College athletics

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Yale rowing team in the annual Harvard-Yale Regatta, 2007 Yale Varsity.jpg
Yale rowing team in the annual Harvard–Yale Regatta, 2007

College athletics encompasses non-professional, collegiate and university-level competitive sports and games.


World University Games

The first World University Games were held in 1923. There were originally called the Union Nationale des Étudiants Français. [1] In 1957, following several previous renames, they became known in English as the World University Games. [1]

Continents and countries

North America

United States

The 2005 Army-Navy Game football match US Navy 051203-N-2383B-223 U.S. Naval Academy Midshipman fullback Adam Ballard (22) rushes for one of two touchdowns while being persued by Army defenders Cason Shrode (54) and Taylor Justice (42).jpg
The 2005 Army–Navy Game football match

College athletics is a major enterprise in the United States, with more than 500,000 student athletes attending over 1,100 universities and colleges competing annually. The largest programs are:

Among many other sports, the most-watched competitions are college football and college basketball, though there are competitions in many other sports, including badminton, baseball, softball, ice hockey, soccer, rugby union, volleyball, lacrosse, field hockey, cricket, handball, swimming and diving, track and field, golf, tennis, table tennis, pickleball, rowing, and many others depending on the university.[ citation needed ] In the United States, college athletes are considered amateurs and their compensation is generally limited to athletic scholarships. However, there is disagreement as to whether college student-athletes should be paid. [2] College athletics have been criticized for diverting resources away from academic studies, while unpaid student athletes generate income for their universities and private entities. [3] Due to the passage of Title IX in the United States, universities must offer an equal number of scholarships for women and for men.


Canada has over 14,000 student athletes within 56 universities under U Sports. [4] U Sports is the national sport governing body of university sport in Canada. There are 12 different sports annually that compete at 21 national championships throughout the year. [4] Similarly to the USA, compensation is limited to athletic scholarships. There are athletic scholarships that are awarded to student athletes based on academic eligibility and athletic ability.  There is a minimum academic requirement for student athletes to achieve the scholarship. There is an amount cap on scholarships which varies between sports. Athletic scholarships are not only determined by the league caps but it varies on the institution, team, and coaches standard. Each student athlete that competes under U Sports has five years of eligibility and must complete 3.0 credits every year prior to competing. There are other sports that compete at the university level but do not fall under the U Sports.  These sports may be legislated by the conferences including - Canada West (CanWest), Ontario University Athletics (OUA), Quebec Student Sport Federation (RSEQ), and Atlantic University Sport (AUS). Colleges in Canada compete under the Canadian College Athletic Association (CCAA).

Some Mexican universities are affiliated with professional association football teams. One such team is the Universidad Autonoma Pumas. [5] [6]



UniSport Nationals is an annual multi-sport event held in Australia among its 43 member universities and tertiary institutions. Over 7000 university students participate in the event each year. [7] Compared to the NCAA in the US and USports in Canada however, UniSport Nationals is less competitive and comparable to intramural-level of competition.

Historically, university sports has received little academic attention in Australia. [8] In 1863, rugby union was first played in Australia at the University of Sydney when several clubs affiliated with the university were established. [8] One of Australia's earliest cricket teams was founded at the University of Sydney in 1854. This university affiliated team is one of the only teams from that period that still exists. [8]

New Zealand

New Zealand universities's sports teams normally compete in local sports leagues against non-university teams. There is an annual national event which covers a large number of sports and competitive cultural activities (such as debating). The event is typically held over Easter, rotating around university centers.[ citation needed ]


East Asia


University sport was established in China by the 1930s. One of these programs was at the Catholic University of Peking. In 1936, members of the team traveled to Japan as members of a team to participate in a basketball and association football competition. [9] During the early stages of World War II in the region, most universities suspended their sports programs. The exceptions were Fu Ren University and Yanjing University which kept these programmes open until 1942 before shutting them down. [9]

Chinese universities organised boat races before the cultural revolution. These races were modeled after the boat races in England. [10]

The Chinese Basketball University Association (CUBA) is currently China's most popular and competitive collegiate basketball league. [11] In 2018, AliSports acquired the rights to broadcast the league for $150 million. Other university sports associations such as the Chinese Football University Association and the Chinese Marathon University Association are being broadcast by AliSports.


University sports was established in Japan by the 1930s. [9] By 1977, ultimate Frisbee had been established as a university sport. National championships were held that year with Aichi Gakuin University winning the inaugural event. [12]

South Korea

Collegiate sports are organized by the Korea University Sports Federation (KUSF) and students must be enrolled at a member institution in order to participate. It runs the U-League in six sports (baseball, basketball, football, soft tennis and volleyball) and the Club Championship in four team sports (baseball, basketball, football and volleyball). The U-League is mirrored after the domestic professional leagues and a large number of student-athletes eventually turn professional. The Club Championship is contested by college teams operated as intramural clubs.

