Join the Football Team… or the Skydiving Team!


By Lauren Guhl (23), Sports Editor

Sure, you may be told to choose a college based on size, academics, or location, but what if you limit your search to schools with roller hockey teams? Several colleges or universities in the United States have unique club sports that most people do not know exist. From collegiate paintball to quidditch, there are so many sports you can compete in at the college level. 

The University of Pennsylvania has a long tradition of a sprint football team. It’s the same American sport that we all know, with one major change: no student weighing more than 172 pounds can compete. Penn’s President founded the league in the 1930s, and it still exists today; Army, Cornell, Mansfield, Navy, Penn and Princeton are all participating in the Collegiate Sprint Football League for the 2021 season.

The Emerson College Quidditch team (James McGrath)

Quidditch (yes, the game from “Harry Potter” that is played on flying broomsticks) exists at the collegiate level as well—although, unfortunately, on the ground). Governed by US Quidditch, almost 3500 athletes play Quidditch for their college, keeping a broomstick between their legs at all times and using dodgeballs and volleyballs to score points. The sport was created in 2005 at Middlebury College, and many schools have followed; the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Florida State University, and Boston University among many others all have official Quidditch teams.

You might have been in a friendly (or maybe not-so-friendly) paintball fight with friends before, but have you considered joining a team to compete? The National Collegiate Paintball Association, founded in 2000, is composed of 24 college teams, including Purdue University, University of Maryland and The Ohio State University. It does not matter if you are a beginner or trying to go pro, all are welcome!

University of Connecticut’s skydiving team in a formation dive

In order to go skydiving, you have to be at least 18 years old, so college could be the perfect time to try it out! Georgia Tech, the University of Connecticut, Dartmouth and Virginia Tech all have teams that compete in the National Championships, which were first held in 1958. There are no other competitions leading up to nationals. The teams are judged on two-person and four-person formation dives, which require teams to perform a designated series of maneuvers as a unit, as well as an accuracy-landing event, during which competitors use parachutes to land as close as possible to a target that is only two inches in diameter.

The Ohio State Roller Hockey Club with Captain Thomas Marriner

Have you ever heard of roller hockey, cousin to ice hockey and field hockey? The fast-paced sport was a part of the 1992 summer Olympics in Barcelona, and there are now over 175 teams in the National Collegiate Roller Hockey Association. Michigan State, Syracuse and the University of California at Los Angeles are all part of the league. Roller Hockey is played internationally, and there used to be a professional league!

There are so many fun and unique sports at colleges around the country. You can continue your high school passion or discover an entirely new one that you didn’t even know existed.