Athletics + Fitness
A Great Books school might be the last place you’d expect to find a robust athletics program—after all, there are only three intercollegiate sports on campus, and one of them is croquet. But sports and fitness are a huge part of life at St. John’s. Don’t get us wrong: this is not a school full of football fanatics or strenuous athletes (though of course there are some!), but the intramural program is considered by many to be an important extension of the academic Program. If team sports aren’t your thing, try fencing, sailing, or any of the many watersports available in the Hodson Boathouse, or hit the gym—affectionately called Temple Iglehart—for a workout class or some weight training. All that matters is that you keep moving.
The much-beloved intramural program is a mainstay of extracurricular life in Annapolis, with more than 50 percent of the student body participating. Every member of the Polity—including students, faculty, and staff members—are automatically sorted into one of the college’s five intramural teams: the Druids, Greenwaves, Guardians, Hustlers, and Spartans. (It’s not quite as Hogwarts-y as it seems.) Participation is voluntary, and alumni, parents, and siblings are welcome to play. Emphasis is placed on teamwork and friendly competition, and the communication and interpersonal skills developed through the sports are considered an extension of the work started in seminar. Sports include soccer, Athenian reasonball (it’s a Johnnie thing … ), basketball, volleyball, Ultimate Frisbee, netball, and handball, though offerings can change by year. Loyalty to your team is a big thing around here—just ask the alumni.
Check out the events calendar.
While all women and non-cisgendered members of the Polity are welcome to participate in the intramural program (and many do), they are also able to play and compete in Kunai. The league, named for an Ancient Greek word referring to the hellhounds in the works of Homer, offers soccer, netball, volleyball, basketball, and more. Kunai is home to both friendly and fierce competition.
Johnnie Rae-Ann Clement describes the league this way: “The Ancient Greek word κυναι simply means dog, but we take it to mean much more. We describe ourselves as bold, brazen, and beautiful. We are dedicated to creating a healthy and fun environment where [we] can learn to play sports and grow as athletes. It might sound like a kind of kumbaya thing, and that’s because it is. We are a group, a unit, a family, a pack of hellhounds.”
Iglehart Hall, lovingly called Temple Iglehart by students and faculty, features a full-size basketball court, suspended running track, weight room, cardio room, table tennis, and dance studio. Athletic equipment of all kinds is available for loan.
Temple Iglehart is also home to a rotating schedule of workout classes, including yoga, core class, weight training, and more. See the events calendar.
Policies and Procedures
Towering above College Creek on Back Campus, Hodson Boathouse has long served as a resource for students, faculty, and staff looking to take advantage of the college’s waterfront location. The decades-old facility serves as a home base for the St. John’s crew and sailing teams (and has plenty of space for receptions, dinner parties, and other events).
In addition to joining the crew or sailing teams, students can take out canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, sailboats, and other watersports equipment from the Boathouse. Events like the Under the Stars Paddle encourage students at all skill levels to get out on the water and make the most of the campus waterfront.
St. John’s College competes in a variety of intercollegiate athletics, from sailing regattas to the annual croquet match against the Naval Academy.
Located on College Creek, Annapolis offers many opportunities for water sports. The Hodson Boathouse on the back campus serves as headquarters for an active crew program, which includes sweep-oar rowing and sculling. The crew team practices multiple mornings per week and competes in intercollegiate regattas.
Interested in learning how to play croquet with some of the best players in the country? The St. John’s College croquet team typically participates in the United States Croquet Association Collegiate Division—and holds more national titles than any other team in the league. The team challenges the Naval Academy to the Annapolis Cup match each spring, which is one of biggest and most beloved campus traditions.
True to the St. John’s spirit, all students are welcome to join the team, even if they have no prior experience. Practices consist mostly of games, rather than repetitive exercises. Players simultaneously learn the physical aspects of the sport and the strategies needed to win. Members of the croquet team are usually out on the field several times a week, willing to give newcomers lessons.
The St. John’s College Fencing Union is a year-round club. Fencers practice and compete in all three modern weapons—foil, épée, and saber equipment is available for use.
The club hosts tournaments on behalf of the Maryland Division of the United States Fencing Association, open to all USFA members of the appropriate ranking. The undergraduate students also compete against other collegiate teams in the Baltimore-Washington Collegiate Fencing Conference (BWCFC), a 12-school consortium of varsity and club fencing teams.
The college also has a Historic European Martial Arts (HEMA) club.
The mission of the St. John’s intercollegiate sailing team is to introduce students to the exciting world of competitive sailing. As a member of the Mid-Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association, the St. John’s College Sailing Team competes in three to four regattas per semester in FJs and lasers. The sailing team has a dedicated coach and practices several times a week, including occasional scrimmages with the Naval Academy.