Southeast Asia


South Asia



South Africa

Varsity Sports (South Africa) is an organization of university sports leagues in South Africa. The organization currently sponsors seven events: athletics, beach volleyball, association football, field hockey, netball, and rugby sevens.

During the 1970s, the National Union of South African Students worked to create a university sports program where race was not considered in team and competition arrangements. The organisation faced some governmental hurdles. At the time, inter-racial sports was only allowed to be played on private grounds, which meant games and competitions could not be played on public university grounds. They had models from the University of Witwatersrand and the University of Cape Town which had already held such events. [13]


Western Europe

United Kingdom

British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) is the governing body for university and college sports in the UK. It runs leagues in 16 sports and an annual championship meeting, which in 2011 covered 19 sports. BUCS organization is very different from the USA's NCAA in the sense that BUCS is not competitive to compete in like the NCAA. [14]

BUCS Super Rugby is the top competition for university-level rugby in the United Kingdom. Currently, there are 10 universities that compete in BUCS Super Rugby.

There were undergraduate boat races in Victorian England, [10] and The Boat Race between Oxford and Cambridge is still an annual event. The assimilation of sports into academic life at Cambridge University in the nineteenth century has also been documented. [15]

In the 1990s, ultimate frisbee became a popular sport on university campuses, leading to the establishment of a national sport federation. [12]

Universities in Wales support national development of athletics. The Wales National Pool at Swansea University provides for a high level development of swimming. [16]

Eastern Europe


The Armenian Student Sports Federation (ARMSSF) is a national non-governmental organization responsible for advocating, supporting and promoting the interests of students' sports and physical activities in Armenia. [17] The headquarters of the federation is located in Yerevan. The Federation maintains numerous cooperation agreements with universities across Armenia. [18] [19]

The Federation is responsible for sending student athletes to participate in various international and European level university sporting championships, including the World University Summer & Winter Games, the FISU World University Championships, and the Pan-European Student Games. [20] The ARMSSF also organizes national events, competitions, and activities for students across Armenia and often collaborates with other sporting federations such as the Armenian Table Tennis Federation, the Armwrestling Federation of Armenia, the Armenian National Rowing and Canoe Federation, and the Figure Skating Federation of Armenia, among others. [21]

The ARMSSF organizes the annual "Student Sports Games of the Republic of Armenia". [22] In November 2014, over 3500 students from 21 Armenian universities participated. The games are sponsored by the Ministry of Education and Science. [23] [21]

See also

Related Research Articles

Cheerleading Athletic sport based on cheering for a team

Cheerleading is an activity in which the participants cheer for their team as a form of encouragement. It can range from chanting slogans to intense physical activity. It can be performed to motivate sports teams, to entertain the audience, or for competition. Cheerleading routines typically range anywhere from one to three minutes, and contain components of tumbling, dance, jumps, cheers, and stunting.

National Collegiate Athletic Association American collegiate athletic organization

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is a nonprofit organization that regulates student athletics among about 1,100 American, Canadian, and Puerto Rican schools. It also organizes the athletic programs of colleges and universities in the United States and Canada and helps over 500,000 college student athletes who compete annually in college sports. The organization is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Amateur sports Sport played by non professionals

Amateur sports are sports in which participants engage largely or entirely without remuneration. The distinction is made between amateur sporting participants and professional sporting participants, who are paid for the time they spend competing and training. In the majority of sports which feature professional players, the professionals will participate at a higher standard of play than amateur competitors, as they can train full-time without the stress of having another job. The majority of worldwide sporting participants are amateurs.

British Universities and Colleges Sport

British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) is the governing body for higher education sport in the United Kingdom. BUCS was formed in June 2008 following a merger of British Universities Sports Association (BUSA) and University College Sport (UCS) organisations. BUCS is responsible for organising more than 52 inter-university sports within the UK and representative teams for the World University Championships and the World University Games.

College athletics in the United States Component of American higher education

College athletics in the United States or college sports in the United States refers primarily to sports and athletic competition organized and funded by institutions of tertiary education.

An athletic scholarship is a form of scholarship to attend a college or university or a private high school awarded to an individual based predominantly on his or her ability to play in a sport. Athletic scholarships are common in the United States, but in a majority of countries they are rare or non-existent.

Sports in the Philippines Overview of sports tradition in the Philippines

Sports in the Philippines is an important part of the country's culture. There are six major sports in the Philippines: basketball, boxing, tennis, football, billiards, and volleyball. Despite being a tropical nation, ice skating has recently become a popular sport in the Philippines. Sports such as athletics, weightlifting, aerobics, and martial arts are also popular recreations.

Sports club Organization for the purpose of playing one or more sports

A sports club or sporting club, sometimes an athletics club or sports society or sports association, is a group of people formed for the purpose of playing sports.

Team Durham

Team Durham is a student-run organisation responsible for sport at Durham University. In contrast to most British universities it is a separate organisation with the status of a students' union, rather than a part of Durham Students' Union, the primary student representative body at Durham University.

