In the United States and Canada varsity teams are the principal athletic teams representing a college, university, high school, or other secondary school. In Canada the term "Varsity" is rarely used amongst High School teams. Such teams compete against similar teams at corresponding educational institutions. Groups of varsity sports teams are often organized into athletic conferences, which are groups of teams that regularly play each other during a given athletic season. In recognition of their high level of performance, athletes on varsity teams are often given varsity letters. They are in contrast to the institution's club sports. A major difference between varsity and club sports is the source for allocated funds. Varsity teams receive financial support, equipment, and facilities from college and university athletic department budgets. Universities often allocate club sport budgets through student life departments similar to other clubs on campus. Because club sports cost more than other clubs, many club student-athletes must pay to play and also engage in team fundraising efforts to pay for facilities time, equipment, and other team expenses. At various levels of collegiate sports, varsity student athletes are eligible for scholarships solely or partially based on athletic skills.
In the United Kingdom, varsity team refers to groups participating in varsity matches in sport or other competitions between rival universities, famously Oxford University vs. Cambridge University and King's College London vs UCL. The term originally referred strictly to university-sponsored teams (the word being a shortened variant of "university"), and dates from the 1840s.
List of other UK varsity
Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry vs. Queen Mary, University of London
Swansea University vs. Cardiff University
Newcastle University vs Durham University
Goldsmiths, University of London vs. University of the Arts London
De Montfort University vs. Leicester University
University of Hull vs. University of York
University of Lancaster vs. University of York
King's College London vs. University College London
University of Surrey vs. Kingston University
University of Glasgow vs. University of Edinburgh
The University of Manchester vs. Manchester Metropolitan University
Southampton University vs. Southampton Solent University
Southampton University vs. University of Portsmouth
University of Kent vs. Canterbury Christ Church University
Leeds University vs. Leeds Metropolitan University
Nottingham Trent University vs. University of Nottingham
University of St Mark & St John vs. University of Plymouth
University of Bristol vs. University of the West of England
University of Warwick vs. Coventry University
University of Essex vs. University of East Anglia
Sheffield Hallam University vs. University of Sheffield
University of Huddersfield vs. University of Bradford
Brunel University vs. St Mary's University College
University of Derby vs. University of Lincoln
Keele University vs. Staffordshire University
Bangor University vs. Aberystwyth University
York St John University vs. Teesside University
Royal Agricultural University vs. Harper Adams University
University of Roehampton vs. Buckinghamshire New University
City University London vs. London School of Economics
University of Hertfordshire vs. University of Bedfordshire
Edge Hill University vs University of Central Lancashire
Junior varsity to varsity
Junior varsity players may be able to go up a level to varsity playing by performing well.
- "UNB cuts teams eligible for varsity athletics funding". Canadian Broadcasting Company. March 14, 2008. Retrieved May 3, 2012.
- Van Zytveld, Jon (Oct 26, 2011). "Club Sports Offer Athletic Opportunities". Grand Valley Lanthorn. Retrieved May 3, 2012.
- "Illinois Athletic Development". University of Illinois. Retrieved May 3, 2012.
- "Defination of 'varsity'". Dictionary.com. Retrieved 7 February 2014.