Hall of Fame Requirements

by Kim Kenney

By being inducted into any Hall of Fame an individual's achievements are highlighted and it places them in an elite class. While the requirements and selection process varies, every Hall of Fame includes only the highest caliber individuals who have attained excellence in their field. Usually there is a museum associated with a Hall of Fame that allows the public to learn more about each inductee. While sports Halls of Fame are popular, there are also many other organizations that honor significant contributions.

Pro Football Hall of Fame

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The Pro Football Hall of Fame inducts a new class of football players each August in Canton, Ohio. The inductees are chosen by a Board of Selectors, made up of members of the media from each city that has a pro football team, as well as representatives of the Pro Football Writers of America. A Seniors Committee ensures that older players are also considered. Four to seven players are inducted each year and must be voted upon favorably by at least 80 percent of the board members. Anyone can nominate someone by contacting the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The only requirement is that each candidate has to have been retired for at least five seasons prior to nomination.

National Baseball Hall of Fame

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Candidates for the National Baseball Hall of Fame are chosen by the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BWAA). Only those who have been active members in the BWAA for at least ten years are eligible to vote. Each Hall of Fame candidate must have been retired for at least five seasons and have played at least ten seasons in major league baseball. Inductees are selected by careful examination of their qualifications, including their playing record, character and integrity. Each inductee must receive 75 percent of the vote to be a successful candidate. A separate Veteran’s Committee selects candidates who retired at least 21 years ago. The induction takes place in July in Cooperstown, New York.

Basketball Hall of Fame

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Anyone can nominate a player to the Basketball Hall of Fame by submitting a nomination packet by October 31 each year. Four Screening Committees review the nominations in the following categories: veterans (retired at least 35 years), women, international and North American. Those who pass the through the Screening Committee are examined in detail by the Honors Committee in each category, which is made up of past Hall of Fame enshrines, media and basketball executives. Players must be retired for at least five years in order to be considered. Coaches and referees can be considered after five years of retirement or in their 26th active season. Successful candidates must receive at least 18 votes from the Honors Committee. The induction ceremony is held in September in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

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Not all major Hall of Fames involve sports. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland inducts a class of significant contributors to rock and roll every April. Candidates are chosen by the 600 members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation. A candidate can only be considered 25 years after the individual or group’s first album was released. Further details of the selection process have not been made public. The induction ceremony takes place in Cleveland or New York City.

National Women’s Hall of Fame

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The National Women’s Hall of Fame honors women who have contributed to society in the arts, humanities, science, business, education, government, athletics or philanthropy. Candidates must be a citizen of the United States, and their contributions should be nationally or internationally significant and “of enduring value,” according to the organization’s website. A new panel of judges reviews nominations every year. Anyone can submit an online nomination to the National Women’s Hall of Fame. All nomination materials are added to the women’s history archives. The inductions are announced in March (Women’s History Month) and the ceremony takes place in October in Seneca Falls, New York, the location of the first ever Women’s Rights Convention in 1848.

About the Author

I have been a professional historian, museum curator, and author for more than a decade. I have served as the Museums Editor at BellaOnline since 2004. I am qualified to serve as an expert in a variety of historical topics. My expertise includes the Victorian Age and McKinley's presidency, the Roaring Twenties, the 1950s, the flu, museum studies, material culture, architecture, and more. I have a BA in history and an MA in history museum studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program. Please see my bio on my employer's website for more: http://www.mckinleymuseum.org/speakers_bureau/speaker/2

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