Blogs > New Haven 200 at 200

The New Haven Register sports department is celebrating our 200th birthday by sharing 200 of the most interesting stories relating to sports in Greater New Haven over the past 200 years. Check back daily for historical updates.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Sports during World War I

The United States formally entered World War I in 1917, and its involvement greatly affected the national sports scene. Greater New Haven was certainly no exception.

As young men enlisted by the hundreds, many of them college athletes, Yale was forced to suspend several varsity sports or field patchwork teams. The football team in 1917 was made up of ROTC students and played only three games that fall.

Perhaps the biggest game played at the Yale Bowl was a matchup of training stations from Rhode Island and New York who played for the football championship of the U.S. Navy. Walter Camp, a New Haven resident and Yale football alum, helped bring the game to the city to aid the war effort as part of his duties as head of fitness programs for the Navy and Army Air Service.

Yale did not field a team the following year, marking the first and only time in 140 years the school did not play the sport it helped pioneer.

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