The most important sporting event at the academy is the annual Army–Navy Game. The 2014 season marked Navy's 13th consecutive victory over Army. The three major service academies (Navy, Air Force, and Army) compete for the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy, which is awarded to the academy that defeats the others in football that year (or retained by the previous winner in the event of a three-way tie).
Participation in athletics is, in general, mandatory at the Naval Academy and most Midshipmen not on an intercollegiate team must participate actively in intramural or club sports. There are exceptions for non-athletic Brigade Support Activities such as YP Squadron (a professional surface warfare training activity providing midshipmen the opportunity to earn the Craftmaster Badge) or the Drum and Bugle Corps.
Varsity-letterwinners wear a specially-issued bluecardigan with a large gold "N" patch affixed. If they belong to a team that beats Army in any sport designated "Star" competition, they are also awarded a gold star ("N-Star") to affix near the "N" for each such victory.
The United States Naval Academy sponsors varsity teams in seventeen men's, ten women's, and three coed NCAA-sanctioned sports:
The heavyweight crew won Olympic gold medals in men's eights in 1920 and 1952, and from 1907 to 1995 at Intercollegiate Rowing Association regatta the team earned 30 championships, was runner-up 29 times, and had 31 third-place finishes.
The lightweight crew won the 2004 and 2021 National Championship and has finished second three times, the most recent being 2010. The lightweights are accredited with two Jope Cup Championships as well, finishing the Eastern Sprints with the highest number of points in 2006 and 2007.
2011 – Navy Men moved into the top 25 in NCAA Division I polling. The 2010-11 team handed Princeton its first ever loss in Denunzio Pool at Princeton, 167-133. The team also won its eighth straight Patriot League title and third straight ECAC title.
The Navy Midshipmen wrestling team is coached by Cary Kolat. The wrestling team at the United States Naval Academy have competed beginning since 1920 and have been competing for the NCAA Championships starting in the 1931 season. The team has placed as high as 5th at the NCAA Championships back in 1942 and 1968, and most recently 18th both in 2007 & 2008. With 44 wrestlers placing 61 times as All-Americans at the NCAA Division I Championships and 6 overall four-time All-Americans throughout its time. The Navy Midshipman compete on campus at the Wesley A. Brown Field House for home dual meets and tournaments competing in the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association, as the Patriot League does not sponsor wrestling.
After the varsity program was terminated in 1993, Navy Fencing returned as an Extracurricular Activity in 2002 and became a club sport in 2012. Midshipmen currently compete against other collegiate club level teams in the Baltimore-Washington Collegiate Fencing Conference (BWCFC) and the U.S. Association of Collegiate Fencing Clubs (USACFC), and against varsity teams as a member of the Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Fencing Association. At the USACFC National Championships, Joel Katz won the gold medal in individual men's epee in 2006, 2007, and 2008, the men's saber team of James Henderson, Sebastian Keefer, Christopher Meacham, and Andrew Weiss won the national championship in 2019, and the combined men's and women's team placed second at the 2019 USACFC National Championships.
Navy Hockey began as an informal student group in the early 1960s and was officially formed in 1971.Vice Admiral Walter "Ted" Carter, known as Slapshot, played on the team for four years from 1977-1981. He was a major supporter of hockey in Annapolis during his tenure as the USNA Superintendent from 2014 to 2019. Many midshipman from the mid 1970s- 2006 have fond memories of watching hockey games in Dahlgren Hall, a historic building on the Naval Academy Campus. Upon completion of the Brigade Sports Complex in 2007, the hockey team moved into the McMullen Hockey Arena which has seating capacity to hold 695 people. The McMullen Arena was funded by and named after USNA alum John McMullen, who at the time owned the NHL's New Jersey Devils. Throughout the season the arena hosts dozens of hockey games ending the season with the Crab Pot Tournament, a fixture since 1978.
