Contrary to popular belief, Caltech does have an athletics department. Though Caltech may not have a football team, there are numerous school sports for men and women, intercollegiate and intramural. The difference here is that sports are rarely a high priority. This can be advantageous because those who are on the sports teams play for fun, and there is not much pressure to win. The school allots two hours a day when no classes are scheduled, so students who play sports do not have to choose between classes or sports. Also, it is very easy to get on a team at Caltech. Tryouts are almost nonexistent. Anyone who wants to play can do so because a lot of teams do not have enough students, and other teams don't mind having lots of backup players. The other advantage of such a low-key system is that sporting events are always free. Sports at Caltech are available for an outlet to the pressure built up from academic tension, not as another source of stress.
The downside is that sometimes students who want to win a lot of games and go to playoffs don't have the opportunity or the time. Some students who come here leave a highly competitive environment and give up their sports for the academic excellence Caltech offers. There are many students here who would devote themselves more to athletics if they had the time, but they don't. Most Caltech students wisely choose homework before practice. So, in the case of a time crunch, academics come before all else.