Club sports in college

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Club sports in college

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By: Kaitlyn Schafer, Reviews, Editorials, and Features Editor

For high school students who like to play a specific sport but may not want to play for their college’s official team, another option is available. This alternative is club sports, which are college athletic teams funded, and often founded, by students. College club sports compete competitively with other universities, or colleges, but are not at all controlled by the National Collegiate Athletic Association. They also do not have varsity status.

Club sports differ from intramural sports in the fact that teams compete against teams from other schools, rather than from the same school. Most club sports have a national championship. This lends a more serious and competitive atmosphere to club sports than intramurals.

Some students might want to focus more on their schoolwork when they are in college but might also want to have an escape during the day. Club athletics can provide this balance for these students. Unlike playing for a college’s main team, where it is time consuming and can be a demanding experience to those who are not adamant on playing the sport professionally after college.

The University of Michigan club soccer team celebrate their win against Colorado State University. From left to right: Courtney Parr, Emily Solek, Jessie Hoxie, Jessica Schafer, Elena Simopoulos, Jess Baker, Caroline Touzeau, and Lindsey Reichvery time consuming and can be a stressful experience to those who are not adamant on playing the sport professionally after college.

“Freshman year was a stressful, and not to mention nerve-racking, year for me. I was on the official soccer team for Michigan but it just became too much. When I tried out for the club soccer team my sophomore year, I was so much happier because it allowed me to balance my education and athletics perfectly,” stated Jessica Schafer, a junior at the University of Michigan.

Club sports in college not only offer an alternative for students who want to keep playing their sport, but it also provides them with a team that can contain lifelong friends for new college students. For seniors in high school transitioning into freshman year of college, it is a lot to process and handle, especially if a student does not know anyone at the college. Joining a club sport will give students a new, immediate group of friends.

Some of the University of Michigan club baseball team members holding the Battle Creek tournament first place trophy. From left to right: Jack Pelletier, Tommy Burke, Ryan Benedek, and Andrew Schafer

If a student wants to play a club sport but did not play a sport in high school, do not stress because some colleges have club sports that most students have not considered. Other than the common club sports like, baseball, soccer, softball, and tennis, there are other club sports such as archery, bowling, canoeing, equestrian, water sports, Quidditch, which is a sport inspired from the books “Harry Potter,” and much, much more. Although, students may have to look up what club sports their school offers because not all colleges have as much of a variety.

Andrew Schafer, a sophomore at the University of Michigan said, “Playing club baseball has been a great experience for me. Not only am I able to keep playing baseball, but I also get a break from schoolwork once and a while for an hour and a half to two hours.  The University of Michigan actually won the Battle Creek tournament against sixteen other schools, the last game being against the University of Pittsburgh where I was able to get a shutout.”

Club sports provide an amazing experience. These clubs compete against many other schools around the country, and many times the team gets to travel out of state for tournaments and games.

For students who plan on playing a sport professionally or are just serious about it, then maybe they would rather play for a college’s official team. However, for those students who just want to play during their leisure time, maybe club sports are the way to go.