The criteria for earning a varsity letter in high school football depends on the school that issues a letter; in general a varsity distinction is issued to athletes that excel and perform in athletics at an elevated level. One requirement that a high school coaching staff can set forth is that a student play a certain number of games in a season and practice and play for its entirety.
Other requirements for a varsity letter in high school football can include a student's academic standing, participation in fundraisers and events, an improved performance in the sport and contributing to the overall success of the season as a team player.
If a player is injured during the season, it falls on the coach's discretion to include that player in consideration for a letter. Normally, if it can be determined that the individual would have participated in the number of games needed for a letter without the injury and has contributed to the team in spite of being sidetracked, a letter can be awarded.
When a letter is received, the presentation is accompanied by a certificate for an individual sport. If another letter is awarded for future achievements, a pin is usually given to add to a letter jacket.