A wide array of sports are played in Armenia. Popular sports in Armenia include football, basketball, volleyball, and ice hockey. Further, the country sends athletes to the Olympics in boxing, wrestling, weightlifting, judo, gymnastics, track and field, diving, swimming, and shooting. Armenia's mountainous terrain provides great opportunities for the practice of sports like skiing and rock climbing. Being a landlocked country, water sports can only be practiced on lakes, notably Lake Sevan. Competitively, Armenia has been very successful at chess, weightlifting, and wrestling at the international level. Armenia is also an active member of the international sports community, with full membership in the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), Federation of International Bandy (FIB), International School Sport Federation, International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), among others. It also hosts the Pan-Armenian Games.

Sydney Uni Sport and Fitness

Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness (SUSF) is the University of Sydney's sporting body. SUSF currently manages and administers more than 40 sport and recreation clubs, also organising sporting and recreation events, and offering student and non-student members a comprehensive range of sporting facilities. SUSF also provides sport scholarships and other support to student-athletes.

Aberdeen University Sports Union (AUSU) is the sports union at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. It is a constituent part of Aberdeen University Students' Association. It is not responsible for facilities and rents time for its clubs from Aberdeen Sports Village.

College club sports in the United States Non-varsity college sports in the United States not regulated by the NCAA or NAIA

College club sports in the United States are any sports offered at a university or college in the United States that compete competitively with other universities, or colleges, but are not regulated by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) or National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), and do not have varsity status. Collegiate club sports can exist at schools that do have teams that are part of the NCAA or NAIA. Many times, club sports are student-run and receive little financial aid from the school. An estimated 2 million student athletes compete in club sports.

Team UWS is the sports union of the University of the West of Scotland in Scotland, UK, and competes in Scottish Student Sport and the Scottish Conference of BUCS. The American football team plays in the Scottish/Northern 2A league.

The British Student Taekwondo Federation (BSTF) is a national student sport federation and registered charity.

Karate Federation of Armenia Sporting Organization

The Karate Federation of Armenia, also known as the Armenian National Karate Federation, is the regulating body of karate in Armenia, governed by the Armenian Olympic Committee. The headquarters of the federation is located in Yerevan.

Armenian Handball Federation Sporting Organization

The Armenian Handball Federation, is the regulating body of handball and beach handball in Armenia, governed by the Armenian Olympic Committee. The headquarters of the federation is located in Yerevan.

Armenian Powerlifting Federation Sports organization of Armenia

The Armenian Powerlifting Federation is the regulating body of powerlifting in Armenia, governed by the Armenian Olympic Committee. The headquarters of the federation is located in Yerevan.

Armenian National Disabled Sports Federation Sports organization of Armenia

The Armenian National Disabled Sports Federation, is the organizing body of sports in Armenia for athletes with physical disabilities or intellectual impairments, governed by the Armenian Paralympic Committee. The headquarters of the federation is located in Yerevan.

Armenian Student Sports Federation Sporting Organization

The Armenian Student Sports Federation (ARMSSF) is a national non-governmental organization responsible for advocating, supporting and promoting the interests of students' sports and physical activities in Armenia. The headquarters of the federation is located in Yerevan. The Federation maintains numerous cooperation agreements with universities across Armenia.


  1. 1 2 "World Student Games (Pre-Universiade)". Retrieved 2012-04-18.
  2. Lemmons, Malcolm (2017-03-29). "College Athletes Getting Paid? Here Are Some Pros And Cons". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2018-02-04.
  3. Branch, Tylor (October 2011). "The Shame of College Sports". The Atlantic . Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  4. 1 2 "U SPORTS". U SPORTS. Retrieved 2020-02-26.
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  17. "Հաշվետվություն «Ուսանողական մարզական ֆեդերացիա» ՀԿ-ի 2017թ.-ի գործունեության մասին - Հայտարարություններ - Հայաստանի Հանրապետության ինտերնետով ծանուցման պաշտոնական կայք".
  18. "Համագործակցության հուշագիր՝ ԲՊՀ-ի և ՀՀ «Ուսանողական մարզական ֆեդերացիա»-ի միջև".
  19. "Համագործակցության հուշագիր ՎՊՀ և ՀՀ Ուսանողական մարզական ֆեդերացիա ՀԿ-ի միջև - Վանաձորի պետական համալսարան".
  20. "Ուսանող-մարզիկները կմասնակցեն համաեվրոպական ուսանողական 2-րդմարզական խաղերին".
  21. 1 2 "Ավարտվեցին Հայաստանի ուսանողական մարզական 15-րդ խաղերը (ֆոտո) | Armlur – Լուրեր Հայաստանից".
  22. "Ուսանողական մարզական խաղեր. կայացել է աթլետիկական հնգամարտի մրցաշարը". Հայկական կրթական միջավայր.
  23. ԿԳՄՍՆ, ՀՀ. "Շարունակվում են հանրապետական ուսանողական 22-րդ մարզական խաղերը". ՀՀ ԿԳՄՍՆ.