Playing at all levels and fields

Not everyone can be a varsity NCAA scholarship athlete. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get play your favorite sport for the University of Miami.

The Patti and Allan Herbert Wellness Center offers a variety of ways for students to get involved in sports, for students who played competitively for years or those merely interested in learning a new sport. They offer both club sports programs and intramural competitions — there is something available for students with varying levels of commitment.

The Wellness Center offers 35 different club sports, ranging from common sports such as baseball, soccer, tennis and volleyball, to some more unique groups like fencing, rock climbing and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Most clubs also arrange different meeting times for members who want to join for competitive reasons and members who are instead interested in the recreational or instructional aspect.

“Many of our students here were involved in some sort of sport when in high school,” said Rhonda DuBord, associate director at the wellness center. “With so many options available, anyone can keep going and meet a lot of new people in the process.”

In addition to practices, some clubs also participate in tournaments and other events held throughout the year.

Although many of the clubs offer a recreational aspect for those who just want to go out and enjoy playing a game without necessarily getting too competitive, there are clubs that go out and compete against clubs all over the state and occasionally schools outside of Florida.

In fact, the sailing club is generally among the top ranked programs in the nation. Beyond that, the roller hockey club won a national championship for the first time in team history this past year.

Whereas club sports generally go on for the entire year and offer varying levels of competition, intramural leagues are by nature more competitive and only last for a few weeks during the semester.

“Joining an intramural team is a great way of getting to meet new people and exercising in a fun and unique way,” said Tom Soria, assistant director at the Wellness Center in charge of intramurals and special events. “Not only does it break the monotony of studying all the time, it’s also a great way of learning leadership and organizational skills.”

One change that has come for intramural events starting this fall is that team captains, after signing their team up for a league and attending a captains’ meeting, will have to complete a quiz on blackboard before the team is scheduled. The reasoning behind this exam, which quizzes basic rules and regulations for the respective sport, is to ensure that the captain is familiar with the rules before the games begin.

The idea behind this was to hopefully result in games going by smoother and quicker without as many penalties being called. Teams must get at least a score of 80 percent for each sport they participate in.

To sign up for intramurals or for any additional information on the different club sports or intramural leagues, visit the membership office located on the second floor of the Wellness Center.