Navy's rugby program is one of the most successful college rugby programs in the country. Navy's best season was 1994, when Navy reached the national finals before losing to Cal 27-13.
Since the inception of the national collegiate championship in 1980, Navy men's rugby reached the national semifinals twice in the 1980s and reached the semifinals 7 times during the 12-year span from 1996-2007. More recently, in the 2010-11 season Navy reached the national quarterfinals and finished the season ranked 9th in the country. Navy finished the 2012-13 season first in the Atlantic Coast Rugby League, and ranked 11th in the country.
The women's boxing team began competing as part of the National Collegiate Boxing Association in 2015. In 2019, the women's team won the NCBA championship for the first time.
Navy Women's Fencing competes against other collegiate club level teams in the Baltimore-Washington Collegiate Fencing Conference (BWCFC) and the U.S. Association of Collegiate Fencing Clubs (USACFC), and against varsity teams as a member of the National Intercollegiate Women's Fencing Association (NIWFA). At the USACFC National Championships, Rae Katz won the gold medal in women's individual epee in 2004, the combined women's team won the national championship in 2014, and the women's saber team won the national championship in 2015 and 2016 (Naomi Ngalle, Sara Shea, Maryam Al-Hassan (2015), and Naadia Puri (2016)). At the NIWFA Championships in 2016, Naomi Ngalle won the gold medal in individual women's saber in 2016.
Navy Women's Ice Hockey officially became a club team (from Extra Curricular Activity team) as of Fall 2015.
There is an unofficial (but previous National Champion) croquet team. Legend has it that in the early 1980s, a Mid and a Johnnie (slang for a student enrolled at St. John's College, Annapolis), were in a bar and the Mid challenged the Johnnie by stating that Midshipmen could beat St. John's at any sport. The St. John's student selected croquet. Since then, every April on the St. John’s lawn, thousands attend the annual croquet match between St. John's and the 28th Company of the Brigade of Midshipmen (originally the 34th Company before the Brigade was reduced to 30 companies). As of 2017, the Midshipmen had a record of 7 wins and 28 losses to the St John's team.
NCAA team championships
Navy has won 5 NCAA team national championships.
° In 1925 Navy gymnasts defeated Chicago, 33 - 12, in a dual meet between winners of the Intercollegiate and Western Conference championship meets. "[I]n the twenty year period from 1910 to (the end of 1929) ... Navy has participated in 91 tournaments and dual meets and won 87 of them, including all seven of the intercollegiate championship events entered." (Those seven events were conference, not national, championships.) Navy was so strong that the Intercollegiate Association asked Navy not to participate in the 1926 championship meet. Navy was not a participant in the 1926, 1927 and 1928 championship meets.
^ abMen's rowing (both heavyweight and lightweight) and women's lightweight rowing are not part of the NCAA and have separate championships. The NCAA does conduct championships for women's heavyweight (or openweight) crews (Divisions I, II and III). See: NCAA Rowing Championship.
^Golf. Naval Academy Varsity Athletics official website. Retrieved 2010-02-13.
^Men's Tennis. Naval Academy Varsity Athletics official website. Retrieved 2010-02-13.
^ abcDyer Tennis Clubhouse houses the tennis team and contains locker rooms, offices, a racquet stringing room, a lounge, and a viewing deck overlooking the courts. On each outdoor court is a plaque honoring a past Navy tennis player. The building was dedicated by the Naval Academy Athletic Association in November 2000 and is named for the late Vice Admiral George Dyer (Class of 1919). See Facilities: Dyer Tennis Clubhouse. Naval Academy Varsity Athletics official website. Retrieved 2010-02-10. See also Traditions: The Blue & GoldArchived 2010-02-11 at the Wayback Machine (Naval Academy Athletic Association). Naval Academy Varsity Athletics official website. Retrieved 2010-02-13.
^Water Polo. Naval Academy Varsity Athletics official website. Retrieved 2010-02-20.
