How to Earn a Letterman Jacket

Jeff Daniels

Student-athletes in high school and college who compete on varsity level sports teams often can be seen wearing letterman jackets. These letter jackets are usually mid-weight, consist of the school’s colors, likely display the student's name on the front, the school name on the back, and sports patches on the leather sleeves to highlight each accomplishment as a varsity athlete.

Receiving a high school letterman jacket is considered an honor and it is representative of the student’s athletic achievement as a varsity team member.

Meeting the Requirements

Most high schools require that you participate on a varsity sports team in order to be considered for a varsity jacket. While different high schools offer different varsity sports, the most common varsity high school sports across the United States are:

  • Football
  • Basketball
  • Baseball
  • Soccer
  • Cross Country
  • Volleyball
  • Softball
  • Cheerleading

In most cases, varsity athletes in these sports are eligible to receive a letterman jacket, especially athletes in or approaching their senior year of their high school career.

Often, the head coach has discretion over who will receive a varsity letter jacket. You may have to end the season in good standing with your GPA, have played in a certain number of varsity games or competitions throughout the year, or participated in a certain number of extracurricular activities to earn a letterman’s jacket.