdoor Party Games for more ideas that are perfect for a sports theme party!

Sports Graduation Favors
Your grad will never forget such a fantastic party! Make sure your guests don't either by sending them home with a fun party favor:

Here's to you, sport! Congratulations on your graduation from the Party Girl!