College soccer

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College soccer
An NCAA Division I game between Indiana and Tulsa in 2004
Governing body
List
First played1959 (NCAA, NAIA) [n 1]
Club competitions
Audience records
Single match22,512 (St. Louis 5–1 SIUE at Busch Stadium, 30 Oct 1980)[5]

College soccer is played by teams composed of soccer players who are enrolled in colleges and universities. While it is most widespread in the United States, it is also prominent in Japan, South Korea, Canada, South Africa, and the Philippines. The United Kingdom also has a university league. The institutions typically hire full-time professional coaches and staff, although the student athletes are mostly amateur and are not paid. College soccer in the United States is sponsored by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the sports regulatory body for major universities, and by the governing bodies for smaller universities and colleges.[6]

College soccer teams play a variety of conference and non-conference games throughout the fall season, with the season culminating in the post-season tournament called the College Cup. The St. Louis University Billikens is the most successful men's team, having won 10 College Cups while the North Carolina Tar Heels led by head coach Anson Dorrance is the most successful women's college soccer team with 21 College Cup wins.

The best men's and women's college soccer player each year is awarded the Hermann Trophy.[7]

After their collegiate careers, top men's players often go on to play professionally in Major League Soccer or other professional leagues while top women's players may play professionally in the National Women's Soccer League or in other professional soccer leagues around the world including the Women's Super League in England, Division 1 Féminine in France, Damallsvenskan in Sweden, Germany's Frauen-Bundesliga, Australia's A-League Women, or Japan's WE League.

United States[edit]

History[edit]

"The Foot-Ball Match", Chronicle of the Rutgers v Princeton game on The Targum, Nov 1869

The first de facto college football game held in the U.S. in 1869 between Rutgers University and Princeton was contested, at Rutgers captain John W. Leggett's request, with rules mixing soccer and rugby and loosely based on those of the Football Association in London, England.[1][8][9] As a result, it is considered the first collegiate soccer match and the birth of soccer in the United States.[2][3][4]

However other sports historians argue that this was actually the first-ever college gridiron football season in history.[10] But that perception is changing, with Harvard being recognized as a pioneer in gridiron football, along with McGill, Tufts, and Yale.[11][12]

The NCAA first began holding a men's national soccer championship in 1959. Prior to 1959, the men's national champion had been determined by a national poll instead of through a national tournament. Saint Louis University won the 1959 inaugural championship using mostly local players, defeating a number of teams that were mostly foreign players.[13] Saint Louis continued to dominate the Division I championship for a number of years, appearing in five consecutive finals from 1959 to 1963 and winning four; and appearing in six consecutive finals from 1969 to 1974 and winning four.

Duke (in white) v Maryland game in 1968

College soccer continued growing throughout the 1970s, with the NCAA adding a men's Division III in 1974 to accommodate the growing number of schools.[14] Indiana University's men's soccer program achieved success in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s with 8 national championships, 6 Hermann Trophy winners (national player of the year), and 13 national team players. From 1973 to 2003 no team won more men's national championships or had more NCAA College Cup appearances than Indiana. Virginia won a record four consecutive men's national championships from 1991 to 1994 under head coach Bruce Arena.

The first college women's varsity soccer team was established at Castleton State College, now known as Castleton University, in Vermont in the mid-1960s. A major factor in the growth of women's college soccer was the passage of the Education Amendments of 1972, which included Title IX that mandated equal access and equal spending on athletic programs at college institutions. As a result, college varsity soccer programs for women were established. Since at least 1977, African American and women coaches have been underrepresented and have a significantly shorter tenure as coaches.[15]

By 1981, there were about a 100 varsity programs established in NCAA women's soccer, and even more club teams. The AIAW (Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women), was established in the mid-1970s and began sponsoring women's varsity programs. It establishing an informal national championship in 1980, which Cortland State won. A year later in 1981, the tournament was hosted by the University of North Carolina, which ended up winning the tournament as well.

