Club Sports: The Perfect In-Between
Don’t want to play Division 1 NCAA, but you still want to participate in a sport you love? Maybe try a new one? Well I’ve got just the thing for you: club sports! The perfect in-between for the not-so-rigorous schedule of intramurals, but near the competition levels of NCAA sports. You even get to travel! Some tournaments happen locally in the Southern California area at schools like USC, UCLA, LMU, UCSD, and at home here at UCI, but every once in a while students get to travel farther. For club sports like sailing, a common destination is San Francisco; club volleyball travels to nationals in Ohio and sometimes to western states like Arizona and Washington for tournaments. There are many opportunities to travel as many of our club sports make nationals every year.
There are a variety of sports to choose from. What’s great about this is that many of these sports are not often seen at the NCAA level so they seem untraditional as college sports. Examples include - but are definitely not limited to - Quidditch, sailing, and ultimate frisbee. Our entire list of club sports consists of 39 sports that range from archery to five different types of martial arts, to rugby, lacrosse, soccer, and more.
Club sports are similar to student run clubs on campus so there are many ways to join and get involved. The main way recruitment happens is at the beginning of the year at the Anteater Involvement Fair. All the club sports have booths at the Fair where interested students sign up to receive emails and invitations to join the clubs at practices. If you miss this opportunity, the UCI Anteater Recreation website offers a complete list of club sports and how to contact their student boards.
The last thing about club sports is that they frequently have two kinds of teams: a non-competitive and a competitive team. Students who wish to be part of a competitive team usually have to tryout. The non-competitive teams often hold practices and scrimmages against the competitive teams or other schools so they can still compete, but the schedule is less rigorous.
Overall, club sports offer great opportunities to be involved in sports, while still leaving plenty of time to pursue other ventures either academically or socially!