Homecoming Courts

What purpose do high schools voting for homecoming kings and queens serve? Okay, we get it, these are the most attractive and popular people in the school. Isn’t that enough of an advantage in life without any public recognition? But no, apparently we feel the need to further reward these folks’ good genetic fortune by giving them ceremonial public accolades and a crown to boot.

Perhaps the purpose is to send a message to all the less attractive and popular folks ‘see those people with the crowns on their heads? Get used to the idea of them ruling you.’

It’s high school. Everything is self-serving and a popularity contest. Do you think it’s a coincidence that the people on the yearbook staff end up mentioned on every other page of the yearbook? In some schools the entire upperclassmen classes votes, in others the student council essentially chooses straight-up, and, shockingly, they somehow always choose from amongst themselves. It’s basically the student council’s only real function.

While you’re not wrong, I remember not giving a shit when I was in high school so it seems like a self-selecting thing. The only people giving or respecting accolades for popularity are the people who care about popularity. It’s not as though the Homecoming Court did anything besides pat themselves on the back and ride around on a parade float. And you couldn’t pay me to ride around on a parade float so better them than me.

Sometimes it is used to give the school feel-good press by electing someone with severe disabilities to show that, even though she/he was mocked and/or treated like absolute shit the the entire school year, putting a plastic crown on her/his head at an after-school function will somehow make up for it, and the local paper will write us up and take pictures!

Plus it’s a good opportunity to dump pig’s blood on the harmless Homecoming Queen. I mean, what’s SHE going to do about it?

Dearborn absolutely goes nuts over homecoming for reasons unknown to me.

sometimes it’s given away as a charity.

It always struck me as funny that as a football team, homecoming wasn’t much of a thing for us- we were typically playing or in the locker room when the majority of the homecoming stuff went down, so we didn’t get to participate in anything but the dance. It was always a bit strange to have an event centered around us that we weren’t really part of.

This was my experience as well. I remember one year a football player was elected to the court or as king and decided to skip the ceremony since we had better things to do. We had a dance that the football players got to go to and that was fun. Aside from being friends with my senior year homecoming queen I couldn’t tell you anything one else who won or think I’ve talked about it since homecoming my senior year.

Boy Howdy! Truer words never typed.

As a non-American, the whole topic has long been a mystery to me.

My school had a Head Girl (most schools had Head Boy as well, but as a girls’ school, obviously we didn’t), who was picked by the staff, whose job was basically to represent the school when they wanted a student representative to collect an award or something. I think I remember who it was, but there wasn’t much fuss about it. One assembly when it was announced, and that’s about it.

Also a selection of prefects who were supposed to help run stuff for younger students like lunch clubs, also each class of first (and second, I think?) years were assigned two prefects with the intent of giving the incoming students someone older but not adult to talk to about school or life stuff. I seem to remember there being some opportunity to volunteer as one, I didn’t, so I don’t know quite how it worked, but I know it was staff choice, not chosen by other students.

No councils, committees, ‘Queens’ (or Kings, again) or any kind of elections.

There was a school “Leaver’s Ball” which I didn’t go to 'cos my boyfriend wouldn’t be allowed to attend, only boys from our partner school could be invited. One end of year ‘speech day’ where awards were presented, plus a ceremony awarding GCSE (normal age 15-16) and A level (17-18) results (the two national exams at the time), but it was in school holidays and pretty boring. I think I went to my GCSE one, I didn’t for the A level one.

Sports teams were barely relevant, we’d get the odd mention that our ‘X’ team had won a match or tournament, but I couldn’t tell you who was on what team, unless they’d mentioned it themselves. The only one anyone cared about was the annual hockey match with the boys’ school, which we usually won because they didn’t want to tackle girls. Any other club was in school only, no competitions with other schools.

There was a year book, but it was just photos and a rather dreary summary of the year by some of the teachers, no student quotes, and it was just done by the local printers, no student involvement. I never got one, they were expensive, not popular and were viewed as a naff money making attempt by most students.

It always seemed so weird the way that films showed so much extracurricular stuff in US schools, and it all seemed so terribly important to everyone, when we just came in, went to classes and went home. I always assumed it was a huge exaggeration before I joined this board.

