After a few days on the Hampshire campus, it should be no surprise that athletics are not a top priority. Hampshire offers no sports scholarships and pointedly remains out of organizations like the NCAA. The school does attract active athletes and avid outdoorsy folks, but few, if any, are drawn to the school for athletic offerings. Some are, however, impressed by the non-competitive nature of Hampshire athletics. Sports people are spirited but typically not brutal in competition, and all teams are “open,” meaning there are no cuts. As a result, athletic groups include newcomers and veterans, and in active years, teams will play against other schools.
The Outdoors Program and Recreation Athletcs (OPRA) draws a significant portion of the athletically inclined, offering trips throughout the semester involving biking, hiking, climbing, and kayaking, among other activities, and even longer treks out of state—or even country—during the breaks. The Martial Arts Program includes Shotokan karate, tai chi, aikido, and yoga. Overall, the feel on campus regarding athletics is laid-back and friendly, whether you’re on the field or in the gym, though there are definitely some gym or field rats that practice intensely on their own. Crowds at games can get loud, but they mostly consist of team members’ friends. Aside from team members, school spirit is not rampant by any means, but the athletic programs are there for the people who want them.