Sports, just like music or religion, is a universal activity. Every culture or community in the world has its own sporting activity. Over the years, some sports have evolved to become a global phenomenon whereas some dwindled and faded along the way, never to be heard of again. Some sports are so captivating to watch while some are just not so spectator friendly. Basketball, hockey, rugby and soccer or football, depending on which part of the globe you come from, are some of the most captivating sports to watch. To make these games even more interesting, divisions were introduced so as to promote competitiveness amongst teams. Several divisions are created, and teams in each division play off against each other where the best team gets promoted to the next higher division while a worst performing team or teams get relegated to the immediate lower division. Each division has its own rules and obviously different degrees of prestige. Such divisional categorizations are however different in North America. In this region, sports are played in a franchise system rather than on a league system. In a franchise system, a division comprises of a set of teams within a league which is organized along geographical boundaries rather than on a competitive basis. North American schedules are usually organized in such a way that teams in a division play match against each other more frequently than other teams in the league. The effect of this is to cut down on travel costs and intensify rivalries within teams in the division. The best teams in the division qualify to play against each other in the post season play offs, further intensifying competition within teams in a division. Below are some classifications of the various divisions as per NCAA:
- Division I comprises of the largest and most prominent schools, usually having high budgetary allocations made for sports. All members of Division I schools are permissible to offer athletic scholarships to students, though some schools, especially Ivy League schools strictly prohibit this practice. It is required that members of this division should sponsor fourteen teams for both genders. For sports other than football and basketball, teams under this division should play all of their minimum required contests against their divisional opponents. Men teams should play a third of their games at home ground. Those schools that have football teams are classified as Football Bowl Subdivision or NCAA Football Championship. The first categories of teams have to meet minimum attendance requirements whereas for NCAA Football Championship teams no such requirements have to be met.
- Division II comprises of smaller schools that choose not to undertake the massive athletics expenditure undertaken by their Division I counterparts. NCAA allows schools in this division to award athletic scholarships though it places stringent limits on the amounts of these scholarships. These institutions have to sponsor ten teams of both genders. No attendance requirements should be met for football games, nor are there arena game requirements for basketball.
- Division III usually but not always comprises of small schools that regard intercollegiate games just like any other regular student activity. The NCAA, in keeping with this philosophy, does not allow Division III schools to offer any athletic scholarships. Such institutions are required to sponsor at least five sports for both genders.
Divisions in sports are aimed at breeding competition which in turn motivates teams and players to display their best game at each competition.
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