There's nothing wrong with being weird or different, and college campuses have traditionally been a place where students are encouraged to let their freak flags fly. The games that some of them play may be wild or non-traditional when you line them up against established NCAA sports. But hey, even the big, bad game of football can sound strange in the right context.
American college campuses have traditionally been home to games like Beer Pong and Zonk, but a new slew of college club sports have emerged that range from non-traditional to straight-up strange. Here's a closer look at a few we would totally play.
This game was a laid out in agonizing detail within the fantasy world of the Harry Potter books, right down to its rules being crafted in the 1700s by the Department of Magical Games and Sports. Boiled down to its simplest idea, Quidditch involves two teams trying to score goals with a Quaffle and chase a Golden Snitch. While Potter and his wizard pals flew around on brooms, mortals are confined to playing Muggle or "Ground Quidditch," which is still played with stick between your legs by clubs on college campuses. Proving just how serious its following is, the International Quidditch Association organizes World Cups around the globe that attract hundreds of competitive teams.
You know that guy who takes family picnics too seriously? This is that guy's Holy Grail. Cornhole, or bean bag toss, is a fairly simple backyard game that's amped to its logical conclusion by college club teams from Harvard to Alabama. Similar to shuffleboard, the idea is to toss a beanbag into a hole in a slanted piece of wood while earning points for proximity when you miss the mark. Mix alcohol, shouting, and backwards hats. Play until sunburned. However, there is some etiquette to the college game, which you can read all about here.
Sword: Medieval Combat Arts
Every year, thousands of American history reenactors dress up in Revolutionary War or Civil War uniforms and stage acutely orchestrated and historically accurate battle sequences. Sword is similar, though a bit more rudimentary as participants show up at a designated place and time with weapons made of foam and duct tape. Then they get medieval on each other. Since 1979, the Belgarth Medieval Combat Society has staged fake wars between costumed players wielding toy battle axes, spears, and of course swords. It may sound uncool, but some college clubs take the game quite seriously. The Sword Club at Hendrix College, for example, even has a constitution. Its first rule is "Don't talk about Fight Club."
This is basically football for smaller, faster, more agile guys. The game places a strict weight restriction on participants: no player can be heavier than 172 pounds or carry less than 5 percent body fat. The rest of the full-contact game is no different from the sport played by beefier players. Joe Biden, Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Donald Rumsfeld, and Jimmy Carter all played sprint football, popular on campus at nine schools that make up the Collegiate Sprint Football League, which was founded in 1934. Army, Navy, Princeton, Cornell, Penn, Franklin Pierce, Mansfield, Post, and Chestnut Hill all field teams. West Point finished a perfect 7-0 and is the 2015 CSFL champion.