How to get on the field at UMass

A student’s guide to becoming involved with club and intramural sports at UMass

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Ana Pietrewicz / Daily Collegian

By Shanti Furtado, Collegian Staff

When thinking of sports at University of Massachusetts, more often than not, the NCAA programs on campus are what most think of. Though sports at UMass are an integral and popular aspect of the University, a certain reality does exist. Over 30,000 students cannot all be Division I athletes. 

UMass however has a variety of options for all students, of all abilities to be involved in sports, for students who aren’t looking to end their athletic pursuits entirely.

No matter if you were a star athlete in high school, or have never played a team sport in your life; navigating how and what to join may be daunting. Luckily because of UMass’ large student body, a large number of options exist to accommodate virtually every interest and schedule. Many of these options are most easily accessible on, IM Leagues and the UMass Recreation app

IM Leagues provides students with the opportunity to explore and join different club and intramural sports offered on campus. Stretching the likes of soccer and flag football, to niche areas such as pickleball and kan jam, there truly is something for everyone.

Those looking for an experience that would resemble a traditional and consistent format playing against other colleges, may find joining a club team best suits their preferences. The club division typically entails a larger commitment in terms of practices, games, and fees. 

Others may find the intramural division preferable for its’ relaxed structure. Participation at this level exists generally on the basis of one’s individual desire of when and how often they want to play. Another perk exists in the ability of being able to make your own teams. This allows students to draft friends or good athletes in order to optimize their experience. 

To access leagues and tournaments for the Fall that have not begun, one of the most efficient ways is through the UMass Rec app. Once downloaded, you can tap the club sports or intramural sports icon located on the home screen. From there, sports that either have waitlists or early sign-ups will appear, with details in regard to dates, individual teams, and forms to follow. 

Additionally the app has features such as: free agent postings, team standings, and schedules that are available, this all mirroring what it would be like to play for one of the NCAA teams on campus.

Currently for the fall semester, club sports such as climbing, powerlifting, and water polo have open registrations, while intramural sports such as volleyball, table tennis, and flag football have availability for additions.

The requirements and contact information for teams at both levels differ for each sport; all of which being easily discoverable through the above sites. 

Though the majority of club and intramural teams have some sort of tryout to join, nearly all of them also accept members at all levels. Many teams have extensive Instagram presences, posting weekly about events and accomplishments. This allows prospective members a better idea as to what life would be like as a part of their team. 

With the semester already a month underway, many of the more competitive sports such as club volleyball, rugby, hockey, and equestrian have held their initial tryouts and meetings for the fall season. One of these groups is the UMass dance team.

UMass dance team primarily performs on the sidelines of UMass’ DI football and basketball home games. Additionally the team travels annually to Nationals, competing with the best dance programs in the nation. 

“I tried out my freshman year after finding the team’s Instagram. It’s such a great way to make friends, especially if you are coming to this school not knowing anyone,” UMass senior Jenna Dunphy said.

Dunphy is a four year member of the team. After dancing since the age of two, being a part of the team feeds her love for the sport, whilst providing an outlet to be fulfilled socially.

“We have so many great opportunities to get involved in the community,” Dunphy said. “This year we are going to Nationals in Florida and get to go to Disney. Everything about this team is just so much fun,” 

Though the dance team is not holding tryouts again till the spring or summer, Campus Pulse and IM Leagues both have search engines to gain information about all of the teams UMass offers, regardless of whether their season has started or not. This allows those interested to be prepared and ready to join for their spring or fall 2023 seasons. 

Sports bring people together, and though college is largely considered as one of the most stressful times in a person’s life, becoming involved in activities like club and intramural sports reminds us that it also can be one of the most fun. 

Shanti Furtado can be reached at [email protected] and followed her on Twitter @shantifurtado.