In 1982, the NCAA began to sponsor women's sports and all schools switched into the NCAA. One major difference in the growth of women's college soccer unlike men's college soccer, was that it did not start out primarily in one region of the country and spread through the decades. With help from men's soccer, the women's program was able to take root all over the country at once, and grow from there. The University of North Carolina, coached by Anson Dorrance, immediately stood out as the ones to beat in the women's college game and remain that way up unto today. Of the first 20 NCAA championships, 16 were won by UNC, including nine in a row from 1986 to 1994.[16]

Competition format[edit]

College soccer is played in the fall from August to December depending on if a team makes the tournament and how long they are in the tournament. Teams play conference and non-conference teams. The NCAA tournament is played in November to early December with the Final Four and Championship game played in December. There are 48 teams in the men's tournament and 64 teams in the women's tournament.

Proposed Division I men's season change[edit]

After many months of extended unofficial discussion, on August 22, 2016, NCAA Division I men's coaches and the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) officially began an "informational campaign" to build support for a proposed change of the playing schedule for Division I men's soccer. Under the proposed changes of the "Academic Year Season Model", the number of games on the Fall schedule and the number of mid-week games would be reduced, with games added in the Spring following a Winter break, and the NCAA Division I men's soccer tournament would be moved from November and December to May and June. In addition to more closely matching the professional season, the changes address issues of player health and safety and of the time demands on student-athletes. The proposal concerns only Division I men's soccer. While a large majority of men's coaches and players support the changes, only a small minority of women's coaches and players currently do so.[citation needed] At this time, there is only the "informational campaign" "...to educate our Athletic Directors, NCAA leadership, student athletes, coaches and fans on the advantages of this Academic Year Model," said Sasho Cirovski, NSCAA D1 Men's committee chair and University of Maryland head coach.

A formal proposal was made and a vote was scheduled to take place in April, 2020,[17] but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[18] During the 2020-2021 NCAA Tournament, rescheduled to the spring of 2021, broadcasters mentioned that the vote will take place in the spring of 2022.

Rules[edit]

While similar in general appearance, NCAA rules diverge significantly from FIFA Laws of the Game. A manager may make limited substitutions, and each player is allowed one re-entry which must occur in the second half of the match unless the substitution was caused by a player injury resulting from a caution or send-off. Since 2022, all playoff matches have an overtime period if the game remains tied after 90 minutes, but not the regular season. It consists of a regular two-half extra time period, but no golden goal. During playoff games, if neither team scores in the two ten-minute periods, it would go to a penalty shootout. College soccer is played with a clock that can be stopped when signaled to by the referee for injuries, the issuing of cards, or when the referee believes a team is wasting time. The clock is also stopped after goals until play is restarted, and the clock generally counts down from 45:00 to 0:00 in each half. In most professional soccer leagues, there is an up-counting clock with the referee adding stoppage time to the end of each 45-minute half.[19]

Double-jeopardy rule change[edit]

In February 2017, the NCAA rules committee met to discuss a proposed rule that would change the double jeopardy rule. If the last player was to foul a player and deny a goal scoring opportunity, this rule would instead give the referee the ability to choose to issue a yellow card, if they were to feel it was a proper attempt to get the ball.[16] The change was approved.[20]

Potential timekeeping change[edit]

On March 29, 2018, the NCAA announced that its rules committee had recommended that the organization align itself with FIFA timekeeping rules, with the new rule slated for adoption in the 2018 season. If this proposal had been adopted,[21]

  • Stadium clocks would count upward, and the displayed time would be based on the elapsed time of the game.
  • The official time would be kept on-field by the referee.
  • When the stadium clock indicated one minute remaining in a half or overtime period, the referee would signal the amount of stoppage time to the sideline, and a sign indicating the number of minutes of stoppage time would be displayed.

The committee felt that the then-current timekeeping system led to gamesmanship, specifically blatant delaying tactics, at the end of matches.

Potential season change[edit]

On January 15, 2020, a change in the time frame of the men's D1 season was proposed.9 Known as the Twenty-first Century Model, l season across the full academic year, making it both a fall and spring sport.10

The main motivations for the proposal were to reduce injury and improve the balance academic and other college experiences for athletes.11 In the fall during the regular season, teams may play 18 to 20 games over 10 weeks—an average of one match every 3.6 days—resulting in higher rates of injury compared to players who recovered for 6 or more days. Under the new schedule, there would be only one match per week.

