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letter earned?

chingchingchingching Posts: 33Registered User Junior Member
edited December 2010 in College Admissions
Hey,

I know this is the wrong area to post this question but I couldn't mind a better place to ask it because most view section is here.

What does it mean when an athlete "earns a letter". I have heard the term with football players or really high calibre athletes and they say things along the lines of "oh i'm really good, i earned 3 letters".

Can anyone fill me in please.

Thanks.
Post edited by chingching on
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Replies to: letter earned?

  • celebrian25celebrian25 Posts: 15,373Registered User Senior Member
    varsity letters...I can't really explain it well (hehe I suck at lacrosse a.ka.), hopefully someone else can...this will serve as BUMP:p
  • AceRockollaAceRockolla Posts: 672Registered User Member
    when you play on a varsity team, you get a letter(usually the first letter of your school) at the end of the season
  • chingchingchingching Posts: 33Registered User Junior Member
    Okay...I'm from Canada so is varsity equivalent to just grade 12 level athletics? I don't think any Canadian schools give "letters". Does anyone know if it's a big thing to have a "varsity letter" and what i can supplement for it?

    Thanks.
  • chingchingchingching Posts: 33Registered User Junior Member
    oh it's a letter as in an alphabet letter...haha sorry...i just read the brackets in your reply. Thanks.

    What is it's significants?
  • AceRockollaAceRockolla Posts: 672Registered User Member
    it means you were on a varsity team
  • juba2jivejuba2jive Posts: 1,001Registered User Member
    It is a little confusing. To explain it a little better, here's the Wikipedia definition:

    A varsity letter is an award earned in the United States by regular participation or excellence in a school sport. Traditionally, a varsity letter signifies that its winner was a stand-out varsity athlete. Winners would wear a specially awarded letter-shaped badge on their clothing. In some institutions, the practice of awarding letters has now spread beyond the realm of strictly athletic endeavors to other activities, and may also honor regular participation and reliability. The varsity letter award is analogous to the longer established sporting colours award traditionally made by European universities and schools.

    For example, I've been playing varsity softball and starting since eighth grade (I go to a K-12 school), so I'll have earned five "letters" by the time I graduate. The first year, I got a letter thing (that I suppose I could have put on a jacket if I wanted to) and a pin, and every year after that, I've gotten another pin. Most of the time, there's some kind of minimum performance on the field or court or minimum playing time to earn one's letter. So when you earn a letter, it usually means you're skilled at the sport you're playing. Varsity is like the top level of high school athletics--there's usually junior varsity and sometimes a freshman tea below that.
  • EclipticaEcliptica Posts: 947Registered User Member
    Right, the first letter you earn will usually be a big letter with the first initial of your school. (Mine is a giant green M, for Mansfield). Every letter after that will be signified by a pin. If you score three letters in a sport, you will receive a gold bar. I can scan a picture of my letter if you want me to, it's hard to explain.
    Basically:

    1st letter --> Letter
    2nd letter --> Pin featuring sport
    3rd letter --> Gold bar
    4th letter --> Gold bar


    EDIT: It means different things for different schools also. Our football team was back-to-back state champions last year and this year and you had to play a significant amount of time to earn a letter while on other teams in the league, you only had to be on the team to earn a letter. It works differently depending on the school.
  • rdgonzalezrdgonzalez Posts: 101Registered User Junior Member
    What if I am an international student and at my school no letters are given? Should I just count the years I've played with my school's team?
  • rdgonzalezrdgonzalez Posts: 101Registered User Junior Member
    Whoa, this is a really old topic. haha, well can anybody answer this?
  • azcpamomazcpamom Posts: 278Registered User Junior Member
    At my son's school in Arizona, Speech and Debate falls under the state entity that also governs athletics. Speech and Debate students at his school receive a letter for any year they earn 200 National Forensics League points in tournaments. Some of them choose to wear letter jackets just like the athletes. Other extracurriculars such as choir, Student Senate, yearbook, etc. do not get letters.
  • theRADtomato47theRADtomato47 Posts: 1,289Registered User Senior Member
    Simple as this though, if you were on a varsity sport, then you earned a varsity letter for that year.
  • rdgonzalezrdgonzalez Posts: 101Registered User Junior Member
    Also, what does post-graduate mean in the athletic supplement when it asks which grades you participated in?
  • theRADtomato47theRADtomato47 Posts: 1,289Registered User Senior Member
    ^I meant that you technically on it. Varsity letter usually just signifies that you were on Varsity.
  • rdgonzalezrdgonzalez Posts: 101Registered User Junior Member
    Oh, I get it. Thanks theRADtomato47!
  • AnnabellehhtAnnabellehht Posts: 3Registered User New Member
    @rdgonzalez i'm having the same problem here and i'm still confused. My school didn't offer letters or sth like that. I've been in the varsity team since 9th grade. How should I complete the question that asks "letters earned"? 4 or leave it blank?
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