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4 College Student

Athletics: Sports are a big part of my schooling as I play on the women's ice hockey team. The school spirit is outstanding and we have a lot of support with our courses while being away for games.

3 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Athletics: No one comes to Yale just for athletics, but if that's your thing, there's definitely something Yale has for you.

4 College Student

Athletics: The school spirit is very high. The coaches are amazing and their is great team performance.

4 College Freshman

Athletics: good facilities, less good teams

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Athletics: people go to yale for the academic quality, but athletics are still great

2 people found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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For a school with such a strong academic reputation, Yale has a pretty strong athletic program. The University offers options for every interest level: varsity sports for the athletically serious, club sports for the amateur, and IM's for just about anybody. Yale's varsity sports often do reasonably well and are usually comparable to other similar schools. There is also a prominant intermural culture in which the residential colleges compete against one another to win the Tyng Cup. The athletic facilities at Yale are second to none (Payne Whitney Gymnasium is the second largest gym in the world!) and are available to all students for exercise and fitness.

While not everybody participates in sports, practically everybody comes out for the Yale-Harvard football game, even when it's hosted in Boston. During this single weekend of school spirit and revelry, students rally behind Old Eli to show up Harvard and prove that not only does Yale play a great game, but she can also throw a great party.

Essentially, athletics are as important as all other extracurricular activities at Yale, including politics, music, drama, literary interests, and volunteering. Sports are in no way the central focus of the campus. That is the great thing about Yale—there are so many interests to pursue and they are all treated equally by the student body.

Facts & Statistics

Athletic Association
  • NAA
  • NCAA
Athletic Division
NCAA Division I-AA
Athletic Conferences
Football: Ivy Group
Basketball: Ivy Group
School Colors
Yale blue and white
School Nickname
Bulldogs, Elis, Yalies
Men Playing Varsity Sports
470 - 18%
Women Playing Varsity Sports
367 - 14%
Men's Varsity Sports
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Fencing
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Ice hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Other sports
  • Rowing
  • Sailing
  • Soccer
  • Squash
  • Swimming and diving
  • Tennis
  • Track and field
Women's Varsity Sports
  • Basketball
  • Fencing
  • Field hockey
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Ice hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Rowing
  • Sailing
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Squash
  • Swimming and diving
  • Tennis
  • Track and field
  • Volleyball
Club Sports
  • Archery
  • Badminton
  • Ballroom dance
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • Cricket
  • Curling
  • Cycling
  • Equestrian
  • Field hockey
  • Figure skating
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Ice hockey
  • Jiu-jitsu, Brazilian
  • Kendo
  • Kickboxing (Muay Thai)
  • Kung Fu (Wing Chun)
  • Lacrosse
  • Pistol
  • Platform tennis
  • Polo
  • Powelifting
  • Roadrunning
  • Rugby
  • Shotokan
  • Skeet and trap
  • Skiing (alpine, nordic)
  • Soccer
  • Squash
  • Table tennis
  • Tae kwon do
  • Tennis
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Volleyball
  • Water polo
  • Wrestling
  • Baseball
  • Basketball (men's, women's)
  • Billiards (coed)
  • Bowling (coed)
  • Cross country (men's, women's)
  • Field hockey
  • Football (coed, men's)
  • Golf (coed)
  • Ice hockey (coed)
  • Soccer (coed, men's, women's)
  • Softball (coed)
  • Squash (men's, women's)
  • Swimming (coed)
  • Tennis (coed)
  • Ultimate Frisbee (coed)
  • Volleyball (coed, men's, women's)
Athletic Fields & Facilities
  • Course at Yale and Maltby Lakes Recreational Area (cross country)
  • Coxe Cage (indoor track and field)
  • Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center (tennis)
  • DeWitt Family Field (softball)
  • Gilder Boathouse (crew)
  • Ingalls Rink (hockey)
  • Johnson Field (field hockey)
  • McNay Family Sailing Center (sailing)
  • Payne Whitney Gymnasium
  • Reese Stadium (lacrosse, soccer)
  • Yale Bowl, Class of 1954 Field (football)
  • Yale Field (baseball)
Most Popular Sports
Crew, football, and fencing
Most Overlooked Teams
Lacrosse, pistol shooting, women's rugby, water polo, women's fencing, ultimate frisbee, golf, basketball
School Spirit
Students at Yale are proud to be there and they share it! Eli pride extends beyond athletics into academics, facilities, and social life. Yale gear is popular all year around because everyone looks good in Bulldog Blue. Students are proud of the Yale name and tradition and are willing to defend it to the death against Harvard and Princeton (their major rivals). This is most apparent during the Harvard-Yale weekend. In preparation for this surge of school spirit, students buy shirts and sunglasses saying "Harvard sucks, and Princeton doesn't matter," and they party in the name of Eli. Alumni flock to campus and nearly the entire student body goes out for "The Game" to cheer the football team to victory (or defeat) in New Haven or Boston.
Getting Tickets
You usually don't need to purchase tickets in advance for any event, as tickets are almost always available on-site 1.5 hours before the game. The big exception is "The Game" between Harvard and Yale the weekend before Thanksgiving (tickets must be pre-ordered). Admission is generally inexpensive.
Best Place to Take a Walk
East Rock State Park; Lighthouse Point
Did You Know?
  • Edward Egan ('21) is the only athlete in the history of Olympic competition ever to win a gold medal in both the winter and summer games.
  • Yalies and Yale alumni have won a total of 104 medals during the Olympics, 54 of them gold.
  • Sarah Hughes ('09) won the gold medal in women's figure skating in 2002.
  • Yale has long history of fight songs (some written by Cole Porter!). Check out the Bulldog Medley at

Student Polls

How popular are varsity sports on campus?    Based on 92 responses

  • 3% Almost everything on campus revolves around them.
  • 15% Varsity sports are a big part of campus life.
  • 64% Varsity sporting events are attended, but not a huge part of campus life.
  • 17% No one pays attention to varsity sports.

How popular are intramurals and club sports?    Based on 91 responses

  • 46% They are just as popular as varsity sports (or even more so).
  • 22% They are overshadowed by varsity sports, but still a big part of campus life.
  • 31% Some people participate in them, but they aren't a big part of campus life.
  • 1% Almost no one participates in them.

How would you describe the athletic facilities?    Based on 90 responses

  • 47% The athletic facilities are some of the best in the country.
  • 29% Sports are important, and the quality of facilities shows that-for both athletes and non-athletes.
  • 21% The athletic facilities are good for athletes, but only mediocre for the average students.
  • 3% The athletic facilities are relatively subpar for the demands.


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