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5 College Sophomore

Athletics: I have run track and cross country here and it's been awesome, but the facilities are also very open to non-athletes and they are so nice. It's amazing to have such nice facilities at such a small school.

3 College Freshman

Athletics: I don't typically attend any of the games at my school so I don't have much to say about the athletic life on campus.

3 College Freshman

Athletics: It's not that important here.

3 College Freshman

Athletics: The school spirit for sports is not too exciting but we are somewhat involved with rooting for school.

4 College Freshman

Athletics: The athletic facility is great for athletes and non-athletes alike. There is no competition between the two groups, and the atmosphere makes everyone feel welcome.

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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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
  • NAA
  • NCAA
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 popular are varsity sports on campus?    Based on 37 responses

  • 0% Almost everything on campus revolves around them.
  • 8% Varsity sports are a big part of campus life.
  • 68% Varsity sporting events are attended, but not a huge part of campus life.
  • 24% No one pays attention to varsity sports.

How popular are intramurals and club sports?    Based on 36 responses

  • 31% They are just as popular as varsity sports (or even more so).
  • 14% They are overshadowed by varsity sports, but still a big part of campus life.
  • 56% 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 36 responses

  • 36% The athletic facilities are some of the best in the country.
  • 53% Sports are important, and the quality of facilities shows that-for both athletes and non-athletes.
  • 11% 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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