IM sports are almost as big, if not bigger, than varsity sports at Bates. The football team has a less-than-stellar record, but Nordic skiing, squash, basketball, and club ice hockey enjoy more success. Generally, IM sports are the school’s main attraction, though they can go unnoticed by people who aren’t actually playing them. Although a high percentage of Bates students participate in some kind of athletics, sports aren’t really a focus at the school. There is a sports scene on campus, with athletes hanging out together and supporting each other at games, but it by no means dominates life on campus.
This is not to say that athletics aren’t important at Bates, but academics always take top priority. Thus, varsity sports at Bates are Division III, with the exception of Nordic skiing and squash, which are Division I. While this has led to a low profile concerning athletics at Bates, there is certainly no lack of opportunities for students to play. Between varsity, IM, and club sports, students with almost any level of interest can find something that suits them. Bates also offers a number of PE courses, such as yoga, ballroom dancing, indoor climbing, and RAD self-defense for women. Four PE credits are required to graduate, and these can be satisfied by taking PE courses or participating in other sporting options. Sorry guys, beer pong’s not included.