Indiana Daily Student

When did your favorite IU sport start? A brief list of Hoosier history

<p>A photo of the first track team in 1904 from IU Archives. The team tied for seventh at the Big Ten Outdoor Track and Field Championshipsin 1904.</p>

A photo of the first track team in 1904 from IU Archives. The team tied for seventh at the Big Ten Outdoor Track and Field Championshipsin 1904.

Athletics at IU started as early as 1867. The Bicentennial celebration is a chance to look back on the long history of sports teams at the university. 


In 1867, baseball began as an intramural sport. It was the first sport organized on campus. In 1883, the sport had its first intercollegiate game against Asbury (Depauw) University. 


Football began in 1886. In 1887, IU lost its first football game against Franklin College 10-8. 

A women’s gymnasium opens in Wylie Hall

In an effort to promote the Department of Physical Training for Women, a women’s gymnasium opened in Wylie Hall in 1890. Located inside were two handball courts, some basketballs and exercise equipment. The first interclass women’s basketball games occurred in the basement. 

Men’s basketball

Men’s basketball was established in 1898. In 1901, the first intercollegiate basketball game was against Butler University, which beat IU 22-17.

Men’s track and field tied

In 1904, the team tied for seventh at the Big Ten Outdoor Track and Field Championships.


Its first season, 1909-1910, statistics are unavailable. The team won its first Big Ten Championship title in the 1913-14 season. 

Men’s cross country

In 1910, it placed sixth in the Big Ten.

The Women’s Athletic Association

The Women’s Athletic Association was organized in August 1913 by undergraduate students to promote women’s athletics on campus. The 1914 Arbutus, the first publication to recognize the WAA, wrote that thanks to the organization’s efforts many girls who previously never considered physical training now engaged in hockey, swimming, basketball, and tennis. 

Men’s indoor track and field

The team was founded in 1915 and placed sixth at its first Big Ten Indoor competition the same year. 

Men’s golf 

During the 1927-1928 season, it placed sixth at the Big Ten Championships. 

Men’s tennis

During its first season in 1929-1930 it finished 1-9. 

Little 500

The first men's cycling race began May 12, 1951. Former IU Foundation President Howdy Wilcox founded the event to raise money for student scholarships.The first women's race did not take place until 1988.

Women’s basketball

In 1971-1972 it completed its first season, finishing 14-2. It won its first game against Valparaiso University 70-40. The coach at the time was Bea Gorton. 

Men’s soccer

In 1973, it ended its first season 12-2. It won the last game of the season against Indiana Wesleyan University 7-0. 


In 1974, it ended its first season 6-7. It won the last game of the season against Taylor University 9-2. The coach at the time was Jenny Johnson. 


In 1975, it completed its first season 16-15-1. The team placed third at Big Ten Championships at Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Women’s golf

In 1975-76, it placed fourth at Big Ten Championship with a total score of 665. The coach at the time was Margaret Cummins.

Women’s cross country

In 1981, the team placed sixth in the Big Ten and second in the region. 

Women’s track and field

In 1982, it placed third in the Big Ten Indoor and tied for sixth in the Big Ten Outdoor. 

Women’s soccer

In 1993, it finished its first season 12-6-0. It won their last game of the season against University of Wisconsin-Green Bay with a score of 3-1. 

Water polo 

In 1998, the team ended its first season 26-9-1. It won its season opener against Northwestern with a score of 14-2. 


It placed sixth at Big Ten Championships during its first season in 1999-2000, . Its regular-season record was 1-3. 

Field hockey

In 2000, the team finished its first season 1-12. It placed seventh in the Big Ten. 

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