Ivy League School History
Ivy League schools have a long and storied history in the world of sports. These elite universities have been at the forefront of collegiate athletics since their inception, producing some of the greatest athletes in history. With eight members – Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, and Princeton University, The University Ivy League is among college sports’ most prestigious conferences.
The origins of Ivy League athletics date back to 1852 when Yale and Harvard competed against each other for what was then known as “The Game”—the first intercollegiate football game ever played between two American colleges or universities. This rivalry has endured over time and continues to this day, with both teams competing annually for The Game Trophy, which goes to the winner each year since its inception in 1875.
In addition to football, many other popular collegiate sports such as basketball (which began at Princeton ), baseball (at Harvard ), hockey(at Cornell ), lacrosse (at Dartmouth), rowing(originated at Oxford but was adopted by all Ivies), soccer(Columbia ), squash (Harvard) swimming & diving(Yale), tennis& volleyball are partaking by ivy league schools today.
Over time, these athletic programs grew more competitive until 1936, when they officially formed an athletic conference called “The Intercollegiate Athletic Association Of The United States Of America,” later known as “The Ivy League." As a result, all eight member institutions now compete together under this banner within various NCAA divisions across multiple men's & women's varsity sports disciplines with varying levels of success achieved throughout its rich tradition that spans nearly 170 years!