Sport plays an important part in the life of the school. Birkdale seeks to enable each student to pursue their chosen sport to the highest level whilst providing all members of the school with the opportunity to enjoy and experience a variety of physical activities. The main school sports for boys are rugby in the Christmas term, football in the Easter term and cricket in the Summer term and netball, hockey and rounders for Sixth Form girls. There are also opportunities to participate in athletics, basketball, badminton, climbing, cross-country, fencing, golf, hockey, judo, mountain biking, squash, swimming, tennis and weight training. There is a full fixture list of matches against other independent and local schools for each of the main sports and in many of the minor sports. All students spend one morning or afternoon each week engaged in sport with a wide variety of different activities. This is supplemented by extra-curricular clubs and training sessions held at lunchtime and after school and is in addition to the normal PE lessons. House competitions are held in most of the sports, maximizing the opportunities for students to hone their skills in a friendly but competitive environment.
On the school site a 30m sports hall and an adjoining multi-gym and free weights room cater for most indoor sporting activities. The school’s playing fields are at Castle Dyke, Ringinglow, a few minutes’ drive from the main site, and extend to 30 acres, providing pitches for rugby, football and cricket. A 10 lane cricket net facility, fully approved by the English Cricket Board is also available. The netting system is retractable allowing the area to be used for hockey and general sports outside of the cricket season. A modern pavilion offers top class changing rooms, viewing and refreshment areas. The school also makes extensive use of the many fine facilities within Sheffield, providing transport to the English Institute of Sport (basketball, netball, and athletics), Abbeydale Park Sports Club (badminton and hockey), Ponds Forge International Sports Centre (swimming), S10 health and fitness centre (swimming), Rother Valley Park (water sports), Sheffield University Astroturf (hockey) and The Foundry indoor climbing centre.
- Athletics is available to all students and teams are entered into the main regional competitions. A highlight of the school year is a popular Sports Day.
- Badminton is taught as part of PE lessons but it is also a games option for older students as well as an extra-curricular club for all year groups.
- Basketball is taught as part of PE lessons but it is also a games option for the older students as well as an extra-curricular club for all year groups. Fixtures are offered against other local schools and teams participate in the national competitions.
- Climbing, both indoor and outdoor, is a games option for older students.
- Cricket is a games option, an extra-curricular club and the major team sport of the summer. Fixtures are arranged for all age groups playing against both local and regional opposition. Many boys go on to play representative cricket.
- Cross-country running is offered as an extra-curricular club and teams are entered into the Sheffield Leagues. An annual inter-house cross country competition is run around the environs of the Castle Dyke fields.
- Football is a games option, an extra-curricular club and the major team sport played in the Easter term. A full programme for fixtures is offered at all age groups and the 1st XI, U15 and U13 teams take part in the ISFA competitions. Tours to the Newcastle area, for the middle school, Liverpool for the senior team and Barcelona for the younger pupils are also a popular feature.
- Golf is played competitively within the school in several events and also in the Independent Schools tournament at senior level.
- Judo is offered as an after school club.
- Hockey is now very popular and is offered as a games option to the older students and as an extra-curricular club to students of all ages. Fixtures are offered at different levels with boys, girls and mixed teams in the Sixth Form.
- Netball is a popular option for the senior girls with several teams playing competitive fixtures and entering regional competitions.
- Rugby is the main focus throughout the Christmas term and is offered as a games option, and an extra-curricular club. Rugby Sevens is an option for those that choose to continue into the Easter term. A full fixture programme against other schools is maintained for boys of all ages and the school also enters the Nat West Cup and a number of other national competitions each year. The school has embarked on rugby tours to Ireland, France, South Africa, Jersey, New Zealand, Fiji, Cook Islands and Canada as well as closer to home.
- Skiing – pupils have the opportunity to be part of the very successful Birkdale Ski Team who have been National champions at both Boys and Girls senior levels.
- Squash is offered as a senior games option at the Hallamshire club for those who are members.
- Table-tennis is offered as a games option and as an extra-curricular club. Teams are entered into the Sheffield leagues.
- Tennis is offered as a games option. Teams have achieved considerable success in national competitions at several age groups.
- Water Sports. Sailing takes place at Rother Valley Water Sports Centre for older students as a games option in the Summer term and in the early part of the Christmas term.
- Weight Training is offered as part of the health related fitness component within PE Lessons, as a games option and as an extra-curricular club. Pupils learn how to use weights safely and effectively. Cardio vascular equipment is also available in the multi-gym.