Virginia Tech offers a variety of club sports. Run by the Department of Recreational Sports and organized by students and club officers, Tech’s 29 sport clubs allow for year-round play. As a new student, this is an outlet for meeting new friends, exercising or playing a sport competitively against other schools.
About 1,800 students participate in the 29 clubs at Tech. Athletes play on both men and women’s teams but also have the option of joining co-ed teams such as clay target shooting, wakeboarding or gymnastics.
Most of the teams do not have coaches. They elect club officers and captains to run the team.
“There’s a lot of leadership skills involved. It’s a lot of responsibility that officers have, they’re the ones doing all the work and we’re here to help them and advise them,” said Alan Glick, assistant director of club sports.
A club sport allows athletes to work on and keep up skills. It is competitive, but any student who wants to play can join one of the many clubs on campus. Some clubs have tryouts and some do not. The choices range from cycling and lacrosse to tennis and bowling, along with many more.
Club sports are not a part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. They belong to regional conferences and play in tournaments and regular season games to earn titles.
“Our club program is really competitive, all of our clubs travel, compete and host teams,” Glick said.
Much like Tech’s varsity sports, its club teams represent Tech and many of them are nationally ranked.
The women’s lacrosse club team, for example, became the first east coast lacrosse team to ever win the national title in May 2009. In 2010, the women competed for the national title after taking the regional championships, as well.
Caity Jones, a junior on the women’s lacrosse club team said she chose to participate at the club level because the time commitment at the varsity level was just too much.
“I just wanted to be involved on a team that wasn’t varsity and wasn’t as much of a time commitment,” Jones said. “I wanted to play a sport that I loved without having so much stress on me.”
Club sports allow for competition but offer less time-constraining schedules compared to varsity sports.
“You meet a lot of people and get to travel to a lot of different schools. You can keep up your game without having to take a lot away from your studies,” added Franchesca Marie Rivera, a sophomore on the women’s tennis team.
The Department of Recreational Sports requires each club sport to charge membership dues. The amount is up to the club to decide. The teams do not receive school funding for things such as transportation and equipment. Fundraising efforts help cover these costs.
“We have had students move from club to club and you can be on more than one team at once,” Glick said.
This allows athletes to pick up new sports and to meet people. Most of the club teams also interact by having socials.
As a freshman at Tech, playing club sports is a way to become active, play a sport of interest or pick up a new one. Students can balance their time between studies and sports because of the program’s flexibility.
“Sport clubs are a great first thing to do, if you have a major exam and have to miss a practice you won’t get kicked off the team,” Glick added.
For contact and tryout information, visit the Recreational Sports Office in War Memorial Hall.