There are college-level surf teams

University Sports in the USA

What do Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning have in common? All three began their careers as professional athletes at an American university. The prerequisites for this are provided by the American university landscape, in which university sports play a prominent role.

The Basketball, football and baseball games of the selection teams of American colleges and universities real spectacle. The demand is so great that many games are televised. International students describe the atmosphere on campus before a sports event as unique. There is an exception everywhere. This is also reflected in many experience reports on studying in the USA.

However, the USA is not only for its spectacular sporting events, but also for it comprehensive range of university sports known. Anyone who enjoys doing sports is in good hands at a US college or university. But how is university sports organized in the USA? The following guide provides the most important information about college sports in the United States.

Sports teams at universities in the USA

© N.N.

The importance of university sports in the USA is illustrated by the university's own sports stadiums such as the MSU's Spartan Stadium.

The fact that it is partly at American universities several performance levels of a sport is initially confusing for international students.

In Germany sport is organized in associations and clubs, in the USA there is no comparable club system in the sporting field. University sports take the place of the clubs. At American universities are therefore Competitive and recreational sports settled.

Varsity Intercollegiate Teams

Varsity teams are the Selection teams from colleges and universities. They compete against each other in different sports - from basketball and baseball to ice hockey and fencing to rowing and water polo. The teams represent their university in national competitions. The sporting level of the games is correspondingly high. Since the teams from different universities meet here, it is also from Intercollegiate Sports the speech.

The Varsity sports is in several divisions (Divisions) organized. These are subordinate to the umbrella organizations NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) or NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics). The following divisions can be distinguished within the NCAA:

  • NCAA Division I.: Division I is considered to be that most prestigious division and receives the greatest media attention. Most of the big universities belong to it. These must offer at least seven (six) sports for men and seven (eight) for women. Compared to the other divisions, the universities in Division I have the largest budget and offer the largest contingent of sports scholarships. With the help of the scholarships, the universities specifically recruit athletes for their selection teams.
  • NCAA Division II: The universities and colleges of Division II and theirs Sports offer are normally smaller than in Division I. and the available budget is lower. The number of sports scholarships to be awarded is correspondingly smaller. Division II colleges must offer a minimum of five (four) sports for men and five (six) for women.
  • NCAA Division III: With around 450 universities and 180,000 student athletes, Division III is numerically the largest division. This is where mostly small universities and colleges compete against each other, and their range of sports must include at least five sports for men and women. For their participation in the university teams and competitions, students of Division III no sports scholarships receive.

In addition to the three divisions of the NCAA, there are the NAIA. Belong to you smaller onesFour-year colleges who have a less extensive range of sports. However, the performance of the teams is comparable to the sports teams of Division II.

Since belonging to a division does not depend on the performance of a team, general statements about the performance of individual teams are difficult. So the best teams in Division II can have a higher level of performance than the worst teams in Division I. Nevertheless, this applies Division I. on average than that Division with the highest athletic level.


Recreational sports at universities in the USA

© San José State University

When the university's own selection teams compete, there is no stopping American universities.

College sport in the USA has a strong identity-forming effect in everyday student life and contributes to the students' feeling of unity. However, not only attending sporting events has a positive effect on the community, but also participating in one Sports club or a sports group.

Anyone who would like to be physically active on campus has a wealth of options. In addition to popular sports such as basketball, football and swimming, the colleges and universities also attract visitors with unusual sports such as bouldering, sailing and horse riding. Local and international students are equally welcome here.

To be added Sports facilities such as gyms, swimming pools and climbing hallswhich are open to all students at the university and can usually be used free of charge.

Intramural Sports

What university sport is in Germany, it is in the USA Intramural Sports, only that the latter are significantly larger in size. As the term suggests, they find Intramural Sports takes place exclusively within the walls of the university. It is thus about internal university sports groupswho do not compete against teams from other universities.

The students do sports for the joy of what they do. Every now and then there are friendly matches against other teams at the university, whereby the The idea of ​​competition plays a subordinate role occupies. The Intramural Sports are ideal for students who want to try a new sport or do sport as a leisure activity.

Club Sports

Are you fit in a sport, would you like to put your skills to the test and train with other students? For this purpose there are sports clubs at American universities. Club teams are student-run and enter regional competitions against clubs from other universities at. Some clubs have large fan bases who regularly accompany the players to the competitions and cheer them on.

The athletic level the Club teams is generally higher than that of the university's internal sports groups. Therefore, the students invest more time in the training. Some of the clubs receive grants from the university, for example for travel expenses or for the purchase of new equipment. Nevertheless, with the Club Sports stands in contrast to the Varsity sports the idea of ​​leisure in the foreground.


Sports scholarships in the USA

© San Diego State University

Do sports, just for fun? The intramural sports at American universities invite you to try out new sports.

The universities Selection teams are a figurehead of American universities and therefore an important one Student marketing instrument. If the sports teams achieve success, this usually also has a positive effect on the number of registrations. In addition, universities with successful sports teams can secure their high income from television contracts and count on higher donations.

Because of this, the colleges and universities in the USA are always on the lookout for new talent for their own Varsity teams and also keep an eye out for international students. The universities take advantage of sports scholarships to attract new students. The idea behind it: A sports scholarship should pave the way for talented athletes to study at a university and the Improve the compatibility of studies and competitive sport.

Sports scholarships are available for different types of sport. An athletic scholarship covers the costs of studying in the USA for a period of up to four years on a pro-rata basis. It secures Students with excellent athletic performance the financing of studies in the USA, however, has no relation to the actual studies.

Athletes can study a course of your choice with a sports scholarship, provided that, in addition to very good athletic performance, they also have the academic and linguistic requirements of the course. In return for the scholarship, the athletes agree to represent the American university in competitions and, if possible, to contribute to the athletic success of the selection team. In the best case scenario, university sport in the USA can be the stepping stone to professional sport.