Around here the homecoming shit is a big deal. Its a week long ordeal. A parade, a party, a float contest. And girls, who are always the cheerleaders and most popular. Or rich enough to afford all the dresses. The whole school is involved. No lessons are learned that week. Unless you are poor, unpopular, or geeky. Then you learn it doesn’t really matter, in the big scheme of things.

That’s likely because homecoming doesn’t center on the football game, the football game is a traditional trapping of the homecoming celebration. Annual homecoming celebrations are common not just for schools, but also for towns and churches. they originated as a chance to invite and get reacquainted with former members/residents/alumni. The football team missing out on some festivities while they play is no different than those working the other activities missing the game.

I mean, I get it - many schools these days in the US center around their sport team(s) but that is a fairly recent development. Homecoming has become an extension of that.

I could imagine there was a time where the court was elected as recognition to kids who made some contribution or did something noteworthy. Maybe that’s how it started. And I think the whole purpose of homecoming is that alumni can return for a kind of reunion, so I could see if the elected court was supposed to be some kind of ambassadors to alumni. Maybe that’s how it started. Or maybe it’s always just been a self-serving popularity contest. Seems the only people who care about it are those who are electing themselves.

It’s just a venue to recognize people who are peaking too early. :slight_smile:

First of all, I have a feeling some posters are confusing Homecoming Queen with Prom Queen.

That being said…
When I started high school (fall of 1976), pretty much the first thing I did was to be handed some sort of “school handbook.” Pretty much the first thing it said in the handbook was, “The Football Team will no longer be solely responsible for choosing the Homecoming Court.” After some incident in the mid-1970s involving the kids of two of my neighbors (one on the football team, the other left off the Court), the school formed a committee and selected something like 20 “candidates” that had to write essays, and the Court was chosen from those (with the students voting for the Queen).

Homecoming has changed quite a bit at my old school since then; first, they introduced Homecoming Kings (late 1980s), then, when the school overhauled its football field and running track, it got rid of most of the parade as they couldn’t run the floats on the track and they wouldn’t fit in the gap between the track and the stands. Today, they don’t even bother having the cars with the Court in them drive by, which was saying something at a time as most of them were Mercedes or BMW convertibles (the perks of living in a school district with three or four rather wealthy neighborhoods), and the school band doesn’t show up (there were years where it showed up only for homecoming).

I am also reminded of a story I read in Reader’s Digest about a popular girl elected Homecoming Queen in her small town, only for there to be a “recount” and the result changed at the end of the football game so that the daughter of the owner of the town’s one real business (“pretty much everybody in the town worked for him at one point in their lives”) was the winner.

I went to high school in the US, and I just came in, went to classes, and went to a friend’s house or home after school. I was not involved in anything extra-curricular, and neither was my group of friends. We weren’t nerdy or anything either.

I think the stuff you see in films is an exaggeration. Sure, some people probably get into all that stuff, but not most I would say.

As an aside, one year when I was in high school, a super-nerd was elected Homecoming King. He had run for some class office, and they school let the candidates make video campaign ads that would be shown throughout the school. Everyone was so intrigued by this super-nerd who was running (he had it all, the super-thick glasses, the super-nasally nerd voice, everything), that everyone voted for him and he won. He was then elected Homecoming King as well. It was all a huge joke, but I don’t think he ever got it. I’m sure he just thought the joke was on everybody else. By the time we all graduated, he was very well-known in the school (though I wouldn’t say popular in that sense) and I have friends who have stayed in touch with him. He is now a successful academic with a lovely wife and several children.

Michigan school replaces homecoming queen title with excellence award.

My junior year our middle linebacker was elected homecoming king, so there he was at mid-field during halftime, all filthy dirty and in pads, next to some gorgeous girl in a ball gown with a tiara. I know we elected the homecoming queen; I think the girls at the adjoining girls school voted for the homecoming king since it was sort of a joint thing.

Of course, we just saw pictures after the fact; the rest of us were in the locker room having offensive and defensive adjustments explained to us.

“Homecoming” always mystified me. Nobody came home. Everybody who was interested in the football team, and there were a lot of them, were at every game, not just that one. They weren’t necessarily alumni. Being a star football player was a very big deal, but aside from the fact that people made note of it, “homecoming” was just another game, and a dance, and of course a king and queen. We also had a band queen, but no prom royalty.