Sports teams or clubs – Make your choice

Luca Gronimus, Reporter

At Hamline University, students can engage in various clubs and sports teams, on campus there are lots of opportunities to participate. But what differentiates a sports team from a club?

Currently, there are 20 sports teams in Hamline’s Athletic Department. Nine men’s and 11 women’s teams are competing in a total of 13 different sports. From football to lacrosse to soccer, a variety of sports are played on campus.

There are a total of 76 clubs on campus, and no matter what kind of hobbies or interests you have, you probably will find a match for it here. From writing clubs to outdoor activities, politically motivated organizations, current issues, casual hobbies or music, there is a club for almost any interest.

This is one of the major differences between clubs and sports teams. While the athletics obviously focus on participating and competing in a type of sports, in clubs you have a variety of options to choose from.

An important factor in varsity sports, that can mostly be neglected in clubs, is the individual’s performance. “In order to be a regular starter for your team, you have to perform,“ said Jason Verdugo, director of Hamline’s Athletic Department.

While clubs can be a good opportunity to find a hobby, get more engaged in your passions or improving your skills in a certain field, all of these points have to apply to your sport, when you decide to join the respective team.

What the two have in common, is participants being there because of the passion for their hobby or sport.

“None of Hamline athletes have scholarships for sports,“ said Verdugo. “They have the same financial aid packages as any other student. The reason they do this is because they love the sport.“

And athletes really have to love their sports, as participating in a team “is a major commitment. 20-25 hours a week, almost like a full-time job,“ Verdugo said.

Skipping training for student athletes is not an option you can choose more than two or three times, before getting in serious trouble.In clubs, the meetings are less obligatory and less frequent. Clubs normally meet one to three times a week. While students can commit to both sports teams and clubs, the necessity to do so only applies for sports teams.

For students, who want to practice a sport on campus without committing to a full-time schedule, there is the option of intramural leagues. They can be joined at and provide the opportunity to compete in a sport without having to commit on a daily basis.

According to Verdugo, intramurals have a similar concept as clubs.

“You show up, you play, you go home,“ Verdugo said.

Every student has to decide for themselves if and what kind of organization is worth joining. Either way, clubs and sports teams are an amazing opportunity to live out your hobbies and passions on campus.