This isn't in response to any particular thread of poster. I'm simply writing it in the hopes that any new people will find it when, or if they do a search on the topic. It seems that in recent years, more and more applicants are asking questions about sports, or rather the lack of sports, in their application. Granted, this forum is a very small sample of air force academy applicants. Probably less than 1% of all applicants. E.g. 12,000 initial applicants; probably no more than 100 posters/lurkers for any given academy application year on this forum. For some reason however, there seems to be a lot of individuals, or their parents, who post questions concerning their lack of sports during their high school years. Honestly, I don't really need to know or hear reasons why you didn't do some sports. Personally, I think sports are quite important to the development of young people. The academies and the NCAA feel the same way. Here is a list of attributes the NCAA has provided to universities nationally to demonstrate why sports is so important. "What does athletics teach individuals: Attention to detail , Awareness of diversity, Challenging yourself , Commitment, Communication, Competition , Confidence , Cooperation , Coordination , Decision making , Dedication, Determination , Diligence, Discipline, Endurance, Fitness, Flexibility, Focus, Following plans/directions, Give/take feedback and criticism, Goal-directed, Improvement, Integrity, Individual/group effort, Keeping records, Leadership, Learning from failure, Management, Multitasking, Organization, Overcome obstacles, Pain/fatigue management, Patience,Performance, Persistence, Positive attitude, Prioritizing, Problem solving,Punctuality, Pursuit of excellence, Respect, Responsibility, Scheduling, Self-directed, Self-esteem, Set goals, Strategies, Stress management, Supervision, Tactics (offense/defense), Teaching, Teamwork , Thinking on your feet, Time management, Training motivation, Work ethic." So yes, sports does aid in fitness, but the main measurement for the academy is the CFA. Sports isn't so important on the resume/application because of fitness. It's mainly for all the other reasons listed above. And high school sports is one method that is easily measured and documented to show that you have been involved in sports. It shows the teamwork, leadership, dedication, and all the other attributes listed above. 2 very important things however. 1) It doesn't have to be "High School Varsity Sports". Some applicants don't have those opportunities. But if you can show city league sports, summer league sports, YMCA TEAM sports, competitive martial arts, or other sports that are "Team Oriented" and competitive, that will bode well for you. Saying that you run every day, or you go to the gym every day and work out, isn't enough. Remember, your fitness is measured with the CFA. Sports is for SO MUCH MORE!!! 2) Yes, you can argue that other activities have many of these same attributes. That may be true, but sports are something that can be easily measured. If you're going to try and compensate all of the above attributes in an activity other than in an organized team sport, then you better be able to illustrate how you attained those attributes in your essays, teacher's recommendations, etc. Not saying that some people without any sports weren't able to get an appointment. Some have. But it is very difficult. Even as of last year's entering class of 2018, 82% had VARSITY LETTERS in 1 or more sports. The number is even higher when you look at team sport candidates who didn't get a varsity letter. The point is, sports are very important to the academy for all the reasons listed above. Your competition, the vast majority of them, have done sports. It is documented; thus the attributes that sports represent, have been validated. You will be at a major disadvantage in your application if you don't do sports. And not just one year so you can "Fill a Square" on your applications. (But even 1 year is better than NO YEARS). And, for what it's worth, most universities put a lot of stock in applicants with a sports background for the same exact reasons. So being involved in sports is important not just for applying to the academies, but also for other universities. So, if you've read this post during your lurking or searching, then you now know why sports is so important. You will not gain anything by explaining to anyone on this forum why you COULDN'T do sports. We aren't the ones who will be reviewing your package. Nothing we say matters. Realize however, that if you didn't/don't do any sports in high school, you better do one heck of job describing all the attributes listed above some place in your application so the academy can feel confident that you've aquired the benefits of sports in another area. And just in case, you better also kick butt in your CFA test just to help your cause. Again, this thread is not directed towards any individual poster or thread on this forum. I've simply noticed an increasing number of questions over the past few years about sports, why it's important, and individuals trying to explain why they haven't done any. Hopefully, potential candidates and lurkers will find this thread in their searches. Hopefully it will explain why sports is so important. Hopefully it will save them a lot of time so they aren't posting all the reasons why they haven't done any sports and what our opinions are. Best of luck. mike.