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4 College Sophomore

Athletics: Being a small school, many students are athletes. Everyone has access to the same facilities though, and there is a strong intramural and club sports scene for people not on varsity teams.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Athletics: Not a huge fan of the athletics at Bowdoin. That being said, I'm friends with a lot of athletes and I do enjoy their company.

5 College Freshman

Athletics: Bowdoin is a very athletic campus. A lot of people play sports and the facilities are amazing.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Athletics: There are some teams, such as the field hockey, women's rugby, and tennis teams, that are stand outs among the varsity teams.

4 College Freshman

Athletics: The gym is amazing. I use it all the time. Classes are now free starting 2015. There's tabata, zumba, etc. You can always get a work out.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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Bowdoin athletics have a huge presence on campus in regards to the level of participation. With more than 30 varsity teams, a handful of club teams, and three levels of intramurals, there are plenty of ways to get involved. Additionally, there are about two dozen fitness and sports classes offered here. The sports teams are supplied with great facilities that feature indoor and outdoor tracks, fields for a number of different sports, weight-training equipment, aerobic exercise machines, and offices for coaches. The athletes are supported by high-quality coaches, a team of athletic trainers, and, of course, funding from the College. Students must be dedicated to their team and training if they choose to participate in a sport at Bowdoin, but the level of commitment is not as great as at NCAA Division I schools. Bowdoin athletes are able to maintain some balance of life, since they are regarded as students first and athletes second (at least in the eyes of the administration, though some coaches ask for more commitment), and no one comes to Bowdoin on an athletic scholarship.

When it comes to fulfilling the spectator role, Bowdoin students are not quite as gung-ho. Perhaps their love for being active and participating in sports themselves prevents them from sitting down to watch others’ games or competitions. However, certain occasions that bring together the most popular sports, such as hockey, lacrosse, or football, with the most popular opponents, most likely Colby or Bates, can unite the student body in cheering, jeering, and all-around rambunctiousness. The Bowdoin men's hockey game versus Colby usually draws the biggest crowd of the year and provides a wall-slamming spectacle for sports fans and book nerds alike. Normally, though, students are more interested in playing their own sports than in watching others. Overall, athletics at Bowdoin are great for students who are looking to stay active, improve their personal athletic ability, and have a team with which they have close ties. Participation in a sport requires committing a large chunk of time to training, but playing at Bowdoin can be a perfect arrangement for those looking to be a student-athlete.

Facts & Statistics

Athletic Association
  • NAA
  • NCAA
Athletic Division
NCAA Division III (with football)
Athletic Conferences
Football: New England Small College Ath Conf
Basketball: New England Small College Ath Conf
School Colors
Black and white
School Nickname
Polar bears
Men Playing Varsity Sports
350 - 40%
Women Playing Varsity Sports
271 - 31%
Men's Varsity Sports
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Ice hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Sailing
  • Skiing
  • Soccer
  • Squash
  • Swimming and diving
  • Tennis
  • Track and field
Women's Varsity Sports
  • Basketball
  • Field hockey
  • Golf
  • Ice hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Other sports
  • Sailing
  • Skiing
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Squash
  • Swimming and diving
  • Tennis
  • Track and field
  • Volleyball
Club Sports
  • Rowing
  • Rugby (men's)
  • Volleyball (men's)
  • Water polo
  • Basketball
  • Dodgeball
  • Ice hockey
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Squash
  • Tennis
Athletic Fields & Facilities
  • Bethel Point Sailing Center
  • Bowdoin Rowing Center
  • Brunswick Golf Course
  • Howard F. Ryan Field
  • Leroy Greason Pool
  • Lubin Family Squash Center
  • Magee-Samuelson Track
  • Morrell Gymnasium
  • Peter Buck Center for Health & Fitness
  • Pickard Fields
  • Pineland Center
  • Sidney J. Watson Arena
  • Whittier Field
  • William Farley Field House
Most Popular Sports
Basketball, field hockey, lacrosse, men's ice hockey, and soccer draw the biggest crowds. Participating in sports is also quite popular-more than half of the student body participates in a varsity sport, and intramural and club sports are also popular.
Most Overlooked Teams
Despite being a Division I sport at a D-III school, the nordic ski team is overlooked, as are the cheerleading, crew, cross country, rugby, sailing, and women's ice hockey teams.
School Spirit
When it comes to talking with prospective students, school spirit is intense. Students love sharing their experiences with "pre-froshes." Students who attend Bowdoin believe in the school, its mission, its reputation, the faculty, the president, the architecture, the town, and the Polar Bear. Most students who attend Bowdoin want to be here and did not come here because it was their safety school. Students are proud of the work they do, the majors they choose, the sports they play, the social houses they live in, the activities they put on their résumés, and the stories they share with interviewers at graduate schools and companies. Whether they are majoring in biology, chemistry, government, history, neuroscience, psychology, sociology, or visual arts, Bowdoin students are proud of the work and time they spent in their classes and are proud to say they earned a degree here. Bowdoin gym pants, hats, rings, sandals, sweatshirts, and T-shirts are commonly worn around campus-the students want people to know they attend this fine school in Brunswick. Students also find pride in educating alumni about what Bowdoin is like now and learning the differences between the school then and now.

Athletic school spirit at Bowdoin is strong at games against rivals, such as the Bowdoin-Colby men's ice hockey game. However, when Bowdoin is just playing a regulation game against a non-league team, students appear apathetic and uninterested. Bowdoin Student Government tries to pique interest by holding barbecues at games and planning bus service to away games.
Getting Tickets
Bowdoin students do not need to purchase tickets. By showing your student ID, you can get into any game that requires an entrance fee. The fee to the public is pretty reasonable. With the exception of games against major rivals like Middlebury and Colby, it should not be too hard to get tickets.
Best Place to Take a Walk
The Pines, the quad, and the Town Commons are all good places.
Did You Know?
  • You can follow Bowdoin sports on Twitter at
  • Polar Bear Sports Hotline has all the most recent scores and upcoming schedules: (207) 725-3061.

Student Polls

How popular are varsity sports on campus?    Based on 48 responses

  • 8% Almost everything on campus revolves around them.
  • 25% Varsity sports are a big part of campus life.
  • 65% Varsity sporting events are attended, but not a huge part of campus life.
  • 2% No one pays attention to varsity sports.

How popular are intramurals and club sports?    Based on 48 responses

  • 21% They are just as popular as varsity sports (or even more so).
  • 62% They are overshadowed by varsity sports, but still a big part of campus life.
  • 17% Some people participate in them, but they aren't a big part of campus life.
  • 0% Almost no one participates in them.

How would you describe the athletic facilities?    Based on 47 responses

  • 28% The athletic facilities are some of the best in the country.
  • 70% Sports are important, and the quality of facilities shows that-for both athletes and non-athletes.
  • 2% The athletic facilities are good for athletes, but only mediocre for the average students.
  • 0% The athletic facilities are relatively subpar for the demands.


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