When initially proposed, the changes were supported by the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Big Ten Conference, and the Pac-12 Conference. The proposal was to be voted on in April, 2020, but was indefinitely tabled due to NCAA D1 Legislative Committees prioritizing issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. During the 2020-2021 NCAA Tournament, broadcasters mentioned that the vote is scheduled for the spring of 2022.

Attendance leaders[edit]

Men's[edit]

Fans at college soccer games (here at Indiana University in 2004) can number in the thousands between top teams
Annual home attendance champions by average attendance[22]
Year School Conference Home
games
Average
attendance
1998 Fresno State Bulldogs WAC 10 2,716
1999 Saint Louis Billikens C-USA 11 3,037
2000 Connecticut Huskies[n1 1] Big East 14 2,772
2001 Saint Louis Billikens C-USA 12 2,767
2002 Connecticut Huskies[n1 1] Big East 11 2,519
2003 Saint Louis Billikens C-USA 9 2,779
2004 Indiana Hoosiers Big Ten 11 2,385
2005 New Mexico Lobos MPSF 10 3,629
2006 Connecticut Huskies[n1 1] Big East 11 2,931
2007 UC Santa Barbara Gauchos Big West 11 3,435
2008 UC Santa Barbara Gauchos Big West 11 3,444
2009 UC Santa Barbara Gauchos Big West 12 4,335
2010 UC Santa Barbara Gauchos Big West 12 5,873
2011 UC Santa Barbara Gauchos Big West 13 4,782
2012 UC Santa Barbara Gauchos Big West 9 5,542
2013 UC Santa Barbara Gauchos Big West 13 3,707
2014 UC Santa Barbara Gauchos Big West 11 3,844
2015 UC Santa Barbara Gauchos Big West 12 3,844
2016 Maryland Terrapins Big Ten 13 4,014
2017 UConn Huskies American 12 3,502
2018 UConn Huskies American 12 3,213
2019 Maryland Terrapins Big Ten 13 2,311
Notes
  1. ^ a b c Athletically branded as "UConn" since 2013.

Women's[edit]

Annual home attendance champions by average attendance[23]
Year School Conference Home
games
Average
attendance
1998 North Carolina Tar Heels ACC 8 3,046
1999 North Carolina Tar Heels ACC 12 3,196
2000 North Carolina Tar Heels ACC 9 3,148
2001 North Carolina Tar Heels ACC 10 3,983
2002 North Carolina Tar Heels ACC 9 2,048
2003 Texas A&M Aggies Big 12 12 1,977
2004 Texas A&M Aggies Big 12 14 2,790
2005 Portland Pilots WCC 12 3,403
2006 Portland Pilots WCC 9 3,408
2007 Portland Pilots WCC 10 3,771
2008 Portland Pilots WCC 13 3,622
2009 Portland Pilots WCC 13 3,472
2010 Portland Pilots WCC 13 3,549
2011 Portland Pilots WCC 10 3,110
2012 Portland Pilots WCC 13 3,313
2013 Portland Pilots WCC 12 2,937
2014 Portland Pilots WCC 8 2,971
2015 BYU Cougars WCC 11 3,496
2016 BYU Cougars WCC 10 2,957
2017 BYU Cougars WCC 11 3,006
2018 Texas A&M Aggies SEC 13 2,562
2019 BYU Cougars WCC 12 2,945

College Cup[edit]

Men's[edit]

The following teams have won the College Cup two or more times.

Team Number Years won
Saint Louis 10 1959, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1965, 1967 †, 1969, 1970, 1972, 1973
Indiana 8 1982, 1983, 1988, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2004, 2012
Virginia 7 1989 †, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 2009, 2014
Clemson 4 1984, 1987, 2021, 2023
Maryland 4 1968 ‡, 2005, 2008, 2018
San Francisco 4 1966, 1975, 1976, 1980
UCLA 4 1985, 1990, 1997, 2002
Stanford 3 2015, 2016, 2017
UConn 2 1981, 2000
Michigan State 2 1967 †, 1968 ‡
North Carolina 2 2001, 2011

Side Notes:

  • † Co-champions—Game called due to weather
  • ‡ Co-champions—Game was declared a tie

Women's[edit]

The following teams have won the College Cup.

