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Athletics at Dartmouth College

Athletic opportunities are abound at Dartmouth. This is a school that values physical fitness and good health. After all, we do have the granite of New Hampshire in our muscles and our brains.

Most people are involved in some kind of athletic venture at some level – whether it is going for a run in nice weather, participating in intramurals, getting involved with the DOC, taking PE’s, or competing on a legitimate NCAA  team. So whether you are a National Champion cross-country skier or a leisurely Tuesday-morning-canoer, Dartmouth offers many options for you! It’s definitely worth getting out and enjoying the New England geographic region.

PE and Graduation Requirements

Remember the days of uniform white t-shirts and gym shorts with your school name on them? Fear not! PE’s at Dartmouth are nothing like that. You can fulfill your three PE requirements (to graduate) with a multitude of options ranging from sailing, karate, dance, and skiing to health and wellness courses. (Some interesting courses offered recently include Wilderness Survival Skills, Snow Sculpturing, and Ice Climbing.) It can also be met by participating in (most) club or varsity level sports. You can check out the many options, the graduation requirement, and attendance policy here. PE’s are a lot of fun, and you’ll find that fulfilling the 3-PE-class graduation requirement will not be difficult at all! PE classes don’t count towards your 35 class graduation requirement, though. In addition, you can learn some pretty tight things that you might not get a chance to do elsewhere. Perhaps most importantly, taking a PE forces you to get out and about. It’s very easy to get bogged down and (especially in the long winter months) stuck inside. Having a PE (where they DO take attendance) forces you to be active – something you’ll be very thankful for. And, after all, it’s really not so very annoying to HAVE to go skiing every Tuesday and Thursday!


This is a great way to release the animal within. Intramural sports include men, women, and co-ed leagues as well as A, B, and C levels of competition. Whatever your skill level or comfort zone is, there is definitely a place for you. Intramurals are a great way to meet new people. You’ll find that teammates are relatively laid back and very accepting. Participating in intramurals also provides a great way to stay in shape – committing to a team inspires you to go out and get exercise. Sports range from your traditional basketball, ice hockey, and soccer to the more abstract, such as newly-added whiffle ball! Monitor the intramural bulletin on your blitz account to keep abreast of all of the latest developments.

“Play intramurals!  It is great for all you high school athletes who aren't quite division 1 material to keep playing your sports.  Just be aware that these IM games can get pretty serious.”

Club Sports

Club Sports give students the option to compete extramurally or for instruction only, or as a combination of both. Activities include those like Ultimate Frisbee, Rugby, Badminton, and many others. You can even get PE credit by becoming involved with one of the many club options. Club sport programs are student run, and therefore the variety of club sports offered changes from time to time to reflect the interest of the students. If there’s something you thing you would like to participate in, yet it doesn’t seem to exist, get out, try to bolster student support, and begin a new program! If you’re interested in getting involved in club sports, check out the many opportunities here.

“Ultimate frisbee is one of the best things that has happened to me here at Dartmouth.  The tournaments are unbelievably fun because it's competitive, but not crazily high-pressured.  It's soooo easy to get involved--just flag down pretty much anyone tossing a disc on the green or wearing a Dartmouth Ulitmate sweatshirt and start asking questions (like, when is the next practice?).”

Varsity Athletics

An afternoon spent tanning at a soccer game while watching the intense action of the Dartmouth Green beating rivals Princeton couldn’t be more exciting, unless of course you add in some free pizza and overtime shoot-outs! Dartmouth competes primarily in the Ivy League, as well as the ECAC for Hockey (plus a few others), and boasts world-class athletes of all types. It is not unheard of to find out that your roommate is already being recruited by professional teams. They might also have to miss some class when they compete in the Olympics, or the equivalent for their sport. (May I copy your econ notes? Only if you bring home the gold.)

Supporting Dartmouth athletics brings students together to cheer on friends on the field, track, court, and uphold traditions like throwing tennis balls on the ice Thompson Arena, charging the field at the Homecoming Football game, or dressing in crazy costumes for the Harvard/Dartmouth lacrosse game. Attending Varsity sporting events as a spectator is really an activity many enjoy. It fosters a sense of unity among the Dartmouth student body, alumni, and the community. Cheering on your friends at a sporting event also provides an excellent study break. The athletes are extremely driven and talented, and the competition is serious. Support from fans is greatly appreciate and very much deserved.

It may also be possible to become involved in varsity athletics. If you think you may be interested, it’s always worth taking the time to visit a coach in one of the offices in the alumni gym. You may or may not have a chance, but it’s certainly worth finding out!

Staying in Shape

Some of you may be more interested in avoiding the third growth spurt that tends to occur during one’s first-year at college.  Let’s face it, Dartmouth Dining feeds us well and sometimes you may be looking for a new adventurous way to burn some of that energy.  Here are a few suggestions:

  • Hide-and-Go-Seek in the Stacks, Dartmouth’s a-mazing historical book collection.
  • Football, Ultimate, Whiffle Ball, Kick Ball, Croquet, etc.  on the Green (You’re guaranteed a good spectator crowd)
  • Living on the fourth floor anywhere.
  • Sledding, Snowshoeing, Cross-Country skiing, trail hiking
  • Slip ‘N Slide on the Green
  • Cluster Scavenger Hunt (one of the most intense competitions during Orientation)
  • Losing your bike (Scaling the campus makes you appreciate that ride even more!)
  • Chasing squirrels (That’s right, for all you city kids, give it a try, they’re fast!)
  • Of course there are myriads of athletic activities going on all over campus and on trails and rivers nearby at all times.  Join the DOC, Mountaineering Club, Forestry Club, Ledyard Canoeing Club, or Cabin and Trail for more outdoor experiences.
  • Oh yeah... and there's the traditional gym/exercise facilities. Did you know that the elliptical and treadmill machines have TVs!
“Cabin and Trail is a great way to get involved in the outdoors, every weekend we have hikes and trips all over Vermont and New Hampshire, and you meet an amazing group of people…To get involved with cabin and trail all you have to do is come to one of the meetings, every Monday night at ten in the basement of Robo!”

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