College sports

(Redirected from College athletics)

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

Yale rowing team in the annual Harvard–Yale Regatta, 2007

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

Women's volleyball team of a U.S. university.

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 American football and 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 US, 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).

Latin America




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.


Japan began to engage in sports when Western-style sports were introduced to Japan from Europe and the United States as a byproduct of the Westernization policy developed by the Meiji Restoration after three centuries of national isolation. This was accomplished by so-called "hired foreigners" invited by the new government and Japanese people returning to the West. There were various types of channels through which Western-style sports were introduced to Japan, but it was the schools that played a particularly important role in the frequent and sustained establishment of Western-style sports in Japan. After the student promulgation of 1873, modern sports first began to penetrate various schools, especially higher educational institutions such as universities, higher normal schools, and old high schools. Among the Westernization that was taking place in almost all areas of culture, including economics, politics, industrial technology, thought, literature, music, food, clothing, and architecture, the field of education in particular saw a remarkable development of Western-style sports. This was the groundwork for the emergence of Japan's unique modern sense of sports. The need to give meaning to the practice of sports in the field of education. In the latter half of the 19th century, the children of gentlemen, who formed the ruling class of British society, and the children of the emerging middle class bourgeoisie, who had unlimited admiration for them, attended public schools, and the children of the bourgeoisie from the universities of Oxford and Cambridge attended the public schools. In the latter half of the 19th century, the elevation of sports was being planned by "tough Christians" activists who were graduates of public schools and Oxford and Cambridge universities, which were attended by the children of gentlemen who were the dominant class of British society and the children of the emerging middle class bourgeoisie who admired them. This view of sports provided the conditions for the Japanese of the time to develop sports in the schoolhouse.[12][13][14][15]

After returning from the U.S., Hiroshi Hiraoka (平岡凞), a railroad engineer, founded Japan's first baseball team, the Shinbashi Club.Rugby was the first sporting event in Japan, with the founding of the Keio University rugby club in 1899. Soccer was played in 1904 with the founding of the soccer club at Tokyo Higher Normal School (University of Tsukuba). American football dates from 1934 with the founding of the American football club at Rikkyo University.[13][14]

Among the sports introduced from abroad, baseball became especially popular during this period. 1894 saw the appearance of the word "yakyū(野球)" as a translation of the word "base ball". Ichiko lost to Waseda University and Keio University in 1904, ushering in the era of both universities. (This later developed into the Waseda-Keio_rivalry), and baseball's popularity spilled over into the competitions between technical colleges and junior high schools (Utsunomiya vs. Mito, 5th High vs. Yamaguchi, 1st High vs. 3nd High, etc.). At a time when the mainstream entertainment for citizens was "watching," such as cherry blossom viewing, visiting temples and shrines, and sumo wrestling viewing, it was exciting for citizens to see university students taking part in American-born baseball games. People even gathered to watch the students practicing on the baseball field. The stadium was filled to overflowing with people who gathered to watch the games. Major newspapers such as Asahi Shimbun and Mainichi Shimbun wrote extensively about the success of the games, and college baseball became a kind of social phenomenon.[13][14]

University sports was established in Japan by the 1930s.[9]

Even after World War II, university sports have established a glorious history and tradition, such as the revival of Waseda-Keio_rivalry (ja:硬式野球) at Jingu Stadium in the fall of 1945 and the popularity of Shigeo Nagashima, who supported the golden age of Rikkyo University in the 1960s. From these developments, the athletic club (Undō-bu,ja:運動部) was formed as part of the extracurricular club activities (club-katsudō,ja:クラブ活動) at schools in Japan, which have various academies (bu), and sports activities.At each university, an organization called Taiikukai_Undō-bu(ja:体育会運動部) was formed, and the term taiikukai-kei (ja:体育会系) was even coined.[13][14]

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.[16] Many of these new sports became popularized after being played by university teams (e.g. lacrosse).

In 2019, the Japan Association for University Athletics and Sport (UNIVAS), a general incorporated association, was established to strengthen university sports in Japan. See List of University Sports Competitions and Organizations in Japan(ja) for more information on each athletic organization.[14][15]

In fact, the Kōshien_baseball_tournament, a high school baseball tournament (played in spring and summer), and the All_Japan_High_School_Soccer_Tournament, a men's soccer championship, Spring High School Volleyball (ja), basketball, Hanazono (National_High_School_Rugby_Tournament) for rugby, Ekiden's Miyakoōji (All-Japan_High_School_Ekiden_Championship) in Ekiden (played in winter), are held by high school teams in Japan, These are all the more exciting because they are featured on live TV broadcasts and news programs. However, Few tournaments are nationally televised for student athletes in college sports, such as the All Japan University Rugby Championship. The Tokyo Big6 Baseball League is in Tokyo, and The Koshien Bowl, which is supposed to be the national American football championship, is only exciting in the Kansai region, so it cannot be said to be a nationwide event. The Hakone Ekiden, which is said to increase the number of applicants and the income from examination fees as a result of winning and performing well in the event, is actually a Kanto region event. For more information on soccer, see College soccer#Japan.[13][14]

In addition to the general entrance examination, Japanese universities also offer Sports Recommendation Admission (ja:スポーツ推薦). This system is used to admit students who have achieved a certain level of athletic success in order to strengthen and maintain the strength of university sports teams. Many universities do this. However, the admission criteria, i.e., the number of students admitted, the degree of athletic achievement, and the way in which the academic performance of the applicant is taken into account, vary from university to university.[14]

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


The Federation of School Sports Association of the Philippines (FESSAP) is the governing body recognized by the International University Sports Federation (FISU) in the Philippines. Notably, the two largest athletic associations in Metro Manila, the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (Philippines) are not members, but the largest athletic association in Metro Cebu, Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc., is, as well as most other athletic associations in the provinces.