North Carolina Tar Heels celebrate winning the 2006 Women's College Cup
Team Number Years won
North Carolina 21 1982, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993,
1994, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2012
Notre Dame 3 1995, 2004, 2010
Stanford 3 2011, 2017, 2019
Florida State 3 2014, 2018, 2021
Portland 2 2002, 2005
USC 2 2007, 2016
Santa Clara 2 2001, 2020
UCLA 2 2013, 2022
George Mason 1 1985
Florida 1 1998
Penn State 1 2015

Players[edit]

A number of American college soccer programs have developed players that have gone on to play professionally or for the U.S. national teams. Every year since its inception in 1996, Major League Soccer (MLS) has held a SuperDraft in which MLS teams draft young prospects. The draft picks in the MLS SuperDraft are often U.S.-based college soccer players. A similar format is held each year for the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL): the NWSL College Draft.

The Hermann Trophy is awarded annually by the Missouri Athletic Club to the top male and female college soccer players in the United States.At the start of the college soccer season a list of Hermann Trophy nominees is compiled. Near the end of the college regular season, 15 players are announced as semifinalists. In early December the top three vote-getters for both the men's and women's trophy are announced as finalists. In an annual banquet held at the Missouri Athletic Club of St. Louis, the winners of the two awards are announced. Hermann Trophy winners who have starred for the U.S. national teams at multiple FIFA World Cups include Tony Meola (1989), Alexi Lalas (1991), and Claudio Reyna (1993), Michelle Akers (1988), Shannon Higgins (1989), Kristine Lilly (1991), Mia Hamm (1991–92), Tisha Venturini (1994), Shannon MacMillan (1995), Cindy Parlow (1997–98), Aly Wagner (2002), Kelley O'Hara (2009), Christen Press (2010), Crystal Dunn (2012) and Morgan Brian (2013–14).

Many top American men's college soccer players play for separate teams in the Premier Development League (PDL) during the summer. One college club, the BYU Cougars men's team, has foregone playing in the NCAA or NAIA and instead play all of their games in the PDL.[24]

Several coaches who have won the College Cup have gone on to coach Division I professional soccer or even the U.S. national teams. The most well-known NCAA men's team coaches who have gone on to success in the professional ranks include Bruce Arena (four College Cups with Virginia from 1991 to 1994), and Sigi Schmid (won two College Cups with UCLA in 1985 and 1990). On the women's side, North Carolina coach Anson Dorrance coached the United States women's national soccer team during its early years from 1986 to 1994 and led the team to win the inaugural 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup in China.[25] Former UCLA Bruins coach Jill Ellis led the national team to win its third World Cup at the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada.[26]

Many women's college soccer players take opportunities to play professionally in the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) and in Europe, Asia, and Australia. Players are also chosen from college to be a member of the United States women's national soccer team. The NWSL started in 2012 and now consists of 12 teams, with two more to be added in 2024. However, the league's player draft is not restricted to college players, and the first player selected in the most recent draft in 2023, Alyssa Thompson, turned down a scholarship offer from Stanford to enter the draft,

Recent winners of the Mac Hermann Trophy include international players such as Kadeisha Buchanan (2016), Raquel Rodríguez (2015), Morgan Brian (2014, 2013) and Crystal Dunn (2012).[16]

Foreign players[edit]

Recently, more and more foreign players have been introduced to American college soccer. Getting recruited from overseas, these foreign players are joining teams of many college teams. 2015 was the first year that there was a flood of international players joining these teams. These players are said to join college soccer in hopes of playing professionally in Major League Soccer and also to get the education that the United States provides, with uncertainties raised about the playing time and type of education they would receive in their countries.[27]

College soccer[edit]

College soccer in the United States is sponsored by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the sports regulatory body for major universities, and by the governing bodies for smaller universities and colleges. This sport is played on a rectangular field of the dimensions of about 70–75 yards sideline to sideline (width), and 115–120 yards goal line to goal line (length).[28]

College soccer teams play a variety of conference and non-conference games throughout the fall season, with the season culminating in the post-season tournament called the College Cup. The Saint Louis Billikens are the most successful men's team, having won 10 College Cups while the North Carolina Tar Heels led by head coach Anson Dorrance is the most successful women's college soccer team with 21 College Cup wins.

