The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA, “ensidable”) unites more than one thousand two hundred educational institutions, sports leagues (conferences) and other organizations related to college sports in the United States and Canada. The NCAA is a non-profit organization, its mission is not to make a profit, but to support sports programs at universities and colleges, organize competitions and solve many other problems that help more than four hundred and eighty thousand students play sports. It is the largest (but not the only) collegiate sports association in the United States of America.
Short for NCAA according to abbreviationfinder, the Association conducts competitions in twenty-four sports (baseball, basketball, bowling, cross country, fencing, field hockey, American football, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, shooting, rowing, skiing, soccer (“European” football), softball, swimming and diving, tennis, athletics (indoor and outdoor tournaments stand out), volleyball, beach volleyball, water polo and wrestling). This list is subject to change, in the coming years it may also include equestrian sports, rugby and triathlon.
Sports have always been extremely popular in US universities and colleges. The first “official” competitions between student teams in the United States were held as early as 1852, when a regatta between the teams of Harvard and Yale Universities (which later became traditional) was held on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire. On November 6, 1869, in New Jersey, the meeting of athletes between Princeton and Rutgers took place, which entered the history of American football under the name “first match”. Known throughout the world as a benchmark for the quality of higher education, the ” Ivy League ” was originally the name of a sports conference that brought together eight universities in the Northeast of the United States.. At the same time, at the end of the 19th – beginning of the 20th centuries, not all the rules of a particular sport (even very popular ones) were regulated in sufficient detail, moreover, competitions often led to injuries, including very serious ones. It is not surprising that the creation of an association that could organize the sports life of American students at a sufficiently high level was a very urgent task.
The first such association in the United States was the Association of American Rowing Colleges, created back in 1870, which existed until 1894 and laid the foundation for future student sports leagues. In 1905, the twenty-sixth President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, organized a meeting between representatives of thirteen colleges and universities, which resulted in the creation of the Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States on March 31, 1906 (Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States, IAAUS). In 1910, the IAAUS changed its name, becoming the National Collegiate Athletic Association we know today.
The National Collegiate Sports Association is administratively divided into three divisions. The first of them includes about three hundred and fifty educational institutions (more than six thousand teams and one hundred and seventy thousand student athletes), which have a developed sports infrastructure, can offer their students larger “sports” scholarships, and, as a result, whose representatives achieve high performance competitions. Each university – a member of the first division is obliged to support at least seven sports for both boys and girls, and at least two of them must be team sports. There are also a number of other conditions that are quite rigidly stipulating the requirements for a university or college that wants to be a member of this most prestigious division. In turn, in the first divisionThe NCAA is allocated two subdivisions in relation to participation in American football competitions: the teams of one of them play in the championship (Football Championship Subdivision), the participants of the other compete in cup matches (Football Bowl Subdivision), and the remaining members of the division do not participate in football competitions at all.
In the second (about three hundred participants) and third (more than four hundred participants) divisions, the membership requirements are somewhat lower, in particular, support for at least five sports for both boys and girls is required, including at least two team sports; not so high requirements for the presence of sports facilities; “sports” scholarships may only partially cover the cost of education (or even be absent altogether). In total, the NCAA holds about ninety national championships in various sports (men’s and women’s, separately for all three divisions).
Each year, the top athletes who have played in the National Collegiate Athletic Association are invited to the “big four” American professional sports teams: NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL.