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Varsity Sports

The Varsity Sports Area of the Sports, Recreational and Artistic Programs Department of the UCR promotes and coordinates the integral development of the university students through their participation in sports inside and outside the country. The Area coordinates participation in national tournaments and championships, inter-university events, the program of Sports Talent Development, and the Little League program, among other activities. 

  • National Tournaments and Championships

    The University of Costa Rica takes part in national tournaments and championships in disciplines like chess, athletics, basketball, handball, fencing, soccer, indoor soccer, judo, karate-do, swimming, cheerleading, table tennis, and volleyball.

    Approximately 500 players currently take part in these events in representation of the University.

    The Encouragement Scholarship (exoneration from the payment of tuition) is one of the benefits given to the students of the UCR who take part in official sports competitions in the institution. 

Description of the teams and sports disciplines

  • Chess

    Historical representation of the institution where outstanding male and female national chess players have been forged; many have had important international achievements and become masters in the discipline. In this sport, players are trained in the competitive game that consists of applying specific strategies to dethrone the opponent king and to keep the adversary from overthrowing your own reign, after the movement of pieces like the queen, the bishops, the horses, the towers, the pawns and your own king, essential elements of this sport science or game of intelligence. The competitions take place under affiliation to the Central Federation of Chess. There is a Talent Development Program (PFT, for its initials in Spanish) for children and teenagers, 5 to 16 years of age.

  • Athletics

    There are both male and female teams with an excellent trajectory, history, important national and international athletic achievements and contributions to the university, and with large tradition in the institution. These teams focus on the development of their high performance skills in the different areas of speed, resistance, throwing of objects, and jumps of different styles, which demonstrate the different physical and technical skills in the race against time and distance, while seeking to exceed themselves. The teams are members of the Costa Rican Athletics Federation (FECOA).

  • Basketball

    Women’s and men’s representation bring about ample tradition in the university and at national and international levels. It made important achievements and received outstanding recognition in the golden decades of national basketball. The team is a member of the Costa Rican Basketball Federation (FECOBA). Players are trained in the basic and essential skills of the sport: ball passes, throws, rebounds, defensive and offensive strategies, motion, and speed.

  • Handball

    Representative male team with trajectory and history in the university and in the national and international sports arena. This team has been a model and axis of promotion and development of talents and celebrities in national handball. As its name says, this discipline is based on the handling of the ball in defense and attack of the goals. Players are trained competitively in the skills of possession of the ball, adaptation, bouncing, displacement, feinting and ball throws. The team is a member of the Costa Rican Handball Federation (FECOBAL).

  • Fencing

    Representative male and female activity recognized inside and outside the university. It is the oldest modern sport. The team is assigned to the official competitions of the Costa Rican Fencing Federation. In the team, players are trained in the mastering of basic techniques and skills for national and international competitions, in the different handling styles of the different weapons, like the sword, the saber, and the foil. There is a Little League Fencing program available for children and teenagers ages 5 to 16.

  • Soccer

    Male and female teams, with significant university, national, and international trajectory. The team members are trained in the main skills and tactics of modern soccer along with comprehensive training. There is a Talent Development Program (PFT) available for children ages 7 to 14.

    The Universidad de Costa Rica Soccer Club represents the Institution in National First Division Soccer. Founded by decree of President Rafael Angel Calderon Guardia in 1941, the club has a title in First Division, a position it obtained two years after it was founded. After its trajectory in the Second Division, the Universidad de Costa Rica team has won three times in this league, the first one in 1973, the second in 2007, and the third in 2013. Also, the Soccer Club has a Little League program for teenagers.

  • Indoor soccer

    Women’s and men’s teams recently initiated this discipline, yet important achievements both in the competitive aspect and in the promotion of the sport in its emergence, establishment, and projection in the university and national scopes have been made. Based on the principles and skills of soccer, indoor soccer players are trained for competition in the essentials, such as the pass, conduction or dribbling, dodging, reception and smashes and in the strategy of defense and attack of the goals. The team is competitively affiliated to the Indoor Soccer League (LIFUTSAL), which is in turn affiliated to the Costa Rican Soccer Federation.

  • Judo

    Representative male and female teams with an outstanding university and national background. This is an Oriental discipline originated in Japan, assigned to the official competitions of the Costa Rican Judo Federation. The members receive competitive training oriented to flexibility of self-defense movements, combining the noble art of harmony and balance between body and mind. It is mainly based on projection, immobilization, and disarticulation techniques. It does not use direct blows. It has a Little League program for children and teenagers ages 5 to 16.

  • Karate-do

    A team in the women and men branches with long tradition in the Universidad de Costa Rica. This is an Oriental discipline originated in Japan which seeks the improvement of the body and mind relationship by means of exercises and self-defense attack and counterattack skills. There is emphasis in the use and movement of the hands, but other parts of the body are also trained as “weapons” (elbows, knees, feet, and the head, among others). The team is a member of the Costa Rican Karate Federation (FECOKA), and it participates in official federation competitions. A Little League Karate-do program is available for children and teenagers ages 5 to 16.

  • Swimming

    Male and female teams have set records in competitive achievements in the Alma Mater. Swimming is one of the most complete water sports. The whole muscular system of the body is exercised and strengthened, while bringing additional benefits to the cardio-respiratory system in general. On the competitive aspect, training is oriented to the main styles, such as freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly in the different distances. The team competes at the inter-university and national scopes, and it is a member of the Costa Rican Swimming Federation. It has a Little League program for children between the ages of 9 and 12, and for teenagers 13 to 17.

  • Cheerleading

    Co-ed team with outstanding national and international performance and historical achievements in national and global competitions in its category. The team members’ training is based on acrobatic exercises and programmed routines that range from the basic to the complex; performances filled with displays of elasticity, flexibility, balance, mental concentration, strength, and individual and group physical control. The team is affiliated to the new Costa Rican Cheerleading and Related Activities Federation (FECOPA).  

  • Table Tennis

    Competition team with a long record in the Universidad de Costa Rica for both women and men. It is a sport that uses a ball, a table and a racket, and is practiced around the world, especially at the federation and competition scale. The education of the participants is based on the training in the different skills: physical, motor, affective, cognitive, and social, where concentration and ability are essential.

  • Volleyball

    Male and female teams participate with great achievements and history in the university as well as in national and international volleyball arena. This is a sport of great visual impact and emotion and for the enjoyment of its fans due to its nature and origin, which was designed to avoid physical contact between the contenders. The athletes need to be trained in technical aspects such as volleying, reception, smash, blockings, and in strategies of zone defense and attack, looking for the adversary’s most vulnerable zones. The team is competitively affiliated to the Costa Rican Volleyball Federation (FECOVOL). There is a junior league for men and women.

  • Little League Programs

    Intended for children and teenagers from 6 to 16 years of age, these programs train talented young athletes to enter the national representation teams.

    They are self-sustained programs supervised by the University Sports Association and they include different disciplines, such as chess, fencing, judo, karate, and swimming.

  • Sports Talent Training Programs

    They consist of programs for gifted children and teenagers from 7 to 14 years of age, who are later incorporated into the national representation teams.

    These programs are self-sustained and they are supervised by the University Sports Association (ADU). They include disciplines like men’s soccer and swimming.

  • Torneos intersedes

    The Varsity Sports Area also organizes inter-campus tournaments at the University of Costa Rica, offers logistic support in the sports organization and planning to those who request it, whether inside or outside the University, and takes care of the coordination of sports events together with national and international organizations, among them, the Costa Rican Sports and Recreation Institute (ICODER), the National Olympics Committee of Costa Rica (CON) and the International University Sports Federation (FISU).

  • Inter-University Participation

    Along with public and private higher education institutions in the country, the University of Costa Rica takes part in important festivals, tournaments, leagues, and university games, matches, and competitions. These competitions are organized and coordinated by the Costa Rican University Sports Federation (FECUNDE), an organization ascribed to the National University Presidents Board (CONARE). They take place every year, except for the Costa Rican University Games (JUNCOS), which are held every two years. The main requirement for the athletes is to be active students of the institution that they represent.

    At the international level, the University participates through FECUNDE in competitions that are organized and coordinated by the Central American and the Caribbean University Sports Organization (ODUCC), the Pan-American University Sports Organization (ODUPA), as well as the International Federation of University Sports (FISU).

    The University of Costa Rica also participates in the Central American University Sports Games (JUDUCA), which take place every two years and are organized by the Central American Higher University Council (CSUCA).

    Both in the national and in the international levels, the UCR competes in disciplines like chess, athletics, basketball, handball, soccer, indoor soccer, karate-do, swimming, cheerleading, taekwondo, table tennis and volleyball.

For further information about entering the university varsity teams, the Talent Training Programs, or the Little League Programs, call 2511-4129 or 2511-4151, or visit the facilities of Sports, Recreation, and Artistic Programs located across the Carlos Monge Alfaro Library, former Saprissa Building.

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