FEATURE: The Rise of Club Sports

Playing sports at the collegiate level is a dream for many student athletes. Unfortunately, it is not something that is attainable for all. However, there is still an option for those wanting to compete on a serious level. While many students choose to stay involved with athletics through intramural sports, there is another option for those wanting to participate in a higher level of competition. This option would be known as club sports. Here is how they work at the University of Florida.

What Are Club Sports?

Club sports are competitive sports teams that compete against other universities. They usually require a bigger time commitment than an intramural team would. These teams are student-run organizations. They are also funded by students. Club teams offer a serious level of competition. There can be some kind of playoff or championship involved. The possibility of earning a title helps the competitive environment thrive. So overall, club sports are student-run teams that compete against other colleges. They often require a higher skill level. Think of club sports as an in-between; not quite intramurals but not quite varsity or D1.

What Sports Are Offered?

The club teams that are offered differ from college to college. The UF RecSports department offers 48 different club teams (click here for a full list!). The list ranges wide, with sports varying from volleyball and baseball to underwater hockey and synchronized swimming. There are men’s teams, women’s teams, and co-ed teams. With 48 clubs to choose from, there is certainly something available for every athlete.

How It Works

Many club sports teams require a tryout. At UF, all students are allowed to participate in club sports, and no student can be cut from a team. However, certain clubs do offer A, B, and C teams depending on skill levels. This helps accommodate all participants, who may all have different amounts of experience. Some clubs are more recreational, while some are more competitive. Most teams practice multiple times a week, and do require a little bit more of a time commitment than an intramural sport would.

Exposure for Athletes

Club sports are often an avenue for those interested in playing at a higher skill and competition level. It is possible for athletes to gain exposure at this level of play. Certain clubs have varsity teams attached to them, while club could be the highest level of competition for others. For example, clubs like ultimate frisbee and crew do not have D1 varsity teams, meaning club is technically the highest level. However, as mentioned before, these clubs can have multiple teams for each skill level. The highest level of competition just varies from sport to sport. However, it is possible for athletes on club teams to further advance in the sport.  Since club teams travel, it allows athletes to showcase their talents across universities.

Why Students Should Participate

Club sports are a great outlet for students looking to participate competitively. They are a good option for students who maybe played sports in high school and are looking to continue playing at a higher skill level. Club teams are also great for leadership, since they are organizations run by students. They provide a healthy atmosphere for competition and are a great way for students to stay active.

For more information regarding club teams at the University of Florida, check out the UF RecSports website.

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About Victoria Rossman

Born and raised at the ballpark! Typically quiet- until it comes to sports. I'm a South Florida native with a passion for baseball nearly as strong as my faith. Grew up in garnet + gold, turned out sporting orange + blue. Likely to be found with a camera. And yes, I take food pictures.

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