The Quest for Glory...The Quest for the Tyng


Yale Undergraduate Intramurals

The Yale Undergraduate Intramural program provides an outlet for athletic competition for the Yale community. It is designed for maximum participation: one will find high school varsity athletes competing on the same team as PE dropouts. Teams are organized through the residential colleges, allowing any student to play any one of the 30 sports. While the goal of most athletes is to win the Tyng Cup, the award for excellence, the goals of the program stress the community of the residential colleges, the values of sportsmanship and fair play, and the lessons learned through competitive sports.

Other Information:

How Intramurals Differ from Club Sports:

Intramurals provide an opportunity for undergraduate students to participate in team and individual sports against other Yale college teams. The purpose of intramural sports is to provide exercise, recreation, socializations, light competition and fun to all levels of participants. The main differences between club sports and intramurals are that club athletes perform at a higher competitive and commitment level, host and travel to other universities to compete, and arrange their own practices, competitions, equipment, fundraising and budgets under the guidance of the Club Sports Office. Both programs, however, are largely student governed.


Yale Intramurals saw their beginning in the early 20th century. These early contests were designed for non-varsity athletes to compete in athletic competitions. The teams were mainly classes.

However, with the inauguration of the Residential College system in 1933, the Intramural program changed significantly. The teams changed from graduation classes to residential colleges in order to benefit from the closeness of the college communities. Also introduced during this year was the Tyng Cup, a gift from alumni George Adee, Sheldon Rose, and Malcolm Aldrich. The Tyng has been awarded annually since 1933 to the residential college that has won the greatest number of Tyng points at the end of the academic year.

The tradition of the Harkness Cup Games, or the Yale College-Harvard House Games, started in the fall of 1935. These games pit the champions of the two intramural programs against one another, usually the day before The Game. The winner of the most games is awarded the Harkness Cup Trophy, which incidentally was lost in the mid-1970s.


The Intramurals program is managed by the Director of Club Sports, Intramurals and the Outdoor Education Center, Tom Migdalski, M.S., who began working in Yale Athletics in 1984. The Director governs the program, hires supervisors and referees, processes weekly payroll, decides on new sports and eligibility rules with the IM Secretaries and Rules Committee, monitors safety, purchases equipment, is the liaison between the students and upper administration and oversees the execution of the program including facility acquisitions and weather decisions.

The Director is assisted by the Coordinator of Graduate and Professional Intramurals, Elliott Taylor, who conducts referee and supervisor training clinics, monitors on-site staff and sports equipment, contributes oversight to special IM events and is the Yale Intramurals website administrator.

Also crucial to the program is the Head IM Secretary, who is the student advisor to the Director, scores statistician, game and facility scheduler and webmaster, along with chairing the IM Secretaries meetings and electing the Rules Committee, which decides upon all questions, protests and rules updates arising from and for Intramural contests.


On the field, the Intramural Program is represented by a group called the IM Supervisors. These students make sure that all games are run smoothly and answer to on-field problems such as rule queries, equipment problems, and injuries. Working underneath the Supervisors are the Intramural Referees. Referees hold the on-field officiating power and work to make sure that the individual games run smoothly. They also record all necessary information pertaining to the game and report scores to the Head IM Secretary/Webmaster.


The main functional unit of the Yale Intramural program is the residential college. Each of the 14 colleges fields a team for all 30 current sports. The Intramural Secretaries run each college’s IM program. The main goal of the secretaries is to make sure that students within their college are participating in IM sports. In order to reach this goal, the secretaries name captains, organize IM study breaks, run sign-ups at the beginning of each season, and act as the liaison between the IM office and the residential college. Secretaries also attend a bi-weekly program meeting to discuss IM issues, which is chaired by the Head IM Secretary.

The Tyng Cup:

Awarded annually since 1933, the Tyng Cup is the most coveted of all Intramural Trophies. Each Intramural contest played throughout the year is weighted with a number of Tyng Cup points equal to the amount of atheletes playing at one time. Hence, soccer games are worth 11 Tyng points and basketball games are worth 5. If a college wins a game, they are awarded that number of Tyng Cup Points. Timothy Dwight has won the Tyng Cup the most number of times with 13, and Trumbull the least with 2 wins.


All currently enrolled undergraduate students of Yale College are eligible for Intramural Sports, subject to the following restrictions:

  1. Current varsity athletes, or club athletes in the case where there is no varsity team, are ineligible for similar IM sports
  2. Any student who is a past or present Olympic, professional, or world ranked amateur is ineligible for similar sports
  3. A student signed into one game is ineligible to play in any other game at the same time
  4. A student who has not played in any regular season game is ineligible to play in the post-season for that sport
  5. There are special eligibility rules for the different levels of Basketball

Aside from undergraduate students, the following are eligible to participate in Intramurals, so long as they are eligible under the undergraduate requirements:

  1. The residential Heads of Colleges, Deans, their spouses and children of appropriate and safe age living in the college
  2. Fellows and Associate Fellows with current Yale ID
  3. One normally non-eligible male and female possessing a current Yale ID per season
  4. All participants must have passed a complete physical exam within the last three years, have proper health insurance, and agree to participate at their own risk.

All eligibility inquires will be directed to the Ad Hoc IM Rules Committee.

Any captain or Intramural Secretary may protest the eligibility of an opposing player by filing a protest with the Head Intramural Secretary. If the opposing player is found to be ineligible, the offending team will be disqualified in all games in which the ineligible player has played. Please note, if intramurals are held in Payne Whitney Gym and the participant is not a gym member, they will need to pay the guest fee or join the gym. 


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