The best men's and women's college soccer player each year is awarded the Hermann Trophy.[29]

Divisions and conferences[edit]

There are approximately 800 NCAA men's soccer programs—206 NCAA Division I, 207 Division II, and 408 Division III.[30] There are 959 NCAA women's soccer teams—310 Division I, 225 Division II, and 424 Division III.[31]

The number of men's Division I programs has stayed roughly constant since the mid-1990s, but the number of women's Division I programs has increased from 190 in 1995–96 to 310 in 2008–09.[31]

NCAA Division I[edit]

Among Division I all-sports conferences, only the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference does not sponsor soccer at all. All of the remaining 31 conferences sponsor women's soccer, but eight of these do not sponsor men's soccer.

Statuses of men's soccer for each conference reflect alignments for the 2023 season.

Notes
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h (Women only).

NCAA Division II[edit]

Of the 23 Division II all-sports conferences, only the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association and the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference do not sponsor soccer at all. All of the remaining conferences sponsor soccer for both sexes except the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, which sponsors the sport for women only.

Notes
  1. ^ Women only.

NCAA Division III[edit]

All Division III all-sports conferences sponsor soccer for both sexes except the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, which sponsors the sport for women only.

Notes
  1. ^ a b The MAC Commonwealth and MAC Freedom are two of the three leagues operated by the Middle Atlantic Conferences. Men's and women's soccer are both among the 14 sports that are sponsored by both the Commonwealth and Freedom leagues; an additional 13 sports are organized under the banner of Middle Atlantic Conference (singular).
  2. ^ Absorbed the former Colonial States Athletic Conference after the 2022–23 school year.
  3. ^ Women only.

National college soccer awards[edit]

United Kingdom[edit]

In the United Kingdom, the BUCS Football League governs association football in colleges and universities.[32] There are currently 450 teams spread across the league.

Asia[edit]

Japan[edit]

The All Japan University Football Championship and the All Japan Women's University Football Championship are the main tournaments for universities across Japan. Both events are attended by 24 colleges and universities that have qualified. A different qualifying series will be held each year.The 2022 edition of both men's and women's tournaments are taking place between December 2022 and January 2023.[33][34]

In addition, there is the Prime Minister Cup All Japan University Soccer Tournament (ja:総理大臣杯全日本大学サッカートーナメント), which has a completely open format regarding the competing teams.

There are also university soccer leagues in each region of Japan. In addition, there is a tournament called the Denso Cup(ja:デンソーカップサッカー), which is divided into eight regions in Japan, with each region organizing its own university student teams, and the teams play against each other.

In Japan, sports introduced from overseas during the Meiji era (1868-1912) were introduced as part of education, and schools and other educational institutions had their own teams. Soccer is no exception, and the vestiges of this tradition continue for a long time. Until the establishment of the old Japan_Soccer_League, which consisted mainly of amateur adult players, after the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, the Japan national football team consisted mainly of university students and their graduates. The Japan League teams also did not have training academies, but instead recruited players who had played for high school(see also:Japan_High_School_Soccer_ja:高校サッカー) or university teams. In other words, Japanese university soccer teams were a valuable source of supply for Japan League teams.Therefore, from 1993, when the professional J.League was founded and had a training organization, until 1998_FIFA_World_Cup, many of the members of the Japanese national team were university graduates.[36]

Many college soccer players in Japan, which has a similar "college soccer to national team" pipeline as found in the United States, have gone on to represent their national teams. Nine players of the Japan national football team at the 2022 FIFA World Cup have a college soccer background.[37]

Since 1993, the majority of the players who joined the J. League clubs came from the developmental organizations and immediately after high school, rather than from the universities. Japan_national_under-20_football_team was also composed mainly of university soccer players for many years. However, the under-20_football_team that reached the final of the 1999 FIFA U-20 World Cup had only three university soccer players. The rest were players who had already joined J.League clubs.After 1993, the majority of players who join university teams are players who were not scouted by J.League clubs. However, there were still cases where players were selected to the Japan_national_under-20_football_team or scouted by J.League clubs after developing their skills in university soccer teams, so universities were still a source of these players.

