Forget the days of sweaty palms and anticipation over whether or not you have what it takes to make the varsity team; active life at UNH is all about participation! We offer more than 40 intramurals and club sports that let you compete and stay in shape—with no tryouts necessary. The question you’ll be asking here is not “Will I make it?” but rather, “Where do I begin?”
Here are a few insider tips for getting involved:
Intramural Team or Sport Club?
That all depends on the sport you want to play and the level of competition you are looking for.
Intramurals include 12 different leagues and 17 tournaments for all undergraduate and graduate students. UNH students play against UNH students and most sports offer either men’s, women’s or co-rec leagues. Participants range from first time athletes to experienced players. You can sign up as a team or visit the free agent page to find one to join. Most teams that play intramurals are strictly recreational; however, some teams are competitive and play to win.
UNH Sport Clubs are also student-initiated, student-led and all 29 club offerings are open to newcomers. Sport clubs range from team sports like lacrosse and volleyball to individual sports such as shooting, Nordic ski, or Tae Kwan Do. Some of the clubs travel and compete against other schools. All but eight clubs take any students interested. (Ice hockey, baseball, softball, lacrosse, dance, tennis, golf and volleyball do have tryouts due to facility and travel limitations.)
Some sports may only have an intramural or club sport and others, such as tennis or ice hockey, are offered as both. In that case, which to join depends on how much time want to devote (the length of a tournament or the length of a season, for example), how competitive you are, and whether you want to play against UNH students only or other schools.
Traditional Sport or Something More Unusual?
UNH has plenty of both! For intramurals, if you are a traditionalist, you might enjoy playing intramural soccer (indoor and out), basketball, field hockey, or softball. If you’re looking for something a bit different, you might take an interest in flag football, wheelchair handball, innertube water polo, or billiards. UNH is lucky to have ice so broomball is a favorite intramural and so is ice hockey.
You can join a team sport club – such as rugby, rowing, or ultimate Frisbee – or something more individual in nature like climbing, fencing, or archery. The Ski & Snowboard Club is the most popular with over 150 members. If you are looking for something more rooted in the outdoors try the competitive sailing club (with over 30 boats!) or join the woodsmen with events such as sawing, axe throwing, and logrolling.
UNH golf team members, clockwise from lower left, are Ricky Wilson '14, Nate Fuller '13, Devin Garvey '15, Brian Prew '14, Dan Lawson '15, Ryan Fuller '12, Dave Harmon '13, Matt Dario '13, Chris Kinney '15, Ryan Hill '15, Greg Poggi '13, Sam Fuller '13, Matt Levins '13, Colin Barnea '14, Jim Quentin '14, Zack Dhionis '14 and co-captains Kurt Eddins '12 and Tyler Walsh '14 (center). "We have been incomprehensibly successful at the collegiate level," says co-coach Jim Callahan, a PGA professional. "To win two tournaments in a year is good. To win nine out of 10 is almost unheard of."
What about Bragging Rights?
There may be no tryouts for these sports but that doesn’t mean there isn’t triumph. The golf team was named NCCGA Northeast Regional Champions in the Fall of 2012. UNH rowing is in its 40th year. In 2011, the Wildcats ice hockey sport club finished 3rd in their group at Nationals. And men’s rugby recently competed in the National 7’s Tournament and won the DII Bowl Championship.
Plus, if you win an Intramural Championship, you get an Intramural Champion t-shirt, your team picture on the Wall of Champions, the website, and the glory of being an Intramural Superstar!
So why play?
Intramurals are social and according to Assistant Director Dave Charette, there is something for everyone. “Intramurals are a healthy activity and a really great way to get to know people,” Charette says. “You get to know a lot of people quickly and I think joining a team is one of the best things to do when you start at UNH.”
Playing club sports likewise brings benefits from teamwork and friendships but offers physical fitness, leadership, commitment, and time management skills too. “What’s unique is that there are so many different types of sports,” says Brian Scott Assistant Director, Sports Clubs. “The best part of the program is that regardless of the type of person you are – or your athletic history – there is something for you.”
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