International experience in the development of student sports originates, as mentioned above, in 1843 in the USA, when a boat club was organized at Yale University.
A year later, a similar club was organized at Harvard University. Therefore, to study university sports abroad, it is worth studying the experience of the United States, as the pioneers of this type of activity and owning the most advanced system of organizing university sports today.
The history of college sports in the United States begins in 1852, when the first rowing competitions between the teams of Harvard and Yale universities took place. It was as a sports organization that the Ivy League, which today has become the popular name for the eight most prestigious universities in the United States, was born.
The US collegiate sports system includes three associations officially approved by the Governing Body – the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the National Intercollegiate Athletic Association (NAIA) and the National College Athletic Association (NJCAA).
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is a national collegiate athletic association founded on February 3, 1906 as the Intercollegiate Athletic Association. Since 1910 – NCAA. The NCAA is made up of 1,281 different college and university sports organizations in the United States and Canada. The association is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. What is the NCAA?
The NCAA includes 23 sports and is divided into divisions 1, 2, and 3. The first division significantly surpasses the second and third in terms of the number of sports, the level of sports results, funding and the seriousness of the attitude of athletes to training.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association holds championships in popular team and individual sports in the United States, such as American football, boxing, golf, athletics, baseball, softball, and basketball. College basketball teams in the United States (since 1891) are most often affiliated with the NCAA.
In addition, the NCAA conducts competitions in popular “original” sports in the United States, relatively uncommon in other countries of the world.
Among them are lacrosse (a team game invented by American Indians, which is played with a small ball and racket clubs), bowling.
Since the 50s of the 19th century, baseball has been very popular in US universities – a team sports game with a baseball ball and a bat (lapta in Russia) – a North American development of the older English lapta, popular in Great Britain and Ireland.
Later, athletics, rugby, and American football became popular. American football is by far the most popular college sport – a transformation of British rugby, football frolicking from early forms of rugby and soccer (the American name for European football).
On average, US universities participate in 20 sports. This is approximately 400,000 students Ibid. They are assigned to university teams officially registered with the student sports association. About two million more American students play sports, being members of unaffiliated clubs.
The main motivational idea of college sports in the United States is the development of “team spirit”.
American collegiate sports are very organized. Studying at the university and collegiate sports in the USA are inextricably linked concepts. With unsatisfactory academic performance, a student may not be allowed to train, to play. American student athletes have no special privileges.
The level of university sports in the United States cannot be compared with the level of college sports in any country in the world. Being a student-athlete in the United States is comparable to playing professional sports, only instead of a salary, the student receives payment for his education at the university. Outstanding student players have earned themselves not only sports fame, but also the right to a “sports” scholarship of several thousand dollars.
Sports in US universities is one of the main marketing tools to attract students. In order to attract the strongest athletes, sports programs are financed. More than a thousand educational institutions in the United States are looking for boys and girls in their sports teams to glorify the university. The basis of amateur sports of the highest achievements in the United States is precisely collegiate sports.
The scale of university sports in the United States is colossal. Popularity and achievements in some sports are comparable to the popularity and level of achievements in professional sports, and national student championships are comparable to the Olympic Games. The strongest student sports teams perform at the highest level.
University sports events are of great interest to the US population. The best college teams in popular sports in the United States are packed to capacity in excess of 100,000 spectators. Special stadiums designed for games between university teams are built on each campus. Millions of fans across America stand in long lines to buy tickets and support their idols. Often not everyone has enough space at the stadiums – then bivouacs are set up nearby.
The press, the Internet, television broadcasts are at the service of university sports. Television broadcasts of college basketball, baseball, American football are watched by millions of viewers across the country.
Collegiate sports in the US are big business with more than a billion dollars in annual turnover.
The most outstanding student athletes receive an invitation to professional sports. It is student sports that are the so-called “forge of personnel” for national teams (including the Olympic ones) and professional leagues.
In its organization, student sports in the United States surpass all countries in the world. But an interesting fact is that student sports in the United States are not equated with professional sports – they are considered amateur. Student-athletes in American universities are not paid a salary, additional scholarship, or other types of material incentives. The system is organized differently.
Student sport in this country is not a separate activity (as in Russia, for example), but is part of the educational process. The educational process in the USA is built in the most convenient way for the student, and it is aimed at maximum performance both in sports and in studies.
And most importantly, achievements in sports are an opportunity to study at a prestigious university. University sports in the USA are positioned as an opportunity to attract an additional number of students from all over the world who will defend the honor of the university in competitions and advertise it. US universities spend impressive amounts of money on the maintenance of student athletes. Being a successful athlete, the applicant gets the opportunity to receive a sports scholarship that will fully cover his training costs. It is the opportunity to get a free education at a prestigious university that makes college sports incredibly popular in the United States.
If we compare the sport of students in Russia and in the West, the most important difference that catches the eye is the sources of funding and management. In the US, the entire sports industry is privately funded, with about 80% of college sports income coming from marketing. Ticket sales, broadcasting rights, advertising are the main sources of investment in college sports, and it is from this money that funds are allocated for sports scholarships to students.
Sports management is carried out by universities. This is in their own interests: the higher the level of sports at the university and the availability of modern conditions and technologies, the higher the chance to attract more students from all over the world. In Russia, for some reason, they do not think about this option: sports as a method of attracting students to universities. Moreover, this option is not considered either by universities, or by sports committees and top management.