It is a widely known fact that Harvard is home to more Division-I varsity sports than any other university in the country. Less widely acknowledged are the numerous club sports teams that also represent the Crimson against other schools and at tournaments around the country.
This is no surprise many Harvard students played sports in high school, while only a few play at the college varsity level. Despite the abundance of other extracurriculars that are available at Harvard, there is obviously something about physical competition that appeals to students regardless of whether they’re able to make the varsity team or not.
Some of these club teams are the remainder of the former JV system, and many have varsity counterparts. These teams include (but aren’t limited to): basketball, tennis, lacrosse volleyball, hockey, fencing and baseball. However, unlike in the old days, crossover between club teams and the varsity roster is rarely occurs.
Others club teams, however, have no varsity counterpart. These sports are often less conventional or more modern, like the year-old Quidditch team. Other teams simply more individualistic or less integrated into popular culture. These teams include sports like self-defense, Shotokan karate, ballroom dance and archery. However, despite their lack of widespread popularity, most club sports have found steady followings at Harvard.
Several club teams have also found incredible success: the ballroom team will be hosting their 20th Annual Harvard Invitational Ballroom Competition on April 23-24, and the Radcliff rugby team will be heading to nationals later this spring.
The Harvard men's ultimate frisbee team, Red Line, has proven to be one of the top teams in the nation so far this season, finishing in the top five at three elite national tournaments. After a tournament at UConn next weekend, the squad will prepare for the College Series in hopes of earning a berth to the National Championships, a competition held in Colorado in late May.
Despite the fact that they don’t get the recognition that the varsity competitors receive, you can bet that these Crimson athletes will be giving their all, whether it’s on the court, the field or the ballroom.