All Decked Out: Big Green athletes get gear for practice and games
Equestrian has a reputation as an expensive sport. But according to Holly Langley ’19, boots, a helmet, gloves, and show clothes are the only items she has been required to have. Dartmouth riders borrow show shirts and have the option to borrow show breeches and show coats from the barn. They are expected to purchase their own boots, helmet, and gloves, but funding from Friends of Dartmouth Equestrian can assist with the cost if necessary. Those items are kept in the barn for others to use as each class graduates. There’s still team gear that’s ordered in the Fall and Spring which athletes can purchase on their own if they are willing.
With so many athletes around campus, you’re almost guaranteed to see Dartmouth football gear at least once daily. Football players receive a bag of Nike gear when they joined the team and a few new items each fall during preseason to equip them for the upcoming season. After graduation, they are allowed to the keep the clothing and shoes they’ve received, but leave behind all game equipment such as helmets, pads and jerseys. Everyone on the team receives essentially the same collection of gear regardless of age or position. Jack Heneghan ’18 believes that the team is generally very happy with the items they get, as shown by the fact that most enjoy wearing the more casual items (like the iconic sweatshirts) around campus.
As one of the few water sports on campus, it’s more difficult for non-swimmers to imagine what sort of gear competitive swimming at Dartmouth requires. Ethan Cook ’20 said everyone on the swimming and diving teams receive the same package, though the gear varies from year to year. For use outside the pool, they receive a backpack with warm-ups, shirts, shorts, and shoes to be used in the weight room. Access to new swim-specific practice equipment like fins or snorkels is given whenever the need for new ones arises. Each athlete receives two Dartmouth Speedos for practice and meets, swim caps as needed, and a high-performance tech suit for Ivies. Everything with the exception of their travel bags and winter parkas are theirs to keep.
Tennis is known as a sport where replacement gear is frequent and necessary, but Catherine Cable ’20 noted that Dartmouth ensures each player is never without what they need. Each player receives practice-specific t-shirts and shorts, separate uniform tanks and skirts, sweatpants, hats and a limited number of tennis shoes per year. They are also given access to Dartmouth overgrips, dampeners and strings. Some players prefer different strings and bring their own. Athletes also bring their own rackets.
According to Cable, the collection varies from year to year depending on packages, sponsors and availability. The equipment is also affected by factors such as Dartmouth’s recent switch to Nike. Players are allowed to keep all gear except for borrowed travel duffel bags.
A variety of Dartmouth gear carries baseball players through a year of Hanover weather. Justin Fowler ’18 said that each player is outfitted with polos, two Nike Dri-FIT workout shirts, two pairs of shorts, baseball cleats and turf shoes. For the winter, the players are provided with a parka and a pullover fleece. The team is also issued bats that are used throughout the season and are returned at season’s end.
Anna Luce ’21, a forward on Dartmouth’s women’s basketball team, said that the women receive different gear from year to year. Their gear includes a range of shirts, shorts, sweats, sweatshirts, standard sneakers for lifting, basketball shoes and bags. The team was given several options for green Nike basketball shoes to choose from at the beginning of the season and will receive another pair as the season progresses into Ivy League play. The athletes are allowed to keep most of the package with the exception of Dartmouth uniforms.
Carly Tower ’20, a member of the volleyball team shared that the women receive practice gear, uniforms and travel gear. Each player receives several practice shirts, multiple pairs of spandex, knee pads, socks, court shoes, running shoes and team sweatpants. Their gear is renewed each season, and they are allowed to keep the previous year’s gear as they go. They are also given the option of ordering additional gear at their own cost — for example, Tower said that she has occasionally ordered additional gear for herself and for friends and family.
Incoming track and field recruits might envision walking around campus with all-new Dartmouth gear as a certified non-NARP during their freshman fall. But as pole vaulter Corbin Mayes ’21 found out, Dartmouth student athletes don’t receive their bag of gear until the official start of their season. Waiting inside is typically a gray hoodie with a small D emblazoned on the chest, a basic black backpack, a gray cotton shirt, a shirt with the infamous DP2 logo, shorts, a long sleeve sports shirt (think Nike Dri-FIT material) and green spandex for events. Practice clothes — usually basketball shorts or sweats — are provided and are laundered by the athletics offices. Every athlete also receives green Nike sneakers at a one-time discounted price.