Varsity team

In most English-speaking countries, varsity is an abbreviation of the word university. In the United States and Canada, the term is mostly used in relation to sports teams.

Varsity in the United KingdomEdit

In the United Kingdom, varsity team or varsity club refers to the groups participating in varsity matches in sport or other competitions between rival universities. The term originally referred strictly to university-sponsored teams, and dates from the 1840s.[1] Varsity is a student newspaper at the University of Cambridge.

In contemporary Scots language the term varsity is often interchangeable with university [2] in contexts unrelated to sporting activity.

Varsity in North AmericaEdit

In the United States and Canada, varsity teams are the principal athletic teams representing a college, university, technical school, high school, junior high school, or middle school. Such teams compete against similar teams at corresponding educational institutions. Groups of varsity sports teams are often organized into athletic conferences, which are groups of teams that regularly play each other during a given athletic season. In recognition of their high level of performance, athletes on varsity teams are often given varsity letters. They are in contrast to the institution's club sports.

A major difference between varsity and club sports is the source for allocated funds. Varsity teams receive financial support, equipment, and facilities from college and university athletic department budgets.[3] Universities often allocate club sport budgets through student life departments similar to other clubs on campus. Because club sports cost more than other clubs, many club student-athletes must pay to play and also engage in team fundraising efforts to pay for facilities time, equipment, and other team expenses.[4] At various levels of collegiate sports, varsity student athletes are eligible for scholarships solely or partially based on athletic skills.[3][5]

Varsity can be compared with the junior varsity (JV) and freshman levels, the former which are typically for less-experienced underclassmen,[6] while the latter which are usually for ninth graders in high school, and also with intramural sports (IM sports), for which the teams are all within the same school (the word intramural means "within the walls"). JV and IM players may be able to go up to varsity level by performing well.

Varsity in the NetherlandsEdit

In the Netherlands, the Varsity is the oldest and most prestigious rowing race. It was held for the first time in 1878, and was started as a Dutch equivalent for the Boat Race between Oxford and Cambridge.[7]

Varsity in South AfricaEdit

In South Africa, New Zealand and some other Commonwealth countries, varsity simply means 'university' and is not necessarily related to sports.[8]

Varsity in BangladeshEdit

Varsity is basically the short form of university in Bangladesh and is mostly used by the students of universities. The term is more common among the students of big cities like Dhaka, Chittagong, Khulna, Sylhet etc., though the term is now being used by the other demographics of the country as well. The term is now also widely understood by many people.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Definition of 'varsity'". Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  2. ^ "Definition of 'varsity'". Retrieved 1 June 2017.
  3. ^ a b "UNB cuts teams eligible for varsity athletics funding". Canadian Broadcasting Company. March 14, 2008. Retrieved May 3, 2012.
  4. ^ Van Zytveld, Jon (Oct 26, 2011). "Club Sports Offer Athletic Opportunities". Grand Valley Lanthorn. Retrieved May 3, 2012.
  5. ^ "Illinois Athletic Development". University of Illinois. Retrieved May 3, 2012.
  6. ^ "Varsity vs. Junior Varsity". NAIA. 20 September 2013.
  7. ^ "International". KNSRB (in Dutch). Retrieved 2022-01-05.
  8. ^ "Expo highlights tech student innovators". ITWeb. 25 September 2014. Retrieved 26 September 2014.