You are probably used to hearing about the mainstream college sports like football and basketball, and all the hype around the championship tournaments. There is a long list of athletes out there who participate in other sports that sometimes go unrecognized. Here is our list of odd college sports that you might not know even existed.
There are a few big universities out there that have bass fishing teams, some even give scholarships to the athletes. Here is Cabela’s Collegiate Bass Fishing Championships ranking list:
- University of Louisiana Monroe (Monroe, LA)
- University of North Alabama (Florence, AL)
- Tennessee Tech (Cookeville, TN)
- Clemson University (Clemson, S
- University of Alabama Birmingham (Birmingham, AL)
This ranges from skeet shooting, indoor range shooting, trap shooting, rifle and hand guns, and some schools are even NCAA sanctioned. According to NRA Collegiate Shooting, nearly 300 colleges and universities in the U.S. offer shooting programs.
College bowling has a wide range of participating schools from NCAA sanctioned teams, and now emerging in NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) schools, and club and intramural teams. College bowling can also be an individual sport. According to the NAIA official website, a sport is deemed “emerging” if it is recognized by the organization as a varsity sport, but does not sponsor an official national championship tournament. Additionally, 25-49 schools must participate in the program. To qualify as a “championship” sport, 50 or more institutions must designate bowling as a varsity sport. This is what they are striving for.
Fencing is a popular college sport that offers many benefits, including scholarships. The sport mimics sword fighting but in a safer, more precise, and regulated manor. Here are some fencing scholarship statistics from Fencing.net
-MEN: 1,925 high school fencers; 622 NCAA collegiate fencers…32.3% chance of competing in college.
-WOMEN: 1,771 high school fencers; 674 NCAA collegiate fencers…38.1% chance of competing in college.
Squash is a sport that has been around for decades and many colleges already have a team or are planning to. According to the College Squash Association (CSA), squash is a sport played by two players with rackets in a four-walled court with a small rubber ball. This sport is similar to racquetball.
College equestrian horse back riding is a growing sport with 18 Division I and four Division II programs sponsoring equestrian currently. According to The National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA), in 1998, Equestrian was identified and adopted by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Committee on Women’s Athletics (CWA) as an emerging sport for women at the Division I and II levels. Division III initially adopted it as an emerging sport but later rescinded their decision.
College curling is a small sport struggling to make headway in competitive college sports. However, some universities do have curling club teams, such as the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point who won the 2015 USA Curling College Champions. According to College Curling USA they are looking to grow the sport through the establishment of a national championship that encourages and rewards curlers attending a college or university who compete against their peers at other academic institutions throughout the school year
There are also many college clubs that double as sports activities. A few of these clubs include LARP (Live Action Role Playing) where participants dress up as knights or other characters and act out battle with others using wooden or foam weapons, and Quidditch, where participants mimic the flying fictional sport played in the Harry Potter series.
What unique sports does your school offer?