What exactly is "Varsity" for applications?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by TitoRocket, Aug 6, 2012.

  1. TitoRocket

    TitoRocket Member

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    Hi guys,

    On all the applications I've been filling out recently, I've constantly come across the issue of whether or not my two years of cross country was a "varsity" sport. If by the Wikipedia definition of varsity, it is a sport that represents a school, and competes against other school's teams. I am 99.99% sure that Cross Country was a varsity sport.

    However, I ran for the JV team, as only the top 7 runners were called varsity. Does this mean that on my applications, I cannot check off varsity? Or by participating in a varsity sport rather than a club sport, does that allow me to check off varsity?

    Lastly, up until about ten minutes ago, I always thought a Varsity "Letter" was a piece of paper stating that you played on your school's varsity team. However, a quick google search showed that it was that carpet/felt "letter" of the alphabet that one would sew onto a jacket. This letter was given to everyone on my team who actually showed up for the practices and the meets (our team is walk-on). Does this mean I can say I have a Varsity Letter?

    Thanks!

    (And congrats to the C4Cs who finished up basic!!! Your pictures from the facebook USAFA were a great source of inspiration!)
     
  2. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    JV is not varsity.

    Varsity is varsity.
     
  3. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Luigi is correct, in the terms of Varsity, you are not on Varsity. In terms of sports, you are still on a school sport, not a club sport, and have been for yrs.

    I would think the 7 you are talking about were all 9th, 10th and 11th graders, not srs. If I am correct than all srs. would be considered varsity regardless of their times, at least that is how they do it at our kids school. It doesn't mean they will compete, it just means they are on the varsity team because JV is for 9-11, and they are too old to be on JV.

    I would check with your school, because if that is the case, and the way the AFA system works, you would be able to place Varsity for 1 yr. As I said earlier, you would also place 9-11 for xcountry too on your packet for yrs participating in the school sport.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2012
  4. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    Our kid's school has very defined criteria for varsity and varsity letters. I coach, so I am familiar with the system.

    In track, there are up to three varsity athletes in each event and everyone else is JV. If you're varsity for even one meet you are considered a varsity athlete. In order to earn a varsity 'letter', you need to score 15 or more points for the team in conference meets. Cross country is very much the same. For football, if you play in one or more varsity games, you are varsity. To earn a letter, you have to have played in 33% of the quarters of conference games. Volleyball is similar in that you have to have played in 33% of the games in conference play. For powerlifting, you needed to have at least one meet as a varsity lifter, and lift at least the state qualifying weight in your weight class in at least one meet to get a letter.

    Check with your school's athletic director. I'm sure there is some sort of criteria, even if you're not aware of it.

    Stealth_81
     
  5. TrumpetTennis

    TrumpetTennis Member

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    +1 :shake:
     
  6. 49er

    49er Member

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    The thing I would remember is that normally the Service Academies and ROTC Scholarship programs will request verification of your athletics, extracurricular activities and etc. from your school’s guidance counselor or other source. If you where considered JV by your school then that is what you should put on your application.

    Earning a letter for a sport appears to vary as much as how GPAs are calculated. As stated above, different schools have different ways to determine who receives a varsity letter. Some award a letter solely on making the varsity team and finishing the season. Others may require you at least “start” one game or play 1/3 of the season. In regards to documenting letters, in my son’s case, he has certificates from his high school stating he earned a letter for each season/sport he earned the letter in. Those that did not letter received a certificate of participation.

    Another biggie that SAs and ROTC looks for is someone that has been a team Captain. My son played varsity baseball his 10th grade year and because of the loss of a lot of seniors to graduation my son felt that he was at least in the running to serve as a captain his 11th grade year. However, there was also a coaching change the same year and the new coach did not believe in having team captains. My dad coached high school sports, I was around sports in high school and my son played varsity football and baseball in high school. This is the only situation I can recall a team that did not have team captains. His coach always called him and a couple other guys “senior leaders” his senior year. But a “senior leader” is not the same thing as a captain. His applications were consistent with the school and he had other leadership positions (club president two years, Eagle Scout, a small leadership position at Boys State, Senior Patrol Leader in scouting and etc.) that helped him out.

    My advice would be to check with your school’s Athletic Director and Guidance Counselor before you submit application and make sure they can verify your activities and awards.
     
  7. dlee96

    dlee96 Member

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    The top 7 are varsity because they are fastest. If you are not in your CC team's top 7, then you are not varsity. Luigi59 made the best point. Also, as long as you have a certificate stating that you have earned your varsity award, that means you are varsity and you can put that on your resume.
     
  8. TitoRocket

    TitoRocket Member

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    I'm definitely JV then lol. I don't think our school does the 'seniors on Varsity', and instead uses the top 7 like dlee96 said.

    Thanks everyone!
     
  9. GoSox

    GoSox Member

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    Definitely check with your Coach and/or AD on this, because it is possible they do consider you a varsity athlete (thus, the award of the letter). Cross-country is a little bit odd -- the top 7 runners run in the "varsity race" and everyone else runs in a JV race (sometimes known as the "Varsity B race") or freshmen race. Given the award of the letter, the athletic administration may consider you a varsity letter winner for your school even though you were not one of the fastest 7 runners. (At my school as I recall they would give varsity letters out even to the people who were not the top 7 runners -- I just can't remember if they made them wait until senior year or not to get the letter.)
     
  10. NargleSlayer

    NargleSlayer Member

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    I've had my fair share of sports teams in my years.

