No VARSITY sports


10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Nov 13, 2008
Hi all!

I was wondering -- I'm not part of any Varsity sports in my school. In fact, I don't play any sports for my current school and never have in high school. This is because I avidly train ice skating and (ballroom - latin mainly) dancing - and I'm one of my team's two captains, both of which of course aren't offered in school. Plus I used to swim. (And loads of other schools in Junior High, one of which I was captain of.)

Is a letter essential?? :confused:
Or does that up there look good enough?
Besides, I could boost that with great CFA scores like a 6min mile, the 7 pull-ups, 65+ sit ups, ...... or?

And about the CFA... can one take it multiple times? If one does it for NASS but improves (which I will as there's a whole year between NASS and I-Day!!), can one retake it and submit the later, better scores in the actual USNA Application?

Thanks everyone! :biggrin:
Hi there, I am no expert, but I have done a great deal of research because I am kind of in a similar boat. First, a varsity letter is not required, but over 90% of students who get accepted to USNA have one. In regards to the CFA, I believe you must take it again when you apply to the academy (providing you have not already). And yes, you may take it multiple times before you turn in your candidate packet. As a homeschooler:shake:, I have looked into the requirments of sports. From what I have gathered, sports involvment is not just about demonstrating physical fitness. Its about the team work involved. Since you have had swimming experiance I think you should do fine.
I assume you are applying to the class of 2013?
Kindest regards.
The CFA that you take at NASS is applied to your application's CFA however you can re-take it.
Not having a varsity letter can potentially work against you. It is imperative that you highlight your athletic accomplishments in ice skating to the admissions board in your apllication. Also highlight your background in dancing. If you can do so successfully, it may make up for the lack of athletics.

Best of luck.

tbh, I don't think my school gives out varsity letters... we're a 'small' (130 per class) international school, so we don't do all that. we have varsity sports but no letters....
plus if i suddenly joined varsity basketball my senior year in hs, wouldn't that look a bit bad?
Thanks everbody! And thank you dclaws24, I shall do that :smile:

Ethands15 said:
I am kind of in a similar boat

Good luck to you!!!! :thumb: I'm sure we'll both do great :smile::biggrin:
nope, 2014 for me... 2013 for you?
Don't confuse playing on a varsity sport with getting a varsity letter (usually there is some criteria each h.s. team uses to determine that, everyone on a team may not get a varsity 'letter'). At every academy around 90% of those attending have participated in some kind of varsity sport.

These are physically demanding programs and while around 10% get appointments without a varsity sport, they will be expected to keep pace with their peers once they start the program, regardless of what they did/did not do in h.s.

It is in your best interest to be in the best possible physical shape before you start. How you choose to do that is up to you, but participation in some kind of physically demanding sport is one way to achieve that. You will be competing with others who have trained extensively during h.s. and it will be obvious who is in shape and who is not.
well ice skating and dancing are both demanding sports where - especially in dancing as it is in a team, we get "rewarded" with push ups and sit ups if we come late or talk or something

i haven't applied yet, time2.... what if i get really competitive CFA results (what would you consider really competitive - for USNA?)?... could and would that make up for no varsity sport?
b/c right now, with two sports and a very challenging academic curriculum, i can't join another team - there just aren't enough hours in the day!
Please realize that competitive team sports are viewed by the Academies as more than just physical fitness demonstrations.

Handling adversity.
Reaction under pressure.
Small unit cohesion.
Time commitments.
Well dancing is teamwork (synchro group - "formation" its called), competing (nationals), small unit cohesion (16 people) and time commitments (large for an IB student at least).

how is 'adversity' defined here?

but i get it, CFA is not enough...
thanks! :)
Well dancing is teamwork...


It doesn't matter what YOU think. What matters is what THEY (USNA Admissions) think.

Facts are facts. Over 90% of the plebes in the Class of 2012 were varsity athletes. Which means that only 10% were not.

If you feel your overall application is strong enough to compete in that "10% pool" than ignore what everyone here is telling you.
Fine, different kind of teamwork :redface:

I believe you! and... I hope to God that yes, it is :)
So you think I should just suddenly join a varsity sport at my school? I could pick up tennis again...

Thanks, Luigi :biggrin:
So you think I should just suddenly join a varsity sport at my school? I could pick up tennis again...

Yes....absolutely. Even if you have never played the sport before....Go for it!!

Tennis would be OK...but if you could find a varsity sport like soccer, womens rugby, field hockey, basketball.. ect......anything team related.....that could easily demonstrate the attributes that Luigi59 spoke of....that would be the way to go.

Good Luck!
I could do basketball I guess... you're right, I keep forgetting that! :mad:
I'll see if there are any summer sports like that .... could do field hockey, it will be faaaar less stressful in school then...
Thank you!!!
I think if you join a summer sport to lessen the school stress, you are missing the point. Varsity athletes manage to juggle sports, academics, and leadership. It might be fine that you don't play any sports...are you willing to risk it? That is what you have to figure out.
mom3boys, thanks for the concern :smile:

I train both ice skating and formation dancing, which totals to about 15hrs a week, and includes ballett for body control etc etc etc :) fitness training not included
Besides that, I take the IB with 3 higher levels (used to have 4), and two standards (did the 3rd as a one year course - IB is 2yrs - and got the top grade, a 7)... the SLs alone already count as APs
With two sports AND the IB, my parents just won't let me do anymore :)frown:)! As I'm not 18 till spring, I have to listen.

(oh and I'm applying for 2014, so I'll have a year "free" to work, study, and train between HS and USNA - IF I get in!!!)
About the ice-skating...

A word of encouragement... I sponsor 2 2/c USNA midshipmen, women (twins!), who were elite competitive ice skaters, both single and pairs. Technically, no varsity sport. But -- they had superb credentials in every other aspect of academic achievement, community and other leadership activities. Their ability to organize their high school schedule to fit with their daily hours of practice made them extremely good at time management (an Academy survival tool), and their competitive skills gave them the ability to focus, endure hardship and power through the hard stuff, whether physical or mental. The physical fitness tests were a breeze for them due to their high level of conditioning. They have sampled a variety of club and intramural sports at USNA and are enjoying that tremendously after all the years on the ice. They are high up in their class and doing extremely well as engineering majors.

Bottom line ... know how to highlight the Academy-valuable aspects of the physical activities you do have, and ensure all the rest is impeccable. Each midshipman brings a unique blend of talents to the table, and in my observations, the USNA Admissions Board conscientiously looks to see what might balance out a perceived lack.

Good luck!
Thank you! I shall do them! That's great news :biggrin:
Yep, time management is DEFINITELY something I've had to deal with, especially with the IB!

~Katie :smile:
Do balance my comment with all the other sage advice in this thread, by assessing whether there is a team sport you can wedge into your program. Might be time to step back and evaluate everything you are doing for how much it has the potential to round out your application. The simple fact is a compelling majority of successful applicants have team sport involvement as part of their total package, with varsity teams and team leadership positions offering extra shininess. Don't overthink the "how will it look if I do a team sport this late" --- action is usually better than inaction.
I was already in school today, asking what varsity team sports there are and when the try-outs are :)
Seems there's an opening in Basketball, as well as in Field hockey :biggrin: