With fall around the corner, many students are eager to become part of an organization that will provide them with a community of individuals who share the same passion. UC Berkeley’s club sports program offers 26 different sports teams to join such as sailing, archery and ballroom dancing. A complete list of all the club sports offered can be found on the Berkeley Recreational Sports website.
I spoke to two current club members from the men’s ultimate frisbee team and the men’s soccer team. They provided some insight on how to join and the amount of commitment the sports required from them.
Both members mentioned having to try out for the team in a process that went on for a couple of weeks as the teams narrowed down their picks. As both these sports are split into an A and B team, getting a spot on the A team can be difficult. About 60 students competed for the 15 spots available on the ultimate frisbee A team and more than 100 students competed for one of the 20 spots on the soccer team. To learn more about when a specific club sport is having their tryouts, email the club president, which you can find on the Berkeley Rec Sports website.
The time commitment varies depending on the sport and increases if you become part of the A team. Ultimate frisbee player Evan Kandell dedicates about eight hours a week attending team practices and practicing on his own. Soccer player Edgar Suarez dedicates about six hours a week practicing with his team. He emphasized how understanding the team was when he would need to miss a practice to take a midterm or study, and was never punished for missing a practice. The club soccer team is run by students and it prioritizes the player’s academics above the commitment they have to the team.
The success of the ultimate frisbee team has allowed Kandell to travel to other states for tournaments, as the D1 team reached nationals this season and tied for fifth with some of the top teams in the country.
Both players encourage students to join a club sport as they have both formed friendships and found a community through their time in club sports. Suarez spoke about the possible concern students might have with a sport taking up too much time away from their academic responsibilities. He emphasized the flexibility that club sports offer, and for soccer specifically, a high commitment was not expected of the players. Kandell encourages everyone to try out for ultimate frisbee even if you have no prior experience playing frisbee. Three players on his team made it onto the A team while never having touched a frisbee before.