Washington & Lee puts the "student" in "student athlete." The University doesn’t award athletic scholarships, and athletes are expected to carry their academic weight. This sometimes makes it tough for W&L to field successful teams, particularly in football and basketball. But in some sports—including lacrosse, women’s soccer, and tennis—W&L's dominance is unquestioned (or so the athletes will tell you). Attendance is pretty light at most sporting events, but people turn out en masse for Homecoming and Parents' Weekend football games. No tickets are required for athletic events—just find a seat and start cheering. Unfortunately, W&L tradition mandates that spectators leave football games after the first half. Alas, school spirit only runs so deep.
W&L also realizes the importance of athletics to students. Besides just having the Division III varsity sports, the college also offers intramurals and requires students to take gym classes to keep in shape. W&L sponsors a variety of intramural (IM) sports, from basketball to flag football to softball. A lot of clubs, fraternities, and sororities form intramural teams to socialize and have some fun. Combined with club sports, this gives nearly every student an opportunity to play a sport on some level. W&L tries to provide its students with a workout for both mind and body.