    Extra curricular sports are extra curricular sports.
    Varsity is varsity.
    Junior varsity is junior varsity.
    Making a "varsity team" is the same thing as recieving a "varsity letter".

    If I counted all the sports I've played out side of school competitively and in school competively together, I'd have 6 different Varsity Letters, and that's not realistic.
     
  11. MN-Dad-2016

    MN-Dad-2016 Member

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    Cross Country is a different sport. At my Kid's high school he ran cross country. The top 7 runners were "Varsity" runners. Some meets there were a total of 10 runners that were "Varsity". Since boys CC had 75 kids running, they gave out letters to the kids who were dedicated. There were parameters that dictated who lettered and who did not. Too many letter were given out IMHO but I understand why they cannot give out a total of 10 letters a year when 75 are on the team.

    He lettered in 9th grade and also ran a few meets during the "Varsity" section. He was later the captain. But I understand why the OP is asking specifically about CC.

    In HS hockey, you can play on the Varsity team but not letter (think bench warmer). So I can see where their is some confusion.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2012
  12. Vista123

    Vista123 Member

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    Dont even get me going on Varsity in hockey-where my son lives only the bottom players play varsity- the top players play travel ( I know this is different in different parts of the country)-there isnt even a spot for that on the application.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2012
  13. time2

    time2 Member

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    Being on the varsity TEAM is NOT the same thing as getting a varsity LETTER. As an example, take Cross Country or Track, in some schools I am familiar with, you have to earn a certain number of points during the season competing in events while on the varsity team to earn or be awarded a letter. The number of points required to earn the letter does vary by school, but the terms are not equivalent.

    In very small schools, the difference between JV and Varisty may not be obvious. However, in every medium to large H.S. I am aware of, every player clearly knows which team they are on.
     
  14. MN-Dad-2016

    MN-Dad-2016 Member

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    Not so fast. :) My DS graduated from a school of 2800 students. That's a big school.:wink: As I said, a "varsity" athlete may not letter yet in a different sport a letterer may not participate on the "varsity" squad. Same school different sport. As I said, I see where there is some confusion when filling out the application. In my sons situation, he lettered and ran or played varsity. So there was no confusion. :)
     
  15. Cadet2017

    Cadet2017 Member

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    I also had some problems when filling out this part of the application, but my counselor said that any sport that is a school sport and has a varsity team is a varsity sport. This is compared to sports that are club sports and would not be considered varsity sports.
     
  16. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    GC's will be required to submit an electronic file. You will not know what they submit. You get no hard copy. This is where the school profile starts to come into play.

    Cadet 2017, I am not trying to be antagonistic or argumentative, but I disagree with your blanket statement of:
    In this case it is about school sports regarding the OP, but there are many club sports that would be considered varsity.

    Swim, TKD, cheerleading, gymnastics and even soccer.

    DS's HS did not have a swim team, but due to the fact that their Y team (club) competed, won states, and some swimmers won nationally they were seen on par with HS varsity.

    The school did not offer swim team. They were a club.

    DS did TKD, school did not offer it. He was 2 time state champ in HS, and a national jr. olympian in hs. They took TKD as varsity sport. The RD asked for the Master to write a letter a letter detailing training and competition meets.

    They will take it as a varsity sport, but be prepared to defend why they should give that credit. Posters, I am with Cadet2017 if you pay the monthly fee and never compete. If you compete locally/state/nationally, than take cadet2017's post with a grain of salt.

    I only say this because many applicants would immediately feel with your post cadet2017 that unless it is a school sport, the fat lady sang regarding sports.

    Every SA is well aware that they have applicants whom are home schooled. Sports is no longer just HS. Club sports also understand that they have HS home schooled students too.

    I am 1000% positive you want to help the OP, I am only trying to help posters so they don't take a blanket statement that club sports would not be considered varsity as fact, especially from a candidate.

    Not trying to offend with the candidate remark, just trying to keep posters calm when they read your remark of "clubs not equaling varsity". You are their peer in the same boat, candidate.
     
  17. Cadet2017

    Cadet2017 Member

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    I definitley understand where you coming from. That's just what my counselor said, but thanks for clarifying that for me and everyone else. You obviously would no better than me. Like you said, I am just a canidate. Also, what do you mean by a counselor has to submit an electronic file? Does that mean just verifying the activites you completed?
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2012
  18. JMC0759

    JMC0759 S-USMMA '12 D-USAFA '15

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    Great posts by Pima, Mn-Dad-2016 and Vista123

    My daughter, a (C3C as of today I guess) did a sport that was not offered in her high school. Even if it was we would have still opted to compete for a club. That is usually where the better coaches and better competition is. We had asked the AFA coach what to put on the application and he considered her a varsity athlete even though she did not have a "letter." Most schools that I know of don't even offer a letter anymore. I don't think that Missy Franklin is swimming for her high school team but any of the academies would consider her a varsity athlete!

    My son played hockey growing up. One of his friends moved out of state when he was 12 to live with a host family so he could be exposed to better players and coaches. He never played high school hockey but was drafted by the NHL and is now enjoying a full ride in college after a successful junior career. I don't think his college coach cared if he played in high school or not.

    Listen to the other posters. Talk to your coach, work hard and see what he thinks you are! If you practice every day, never miss and always help the team I would bet he would consider you a varsity athlete. Be a team leader and you just might get the leadership position you need for your application.
     
  19. Packer

    Packer Member

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    I think she does still swim for her high school team.
     
  20. JMC0759

    JMC0759 S-USMMA '12 D-USAFA '15

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    I tried to verify that before I posted as it looked like she has been at the National Training Center for a long time...
     

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