The UAAP tried to wrest recognition away from FESSAP's recognition by FISU in 2013 but was denied.[17]


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.[18]



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.[19][clarification needed]

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 and Oxford Universities in the nineteenth century has also been documented.[20]

In the 1990s, ultimate frisbee became a popular sport on university campuses, leading to the establishment of a national sport federation.[16]

Universities in Wales support national development of athletics. The Wales National Pool at Swansea University provides for a high level development of swimming.[21]

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.[22] The headquarters of the federation is located in Yerevan. The Federation maintains numerous cooperation agreements with universities across Armenia.[23][24]

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.[25] 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.[26]

The ARMSSF organizes the annual "Student Sports Games of the Republic of Armenia".[27] In November 2014, over 3500 students from 21 Armenian universities participated. The games are sponsored by the Ministry of Education and Science.[28][26]

See also



  1. ^ a b "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. ^ a b "U SPORTS". U SPORTS. Retrieved 2020-02-26.
  5. ^ Standish, Peter; Steven M. Bell (2004). Culture and Customs of Mexico. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 64–. ISBN 978-0-313-30412-5. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
  6. ^ Ana Paula a. De Haro; Silvia Dolores Zárate Guzmán; Alex M. Saragoza (31 March 2012). Mexico Today: An Encyclopedia of Life in the Republic. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-0-313-34948-5. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
  7. ^ "UniSport Nationals | JCU Student Association". UniSport Nationals | JCU Student Association. Retrieved 2021-11-12.
  8. ^ a b c Sherington, Geoffrey; Georgakis, Steve (1 June 2008). Sydney University Sport 1852-2007: More Than a Club. Sydney University Press. ISBN 978-1-920898-91-5. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
  9. ^ a b c John Shujie Chen (2004). The Rise and Fall of Fu Ren University, Beijing: Catholic Higher Education in China. Psychology Press. pp. 139–. ISBN 978-0-415-94816-6. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
  10. ^ a b J. A. Mangan; Lamartine Pereira Da Costa (2002). Sport in Latin American Society: Past and Present. Psychology Press. ISBN 978-0-7146-5126-2. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
  11. ^ 关晓萌. "College sports on the rise in China". Retrieved 2021-11-11.
  12. ^ 設立背景:スポーツ庁 文部科学省
  13. ^ a b c d e 日英の大学スポーツの歴史と現状 半田裕 著 · 2022
  14. ^ a b c d e f g 大学スポーツに関する研究 森正明 著
  15. ^ a b 日本の大学スポーツ改革・日本版 NCAA 創設 
  16. ^ a b Pasquale Anthony Leonardo and Adam Zagoria; Ultimate History (1 August 2005). Ultimate: The First Four Decades. Joe Seidler. ISBN 978-0-9764496-0-7. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
  17. ^ "Universiade, FISU recognize FESSAP". Retrieved 2023-10-14.
  18. ^ South African Institute of Race Relations (1972). A Survey of Race Relations in South Africa. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-86982-010-0. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
  19. ^ "2011 championship results". BUSC. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  20. ^ Andrew Warwick (2003) Masters of Theory: Cambridge and the Rise of Mathematical Physics, page 213, University of Chicago Press ISBN 0-226-87374-9
  21. ^ Hill, Michael (20 July 2007). In Pursuit of Excellence: A Student Guide to Elite Sports Development. Taylor & Francis. pp. 83–. ISBN 978-0-415-34934-5. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
  22. ^ "Հաշվետվություն «Ուսանողական մարզական ֆեդերացիա» ՀԿ-ի 2017թ.-ի գործունեության մասին - Հայտարարություններ - Հայաստանի Հանրապետության ինտերնետով ծանուցման պաշտոնական կայք".
  23. ^ "Համագործակցության հուշագիր՝ ԲՊՀ-ի և ՀՀ «Ուսանողական մարզական ֆեդերացիա»-ի միջև".
  24. ^ "Համագործակցության հուշագիր ՎՊՀ և ՀՀ Ուսանողական մարզական ֆեդերացիա ՀԿ-ի միջև - Վանաձորի պետական համալսարան".
  25. ^ "Ուսանող-մարզիկները կմասնակցեն համաեվրոպական ուսանողական 2-րդմարզական խաղերին".
  26. ^ a b "Ավարտվեցին Հայաստանի ուսանողական մարզական 15-րդ խաղերը (ֆոտո) | Armlur – Լուրեր Հայաստանից".
  27. ^ "Ուսանողական մարզական խաղեր. կայացել է աթլետիկական հնգամարտի մրցաշարը". Հայկական կրթական միջավայր.
  28. ^ ԿԳՄՍՆ, ՀՀ. "Շարունակվում են հանրապետական ուսանողական 22-րդ մարզական խաղերը". ՀՀ ԿԳՄՍՆ.