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Why are Most Trophies Shaped like Cups?

Trophies and awards can perfectly represent the success and achievement of a person. The most common use of custom trophies can be seen in sports events, where an individual winning a game is awarded a trophy as a symbol of his/her victory. In fact, this practice of recognition dates back to ancient times, when individuals were given trophies and plaques for their respective accomplishments. Although the design and style of trophies have evolved since those days, one tradition that most sports trophies continue to follow is the shape of the trophies and awards.

In ancient times, people used chalices or cups to drink wine or water during the ceremonies. When an individual won a sports event at that time, a chalice was given to the winner to celebrate his triumph. This later translated into the design of trophies in the 17th Century, which were made in the form of two-handled ox-eye cups. Gradually, the design was incorporated when making any trophy cup for a sports event. Ever since then, the cup shape has been a trendsetter in custom trophies, a tradition that is followed even today.

Note that a few sports trophies in ancient Greece and Rome did try to include shields to celebrate the victory of the winner. However, as most of the contestants were given olive oil as the reward instead of gold or silver in those days, it made it more practical to use a trophy cup instead of a shield to award to the winning contestant. Still, there are some areas today, where trophy shields are used to recognize the achievements in sports events.

In more modern times, major sports events such as the Stanley Cup and the World Cup followed the cup-shaped design when making their trophies for the winning team. Cups are recognized as a sign of high excellence in any area today, and even though the designs of World Cup trophies for some sports events have changed, the original shape of trophies is still valued in almost all of these fields.

There is an indirect connection to the cup shape of trophies as well. In the 1700s, Methodist churches used to organize “love feast” community gatherings, which featured a simple meal with some bread and water. During the gathering, a “loving cup” with two handles was used, so that it could be passed on from one person to the other easily. Some say that this idea was adopted in designing the trophies so that it could represent the passing on of the title from one victorious team to the other.