College campuses are diverse environments: which means there are a wide variety of things to do. This, of course, includes sports. Though some sports are popular and easy to recognize, there are a variety of different sports around the school that the average student may not be aware of. It is fun and healthy to be engaged in competitive sports throughout the year. In that spirit, let’s highlight sports that not every student may have been fortunate enough to experience.
If you have ever been to the New Balance Recreational Center, you might have seen those small, hardwood courts up on the second floor. You probably walk right past them without giving them a second thought. Next time you pass by, I recommend trying it out. Racquetball is the most severely underrated racquet sport that I ever played. It’s more intense than tennis, more of a work-out than badminton and more fun than ping-pong. You can rent racquets and a ball from the front desk at the Rec center and reserve times on the courts.
Imagine playing volleyball in a small room, not constrained by lines, but instead the walls and ceiling that surround you. That’s basically what walleyball is. You can rent a net from the Rec and set it up in a racquetball court. You can smash balls off any of the walls and the ceiling. It’s a lot of fun and surprisingly technical. If you’ve ever played volleyball at the beach or the gym and liked it, I would recommend that you give walleyball a try. It’s an exciting twist on a timeless sport.
Pick-up at the Alfond
Calling all high school hockey players. It is your time to shine on Mondays from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Alfond Ice Arena. There you will find other kids you played against in the Casco Bay Hockey League and in high school. Forget about old rivalries and strap on the old blades. There are people of all skill levels, sometimes the varsity players come out and Head Coach Red Gendron comes and talks to players on the bench. If you feel like you missed your recruiting chances years ago, swing by. You never know who you might impress. Helmet mandatory.
Every now and again, Thad Dwyer, a manager at the Rec, sets up a dodgeball tournament that is open to any and all students to participate in. Do you have any pent up anger about to boil over regarding a botched final or recent breakup? Take out your unreleased rage on the dodgeball court. You can even relive the glory days of middle school. It’s time for you to settle the score and set the record straight. Watch for postings on the Rec website or on the bulletin board by the basketball courts for information on when the next tournament is.
UMaine is home to some major club sports that compete with other schools across New England. A few popular ones that come to mind are Club Ultimate Frisbee, Club Rugby, Club Lacrosse and Club Soccer. Most of these clubs have both a women and men’s team. I played Club Lacrosse back when I was a freshman and it was a very rewarding experience. We traveled as a team on a coach bus on the weekends and hung out after practice during the week. Being a part of an organization like this is a lot of fun and you might make some friendships that will last even when the season is over.
Apart from being a great boost to your mental and physical health, it is simply rewarding to be involved and engaged on campus. With such a large campus, there are activities for everyone and these are just a few that I found to be fun.