In the 2022 national soccer team, college graduates will have more opportunities to play for their teams than immediate high school graduates. This meant that they could gain more game experience. Following this, Japan_national_under-23_football_team that competed in the 2020_Summer_Olympics, on which the 2022 national team was based, was also going to employ a large number of university students.Kaoru_Mitoma, a member of the Japan national football team at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, chose to go to university even though he could have joined the J.League team.School of Physical Education, Health and Sport Sciences University_of_Tsukuba, where Kaoru_Mitoma went to school, has produced many Japan_national_football_team players. It is also a national research institute that has reigned for many years in Japan as an institution that researches soccer.[38]

When Japanese players go abroad to play soccer, they generally pass through the J.League, but since the 2010s, an increasing number of players have joined soccer leagues outside of Japan immediately after passing through a developmental organization. Even in this case, many players go abroad after graduating from high school. However, in the case of Kein_Satō(ja:佐藤恵允), a member of the Japan_national_under-23_football_team that is aiming to participate in the 2024_Summer_Olympics, his previous club was Meiji University, which also produced Yuto Nagatomo, before he joined the Bundesliga club.

The Japan Universiade National Team (ja:ユニバーシアードサッカー日本代表) won the Football_at_the_Summer_Universiade in 1995, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2011, 2017, and 2019, The team has won a total of seven times in the Football_at_the_Summer_Universiade.

Regarding women's university soccer in Japan, as of December 2008, 64 universities are members of the Japan University Women's Football Association, and 1,261 players are registered with the Japan Football Association (JFA). Until then, the registered players in university soccer were not of a high level, as many of them started playing soccer at university. However, since the late 2000s, the number of registered players has increased, and top-level players from high school teams have chosen to play at the university level due to their success in the Universiade, and the level of university soccer has improved.[39]

In the case of women's soccer, past Universiade results show five runner-up and two third-place finish, indicating that Japanese women's university soccer is at a level where it is always in a position to challenge for the world championship.[39]

The All Japan Women's University Football Championship, one of the main and most prestigious university women's soccer tournaments in Japan, decides the university championship, with teams that have won their regional and playoff rounds competing for the championship in the preliminary league and then the final tournament. In addition, the "National University Women's Soccer Tsukuba Festival" is held every August with the participation of more than 30 teams. In addition, there are regional tournaments that were started with the aim of strengthening the 2001_Summer_Universiade. These regional tournaments have developed from the East-West tournaments in the past and have played a role in strengthening university women's soccer.[39]

South Korea[edit]

The university association football competition is called the U-League.[40] Created in 2008, it is the first organized league competition for university association football teams and operates outside of the regular Korean association football league structure.[citation needed]

Many college soccer players in South Korea, which has a similar "college soccer to national team" pipeline as found in the United States, have gone on to represent their national teams. Historically, a majority of players who represented the South Korea national under-20 football team played soccer in college.[41] The team's most successful result was reaching the finals of the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup. Similarly, the South Korea women's national under-20 football team also has players from college soccer. In the 2022 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup, 16 players of the 21-woman squad were in college.[42]

Philippines[edit]

The UAAP Football Championship is contested by the eight members schools of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines. NCAA Philippines also sponsors a football tournament.

Vietnam[edit]

The university association football competition is called the SV-League, which is held annually among teams of university students.

Canada[edit]

Due to its proximity to the United States, 19 out of the 22 Canada women's national under-20 soccer team players at the 2022 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup play in the NCAA. Christine Sinclair, captain of the Canada women's national soccer team, played for the Portland Pilots women's soccer team from 2001 to 2005.

In Canada, there are two organizations that regulate university and collegiate athletics:

South Africa[edit]

Varsity Football is a yearly tournament contested by South African universities in the intercollegiate league Varsity Sports (South Africa). As of the 2022 season, 8 teams participate in each of the men's and women's divisions.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Although the first official soccer season was held in 1959, the first de facto college football game held in 1869 between Ruters and Princeton Universities (with rules based on The Football Association)[1] is considered the first "not official" collegiate soccer match and the birth of the sport in the United States.[2][3][4]

References[edit]

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  4. ^ a b 1st college football game ever was New Jersey vs. Rutgers in 1869 Archived November 30, 2022, at the Wayback Machine at Ncaa.com
  5. ^ "ALL-TIME LARGEST CROWDS", p. 7 at NCAA.com
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  14. ^ The Year in American Soccer – 1974, Steve Holoyd, http://homepages.sover.net/~spectrum/year/1974.html Archived November 5, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
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