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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 24.djvu/606

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

of exercise, the time used in going to and from the gymnasium, and the time used in dressing and undressing, it would not go beyond two hours per day, and in most cases would be less than that amount. So, to consider the question of excessive time, we must look at the fall and spring terms. In the fall, during days when afternoon recitations are held, the class nines do not spend more than two hours' time altogether, including both practice in the field and the time of going to and from practice. The same may be said of the Foot-ball and Lacrosse Teams. On Wednesday and Saturday afternoons the students give from two to three hours to practice. On these afternoons the match-games occur. They are prohibited on other days, except during examinations, at which time they are allowed on any day, provided no player is thereby prevented from attending his examination. The crews, also, in practice on the water and in going to and from their boats, spend two hours daily. On Wednesdays and Saturdays they use more time, but the practice is so arranged as not to interfere with recitations.

In the summer the same amount of time, daily, is given to practice, except that, when recitations cease and examinations begin, the University and Freshman Nines use more time. Even then that time will not average more than three hours per day. When match-games are played out of town, to the time of the game must be added the time used in travel to and from the scene of the match. In the season of 1882, of the games played during the time when recitations or examinations were being held, only five were played out of town by the Yale University Nine, though the men went out of town once or twice more but were prevented from playing by the rain. Of these five, three were played in New York city, which is only a little over two hours' ride from New Haven. Of the remaining two, neither needed more than thirty-six hours' absence from town.

The University Crew row only one race a year. The Foot-ball Elevens and the Lacrosse Team play a few games out of New Haven, but do not use in this way as much time as the Nine.

2. It is said that the excitement attendant on these sports distracts from study. It is true that the contests do furnish excitement for the students, but it is excitement of a healthy kind. Athletic sports do not divert so many from study as the theatre and billiards. Banish athletics, and you increase the attendance at the theatres and the saloons, where the temptations are greater, and the excitements less healthy than those of the ball-field and boat-race.

3. There is the evil of betting. This is not an evil peculiar to athletics. The men in college, who are in the habit of betting, would continue to bet on something else, if not a game were played nor a race rowed. Gambling would increase if the athletics were prohibited. Games and races in colleges do not create betting. They simply divert it from other channels.