^ abcThe Robert Crown Sailing Center contains offices, team classrooms, locker rooms, and equipment repair and storage facilities. It also houses the ICSA College Sailing Hall of Fame, including trophies, plaques, half-models, and the intercollegiate-sailing All-America lists. Also on display in the Hall are the Naval Academy's sailing trophies and awards. Facilities: Robert Crown Sailing Center. Naval Academy Varsity Athletics official website. Retrieved 2011-01-08.
^The Brigade Sports Complex contains Hockey Arena, the Tennis Center, a practice ice-hockey rink, rugby venues, an indoor hitting, chipping and putting facility for the golf team and club members, the pro shop for the golf course, a fitness center, athletic training rooms, locker rooms, office space, meeting rooms, and a restaurant. The tennis center has six indoor and six outdoor tennis courts. The outdoor courts include the Tennis Stadium. The Brigade Sports Complex is located across the Severn River and is adjacent to the Naval Academy Golf Course. The 150,000-square-foot (14,000 m2) facility opened during the fall of 2007. It was built with private funds, at a cost of $18.5 million. For description, information, and photos, see Facilities: Brigade Sports Complex. Naval Academy Varsity Athletics official website. Retrieved 2010-02-10. For photos, floor plan, and overhead view of the Brigade Sports Complex, see McMullen Hockey ArenaArchived 2009-04-03 at the Wayback Machine. Navy Hockey website. Retrieved 2010-02-10.
^Hubbard Hall houses Navy's crew teams. It was built as "The Boathouse" in 1930, on Dorsey Creek, a few hundred yards from the Severn River. It has three stories and was most recently renovated in 1993. It includes a machine and wood shop, a 3,500-square-foot (330 m2) weight room, a 10-person rowing tank, an exercise and training room with 30 ergometers, a classroom with video equipment, a 1,600-square-foot (150 m2) lounge (the King Room), and a dining facility. Facilities: Hubbard Hall. Naval Academy Varsity Athletics official website. Retrieved 2010-02-12. It was named for Rear Admiral John Hubbard (Class of 1870). Hubbard Hall. USNA official website. Retrieved 2010-05-28.
^The field at Navy–Marine Corps Memorial Stadium is named "Jack Stephens Field", for Jackson T. Stephens (Class of 1947), whose gift aided (1) the renovation of the stadium, (2) the Class of 1947 Legacy project to benefit the Academy's Museum, and (3) other Academy projects. Facilities: Navy–Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Naval Academy Varsity Athletics official website. Retrieved 2010-02-10.
^Although formally called the Dr. John J. McMullen Hockey Rink, it is colloquially referred to as the McMullen Hockey Arena or McMullen Arena. The arena is part of the Brigade Sports Complex. For photos, floor plan, and overhead view of the Brigade Sports Complex, see McMullen Hockey ArenaArchived 2009-04-03 at the Wayback Machine. Navy Hockey website. Retrieved 2010-02-10.
^Turf Field was named Rip Miller Field on October 13, 1995, for Edgar Miller, who was the Navy head football coach for three seasons (1931–1933). The field is used by both lacrosse and sprint football. See Facilities: Rip Miller Field. Naval Academy Varsity Athletics official website. Retrieved 2010-02-13.
^The Tose Family Tennis Center is part of the Brigade Sports Complex. It is named for Maurice (Class of 1978) and Terri Tose and their family — has six indoor and six outdoor tennis courts. The outdoor courts include the Fluegel-Moore Tennis Stadium, named for Rick (Class of 1961) and Donna Fluegel and Bill (Class of '61) and Sandra Moore. One indoor court is named for James (Class of 1958) and Rosemary Adkins. The Brigade Sports Complex also includes a fitness center, athletic training rooms, locker rooms, office space, and meeting rooms. See Facilities: Brigade Sports Complex. Naval Academy Varsity Athletics official website. Retrieved 2010-02-10.