I have been at WSU for three years now, and I have seen most everything and experienced most of the greatest things this university and town have to offer. This is that time of year when freshman arrive, new to everything and looking for a great college experience; sports are a huge part of that experience, at least for some.
So what kinds of sports experiences does WSU have to offer? Oh so many. Seriously, there are so many it’s absurd.
Ignoring the obvious choices and events out of your control — such as attending an Apple Cup the Cougars win, or storming the court or field after a victory — I’ll give you my top five sports related experiences every student should have while at WSU.
Last thing before we get started, if you’re a sophomore or older and still have yet to do any of these things, or a transfer and just moved to Pullman, there is still time. Go out and have some fun!
#5: Play Beach Volleyball at The Rec
I understand not everyone enjoys volleyball, but if you are one of the many who do, you will absolutely love beach volleyball.
You probably just watched a whole bunch of beach volleyball from London during the Olympics and, yes, it’s as amazing to play, as it is to watch.
Beach volleyball offers all kinds of challenges that indoor volleyball does not. Jumping and running in sand is not easy.
But with the challenges, the sand also offers some fun perks such as a much more forgiving surface to dive on and the chance to throw sand clumps at your opponent. Let’s just be honest, most sports would be better with the ability to throw sand clumps added in. Sand clumps are awesome.
#4: Play Intramural Sports
I'll start out by saying you do not have to be talented to play intramural sports. If you are looking to just have some fun with friends, compete in a recreational league instead of a competitive league.
University Recreation provides an incredibly long list of intramural sports options including leagues for most major sports and tournaments for many others. Unfortunately, I have only participated in flag football and softball, but those experiences are some of the best I’ve had since moving to Pullman.
The leagues are not expensive, especially when the fee is split between team members, and game times are usually later in the day so as to not conflict with most classes.
Intramural sports are a great way to have fun or continue organized sports after high school if you’re like me and are not anywhere near good enough to play varsity college sports.
#3: Attend a Non-Revenue Sport Competition
The revenue sports are football and men’s basketball, and they’re incredibly fun to watch. Those are not your only options, however. There are many other non-revenue varsity sports teams here at WSU and their competitions are all a great time.
Among my favorite are baseball, women’s soccer and volleyball, all of which have immensely fun environments built around them and talented athletes competing.
The Cougs have some very talented athletes on every single varsity team and they all deserve love and support from students. Your sports pass, provided you have one, will get you into every varsity sports competition and you should attend as many as you can.
The volleyball match closest to Halloween has a crowd full of costumed fans and baseball games have an intimate atmosphere that makes you feel so close to the game you might as well be in it. You’re not going to get environments like this after college, so take advantage of it while you can.
#2: Camp Out For a Football Game:
For the 2010 Apple Cup here in Pullman, my friends and I decided to camp outside the student entrance, you know, for good seats. It was about 13 degrees outside and we sat in line for about 10 hours, slowly freezing and losing sleep.
It was 100 percent worth it.
When it was all said and done, I won a drawing for a video game, we booed about 100 Husky fans, sat in the first row on the 45-yard line and I had a picture taken of me that ended up on a marketing poster. It was one of the best days of my life.
If you’re going to do this, probably choose a warmer time of year or bring lots of hot drinks and warm clothes. Most importantly, bring something to do such as playing cards or a book to read, it can be a lengthy wait. I would say bring homework to work on, but let’s be honest, you are not going to work on it.
#1: Travel to an Away Game:
This may be hard for some, as trips to away games can become expensive. However, if you’re capable of putting a trip together with a few friends, it is well worth the time and money.
The most feasible option would be non-Pullman home games such as The Seattle Game for football at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, or the Cougar Hardwood Classic at Key Arena, also in Seattle.
These games are not, in the technical sense, away games, but the trip is fun and you get to experience a varsity competition outside of Pullman. At away games and Seattle games, you get to interact with alumni and spread Cougar pride.
An admittedly expensive, but unbelievably fun, option would be to travel to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, away football game this season (this one is for those of you over 21, mostly). Is there a better place to watch college football, outside of Pullman, than Vegas? I would say absolutely not.
This list is not the end, as there could have been 30 items added on, but it is a good start. Get out there and enjoy the experiences this community has to offer! Sports are the best. Well, sports and sand clumps.