Grinnell, IA
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3 College Sophomore

Athletics: Students do participate in sports and intramural but it is not a big part of campus life.

4 College Sophomore

Athletics: Being a Division III school, Grinnell has a very inclusive athletic program for anyone wishing to participate, but overall the campus has struggled in the past with a divide between athletes and non-athletes. That stigma has really been improving over the years, but as a result of that past problem, the teams are very tight knit, which I really appreciate. Athletic facilities at Grinnell are amazing, very updated, and nationally recognized, for example, the Indoor track is hosting 2016 Division III nationals, which is usually hosted by larger schools. It would be nicer if the general school population were more into sports and attendance and interest was higher, but friends and professors are very supportive of my athletics, like with any other student and their respective interests.

3 College Sophomore

Athletics: The only well supported sport is basketball. The facilities are amazing but school spirit isn't that big.

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4 College Freshman

Athletics: It's D3 school and athletics are still popular so that's awesome!

3 College Freshman

Athletics: The teams are all very good. In fact, just recently the Grinnell basketball team scored 138 points in a game - a record! Cross country, ultimate frisbee, volleyball, and many other teams generally consistently place well at conferences. The only problem is that the student body is not very involved with the athletics at Grinnell.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 210th
    Best Intramural Sports
  • 1222nd
    Most Active Varsity Sports

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Akshay Bajaj
Mumbai, India
View all previous student authors

Aside from basketball, tennis, swimming, and cross country, athletics isn’t a big deal at Grinnell. Few students show up to games unless you're friends with someone on the team—given that so many Grinnellians are on a sports team, everyone has a friend on a squad. Teams try to advertise sporting events as much as possible. The fact that Grinnell is lacking in the stadium department doesn’t help. But the administration just unloaded a huge investment in a brand-new swimming center and athletics facility. The gym is state-of-the-art, and much of campus is becoming sports aficionados. However, even with the athletic policy that anyone can play anything without getting cut, most of the teams are great. They practice hard and play hard.

The big exception to the lax athletic program at Grinnell is the men’s basketball team. The coach has successfully implemented aggressive playing strategies that have led to high-scoring games and consistent victories for the Pioneers. "The system," as it is called, involves a constant full-court press, and any shot taken that isn't a three-pointer is frowned upon. Students love going to games, most commonly with a liberal dose of alcohol in their system. The atmosphere is totally insane! Suddenly, mild-mannered economics majors become a part of a belligerent, jeering crowd. Grinnell students heckle the opposing team to the point that other schools shudder at the thought of having an away game. If you decide to go to the games, here are a few words of advice: be sure to wear red. Be a Pioneer!

Facts & Statistics

Athletic Association
Athletic Division
NCAA Division III (with football)
Athletic Conferences
Football: Midwest Conference
Basketball: Midwest Conference
School Colors
Scarlet and black
School Nickname
Men Playing Varsity Sports
231 - 32%
Women Playing Varsity Sports
186 - 21%
Men's Varsity Sports
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Soccer
  • Swimming and diving
  • Tennis
  • Track and field
Women's Varsity Sports
  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Golf
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming and diving
  • Tennis
  • Track and field
  • Volleyball
Club Sports
  • Aikido
  • Archery
  • Baseball
  • Biking
  • Billiards
  • Board games
  • Chess
  • Cricket
  • Cycling
  • Dahorhir swordfighting
  • Dance
  • Darts
  • Diving
  • Equestrian
  • Fencing
  • Four square
  • Gamers
  • Pom squad
  • Rugby
  • Soccer
  • Swimming
  • Table tennis
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Water polo
  • Yoga
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Billiards
  • Croquet
  • Dodgeball
  • Flag football
  • Foosball
  • Inner tube water polo
  • Racquetball
  • Rowing (indoor)
  • Soccer
  • Table tennis
  • Tennis
  • Tetherball
  • Volleyball (sand)
Athletic Fields & Facilities
  • Baseball diamond
  • Charles Benson Bear '39 Recreation and Athletic Center
  • Darby Gymnasium
  • Fieldhouse
  • Fitness center
  • Les Duke Track
  • Natatorium
  • Rosenbloom Field
  • Softball complex
  • Springer Field
  • Tennis courts
Most Popular Sports
Men's basketball and ultimate Frisbee
Most Overlooked Teams
Men's and women's track and field
School Spirit
School spirit at Grinnell isn't a very visible phenomenon. You won't find any cheerleading or pep squads here. There are no Grinnell College parades, and the sports teams are a peripheral anomaly regarding campus life. If you ask a Grinnellian about some aspects of the College, such as dining or diversity, they're liable to give you a pretty negative response, and sometimes all that complaining can give people the wrong idea. But, if you ask a Grinnellian whether or not they like it here, almost all of them will tell you how much they adore their school. Make no mistake about it: the students who go here are Grinnellians for life, and they wouldn't have it any other way.
Getting Tickets
All sports events are free and open to everyone.
Best Place to Take a Walk
Railroad tracks, downtown, and the Grinnell Area Recreation Trail

Student Polls

How would you describe the athletic facilities?    Based on 22 responses

  • 0% The athletic facilities are relatively subpar for the demands.
  • 9% The athletic facilities are good for athletes, but only mediocre for the average students.
  • 59% Sports are important, and the quality of facilities shows that-for both athletes and non-athletes.
  • 32% The athletic facilities are some of the best in the country.

How popular are intramurals and club sports?    Based on 22 responses

  • 0% Almost no one participates in them.
  • 36% Some people participate in them, but they aren't a big part of campus life.
  • 14% They are overshadowed by varsity sports, but still a big part of campus life.
  • 50% They are just as popular as varsity sports (or even more so).

How popular are varsity sports on campus?    Based on 23 responses

  • 22% No one pays attention to varsity sports.
  • 65% Varsity sporting events are attended, but not a huge part of campus life.
  • 13% Varsity sports are a big part of campus life.
  • 0% Almost everything on campus revolves around them.


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