Balliol has a wide-ranging sporting pedigree, and prides itself on its sporting excellence. In recent years there has been notable success in men’s football, with a double promotion for both the first team over the last two seasons, as well as strong cup performances from the men’s cricket and mixed athletics teams. We've also got a long history of rowing triumph, and recently both the men’s and women’s 1st VIII finished in the top 10 at last year’s summer regatta. There are also strong teams for both men and women in a range of other sports including hockey, rugby, squash, netball and cricket. Most of the teams compete in inter-college leagues weekly throughout the first two terms of the year, and there is also a knockout cup (‘cuppers’) in each sport.
Balliol also greatly encourages inclusivity in sport at any level. The college second teams operate on a casual basis where everyone gets a game, as well as allowing people to get noticed for the first team if they wish. The last few years have also seen the foundation of new teams in mixed lacrosse and Ultimate Frisbee by students, supported financially by the college with the intention of getting as many people playing as many sports as possible. The college also financially assists any sportsperson who competes at a Blues level for the university, and Balliol boasts a strong history of university-level sporting alumni.
The home of sport in Balliol is the Jowett Walk annexe, which includes one of the closest sports grounds to the centre of the city of any college in Oxford. This is where the football pitch is located, along with two squash courts, a basketball/netball court and both an artificial and a grass tennis court. In the summer term this is also where the college’s cricket matches are played, complimented by a recently refurbished pavilion. Other college sports facilities include two gyms, one on the college main site and one at the Holywell Manor postgraduate site, both of which are open to all college members. College rugby matches are played in the University Parks, while hockey takes place on the astro turf pitch at the Iffley Road sports complex, which is the home of University-level sport. All students are welcome at Iffley, which also boasts a state of the art gym with powerlifting room, indoor sports hall, 25m swimming pool, dojo, rowing tank and of course athletics facilities, including the track on which Sir Roger Bannister ran the first sub-4-minute mile.