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Intramural and club sports at CU: Sweet to still compete

You don’t have to be an elite athlete to scratch that competitive itch

Ben Searchinger swims during the club swim team practice at the CU rec center.
Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer
Ben Searchinger swims during the club swim team practice at the CU rec center.

You haven’t been off the bench since high school. You’re worried all that lies ahead is the typical college diet of ramen and ice cream and a schedule of Coors, the couch and cannabis.

Your muscles ache for exercise and participating in the games you once played, even excelled at, as an adolescent. But you don’t want to dominate your roommates in soccer or hoops or lacrosse again.
Listen up: Club and intramural sports at the University of Colorado are for you.

They have everything you can imagine wanting to play competitively for guys and gals.

No, you don’t have to have a scholarship to play hard on campus. But a bit of advice: Don’t try to show off to any of the varsity scholarship athletes your skills — they probably won’t be impressed.

This should go without saying, but play to win without taking yourselves too seriously at the same time. As in, no pushing or shoving or flying fists or complaining to the referees — I know how tempers fly when passion for sports and competitive spirits mix, having once been aggressively and unnecessarily elbowed in a pickup basketball game by a fully grown 35-year-old after I talked a little smack, requiring a lip full of stitches right ahead of meeting my future mother-in-law for the first time.

It healed … decently, I guess. You live and learn.

Don’t worry, that kind of stuff won’t happen, since the Buffs are known for their Boulder-bred chillness. We’re all just out there to have fun, right?

There are different levels of competition to enroll in, so choose what’s best for you.


Enjoy just sticking to what you always did: playing against the other almost-elite athletes right in your neighborhood. Intramural sports are the most casual way to take part in organized sports at CU. Teams play against teams composed of other CU students.

That means the Buffs always win, so no hard feelings.

Registration usually starts in late August, with winter sport registration in the third week of January and spring sport registration in the first week of March.

Colorado Daily file photo
Isaac Lutz busts a move during the Breakdancing club meeting at the CU rec center.

Rather than each intramural team charging a fee, participants must purchase an intramural sports pass, and that gives the pass holder access to all IM leagues and tournaments for the semester. Once a you buy the sports pass, you can register or join a team.

Visit for official registration dates, to join a team or for more information.

Additionally, if you find yourself a player or two short, the intramurals office offers the CU Intramural Free Agent Facebook group (, where you can connect with others to help complete your roster.


Do you want to commit a little bit more to a team? Club sports may be your best route. Club teams employ part-time coaches and also schedule practices that members are asked to attend.

Plus, you get to take on teams from other schools across the United States — you’re representing the Buffs on a slightly lower level than the Division I football and basketball squads’ freakishly good athletes. So make the campus proud.

There are more than 30 club sports to choose from at CU. They include baseball, lacrosse, rugby and women’s softball, but also kayaking, fly fishing and taekwondo.

More information about club sports can be found at

List of club sports at CU

Field Hockey
Fly Fishing
Hockey, Men’s
Hockey, Women’s
Lacrosse, Men’s
Lacrosse, Women’s
Roller Hockey
Rugby, Men’s
Rugby, Women’s
Soccer, Men’s
Soccer, Women’s
Softball, Women’s
Swimming and Diving
Tennis, Co-ed
Ultimate, Men’s
Ultimate, Women’s
Volleyball, Men’s
Volleyball, Women’s
Water Polo Men’s
Water Polo Women’s

Sam Lounsberry: