List of NCAA Sports A-Z

list of ncaa sports

The National Collegiate Athletics Association (also known as the NCAA) is an organization devoted to regulating and administrating college-level sports, with the intent of supporting the success and welfare of college athletes. Many popular sports from across the world are moderated by the NCAA, which comprises 1,098 major colleges and universities, and 102 athletic conferences. Across over 20 different sports, the NCAA holds 90 championships each year, and close to half a million college athletes participate in a sport managed by the organization every year.

NCAA sports follow very strict rules regarding recruitment, academics, and play to ensure that all student-athletes are able to fully participate in their sports while also pursuing their education. For aspiring professional athletes, playing NCAA sports on teams affiliated with certain colleges can lead to potential opportunities with professional sports teams. For others, participating in sports is a personal pursuit, which is why the NCAA ensures that all athletes simultaneously receive an education and requires them to meet yearly academic standards in order to continue competing.


What are NCAA sports?

NCAA sports are sports that are managed by the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA). There are currently over 20 NCAA sports, with approximately half a million college athletes involved in athletic competitions. The NCAA follows strict rules regarding academics, fairness, and student welfare, ensuring that all athletes can devote time and energy to their sports while also committing themselves to their education.

The most popular NCAA sports by viewership are American football, basketball, and baseball. American Football is one of the highest-grossing collegiate sports in the world, bringing in an estimated $15 billion each year across all conferences, with its playoffs standing as the 7th highest-grossing U.S. sporting event. Basketball is a close second to American football in terms of popularity. Its championship tournament, known as “March Madness,” brings in about $8.8 billion each year. Finally, NCAA baseball draws in large crowds each year, sometimes in excess of 10,000 fans per game.

Are athletes in NCAA sports paid?

For many years, the NCAA strictly followed rules which did not permit participating athletes to be paid for playing their sports, even if they were featured in television ads, on social media, or broadcast in other ways. However, as of July 2021, the NCAA has adopted an interim policy that allows some of its athletes to receive payment from avenues like their social media accounts, broker deals, autograph signings, etc. These are known as name, image, and likeness (NIL) deals. This has allowed some NCAA athletes to build their brands online as a method of earning money.

What are the biggest events in NCAA sports?

Two of the biggest events in NCAA sports are March Madness and the NCAA College Football Playoff. March Madness pits the top 68 NCAA basketball teams against each other in a tournament-style bracket whose games last throughout the spring, drawing millions of fans and often leading to extensive sports betting over who will be the ultimate victors. While American football is arguably the more popular NCAA sport overall, March Madness as an event is extremely popular on its own. The NCAA College Football Playoff, however, is also a wildly popular set of events.