US colleges, among their many other perks, are very well known for their sports. To many outsiders, it’s a little mind boggling just how much sports matter in college. You needn’t look further than the fact that one of the biggest arenas in the world right now is Michigan Stadium, rather aptly nicknamed “The Big House” with a record attendance of around 115,000. Or the fact that March Madness (the US NCAA college basketball tournament) gets more views than the NBA during the month of - you guessed it - March. But US colleges are not just about hyper-competitive and popular sports. It goes without saying that college campuses are full of activities, small scale sports tournaments and so on. But the great thing is that US colleges also have a very happy middle ground for students who perhaps played a certain sport in high school but do not want to continue it at the varsity level in college. Welcome to the wonderful world of club sports!
Sounds like a bunch of old men playing golf...
Fair point, but it’s better than that. Basically, colleges grant students the opportunity to compete at a semi-competitive level with other colleges that have similar programs. That’s right - you get to travel with your team to colleges nearby and play against them in a well-organized league. This is different from intramural sports (stay tuned for future articles on that), where you participate in recreational games against other students from your own campus. However, it’s also different from the far more time-consuming varsity level sports.
Can Anyone Play?
The short answer is yes - anyone can try out. Having said that, some clubs can be quite competitive and in these cases, there will be some cuts. If you’re cut, shoot for intramural sports!
How do I get in?
Most teams are student-led, though some do have coaches. To sign up, you’ll usually have to go through a school portal. If you have some friends that are already on the team, go to them for advice. Once you sign yourself up, you’ll have to attend a try-out. If you get in, the next step is to get out there and play, representing your college as best as you can!
Keep an eye out on our blog in the coming days and weeks for more content from our column on “Life on Campus”. Let us know in the comments if there are any other aspects of college life that you want us to cover!