Game Day Checklist: Essentials for Smooth Student Section Operations

Game day is the pinnacle of excitement for student sections across colleges and universities. It’s the time to rally behind your team, display school spirit, and create unforgettable memories. However, orchestrating a successful game day experience requires meticulous planning and organization. To help student section leaders and organizers, we’ve compiled a comprehensive game day checklist to ensure nothing is overlooked and that operations run smoothly.

1. Pre-Game Preparation

☑️ Review Game Details: Confirm the date, time, location, and opponent of the game.

☑️ Ticket Distribution: Ensure that all students have their tickets, and have a plan for distributing them if necessary.

☑️ Seating Arrangements: Coordinate with the venue to reserve and mark the student section’s seating area.

☑️ Transportation: Arrange transportation options for students attending away games or games at off-campus venues.

☑️ Promote the Game: Use social media, posters, and email to generate excitement and promote attendance.

2. Equipment and Supplies

☑️ Banners and Signs: Prepare banners, signs, and posters to display team support and school spirit.

☑️ Flags and Pennants: Bring flags or pennants to wave during the game.

☑️ Megaphones: Ensure that you have megaphones or other tools for leading cheers and chants.

☑️ Spirit Gear: Encourage students to wear school colors, jerseys, and other spirit attire.

☑️ Noise Makers: Distribute noise makers, such as clappers or thunder sticks, to enhance the atmosphere.

☑️ First Aid Kit: Have a first aid kit on hand for any minor injuries or medical issues.

3. Communication

☑️ Coordinate Chants and Cheers: Plan a list of chants, cheers, and songs to keep the energy high.

☑️ Emergency Plan: Establish an emergency communication plan and designate a point of contact.

☑️ Social Media Updates: Assign someone to manage social media accounts for live updates and engagement.

☑️ Weather Updates: Monitor weather forecasts and communicate any necessary changes to attendees.

4. Game-Day Logistics

☑️ Gate Times: Know when gates open and when students can enter the venue.

☑️ Security Check: Review security protocols and ensure all prohibited items are left behind.

☑️ Reserved Seating: Assign sections and seating arrangements for different student groups, such as clubs or organizations.

☑️ Staffing: Ensure that there are enough volunteers and staff to manage the section effectively.

☑️ Guest Performances: Coordinate any guest performances or halftime shows.

5. Tailgating and Pre-Game Activities

☑️ Tailgate Setup: If applicable, organize a tailgate party with food, music, and games before the game.

☑️ Pre-Game Rally: Plan a pre-game rally or gathering to build excitement and camaraderie.

6. During the Game

☑️ Leadership Presence: Have designated leaders or organizers throughout the section to lead cheers and maintain order.

☑️ Signs and Signals: Establish signals or signs to communicate instructions or changes in cheers.

☑️ Fan Engagement: Encourage fan engagement through cheers, chants, and waves.

☑️ Respect Opponents: Promote respectful behavior and sportsmanship toward the opposing team.

7. Post-Game Activities

☑️ Post-Game Celebrations: Plan post-game celebrations, win or lose, to show support for your team.

☑️ Cleanup: Ensure that the section is left clean and free of trash or debris.

☑️ Debrief: Hold a post-game meeting to gather feedback and insights for future games.

8. Miscellaneous

☑️ Spirit Giveaways: Consider organizing spirit giveaways or prizes for enthusiastic fans.

☑️ Lost and Found: Set up a lost and found area for any misplaced items.

☑️ Post-Game Ride: Arrange transportation options for students to return safely after night games.

☑️ Thank Your Volunteers: Acknowledge and thank volunteers and organizers for their hard work.

9. Contingency Plans

☑️ Emergency Protocols: Review emergency protocols with all staff and volunteers.

☑️ Weather Backup: Have a plan in case of inclement weather, such as rain delays or rescheduling.

☑️ Ticket Problems: Develop a plan for handling ticket issues or discrepancies.

10. Post-Game Feedback and Reflection

☑️ Feedback Collection: Gather feedback from students and attendees about their game day experience.

☑️ Review Operations: Reflect on the day’s operations and identify areas for improvement.

☑️ Documentation: Document what worked well and what didn’t to inform future game day planning.

11. Upcoming Game Promotion

☑️ Promote Future Games: Use the game day as an opportunity to promote upcoming events and games.

☑️ Ticket Sales: Encourage ticket sales for future games and events.

12. Celebrate the Spirit

☑️ Capture Moments: Assign a photographer or designate someone to capture memorable moments throughout the game.

☑️ Share Highlights: Share game day highlights, photos, and videos on social media to relive the spirit.

☑️ Fan Appreciation: Show appreciation for the dedication and enthusiasm of your student section fans.


A well-organized game day can elevate the student section experience, boost school spirit, and create lasting memories. By following this comprehensive checklist, student section leaders and organizers can ensure that nothing is overlooked, and that game day operations run smoothly. Remember that the success of the student section depends on careful planning and enthusiastic participation, so embrace the spirit and cheer your team to victory!

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