Let’s go clubbing: inside club sports at Tech

The club swim team gathers for a photo after securing their third straight national championship in April of 2021. They are set to host the 2022 iteration in the McAuley Aquatic Center. // Photo Courtesy of Angela Wharton

Tech fields 17 varsity sports teams each year, ranging from football to track and field. While these teams are the school’s main draw for fans, a significantly higher number of students compete at the club level on over 40 different teams. Well over a dozen teams have over 20 members, and some years nearly two dozen of the clubs have membership that high. Many travel around the state, the southeast, or even across the country to compete. Several of the sports have club national championship tournaments and meets.

All official club sports of Tech are run through the CRC (Campus Recreation Center). Many field sports practice on the Stamps fields right next to the CRC, but some sports, like ice hockey, need different facilities and practice off campus. Dues range for each team, as does equipment, but many teams are looking for players of all skill levels and can help find gear.

One of the largest and most accomplished teams on campus is the club swim team. Founded in 1995, they boast over 100 members, putting them among the largest student organizations on campus. The club practices in Tech’s Olympic pool, giving them arguably the most impressive facility of any club team.

They helped found the College Club Swimming Organization in 2017, and have since won three straight national championships, including last year’s virtual championship. Tech will host the 2022 edition as they look for a fourth straight title. Club swim has a busy social calendar, a common theme among club sports.

Club ultimate frisbee is another one of the largest teams on campus. The men’s team is called Tribe featuring an A and B squad. The A squad competes all around the country and is consistently ranked in the top 25 nationally by the USAU power metric. Both squads compete in the Southeast division and the A team is a member of the Southern Appalachian conference. The women’s team is called Wreck and similarly competes at tournaments across the country, primarily playing southeast teams. A number of intra-squad social events between Wreck and Tribe (known as Tribeck when combined) happen on a semesterly basis.

Tech’s club tennis team has around 50 members of a range of skill levels, most of whom played in high school. They have a handful of competitions every semester and few intra-club events as well. They won Sectionals in 2020, giving them a potential nationals bid before the season was canceled due to the Coronavirus and won three of seven tournaments outright during their last full season.

Tech ice hockey plays in the South Eastern Collegiate Hockey Conference (SECHC). The conference includes 16 schools, and the majority of Tech’s schedule comes against conference opponents. Tech joined the conference in 2019, but has had an active program for nearly four decades and is the longest active club hockey team in the southeast. They were awarded the 2021 Sport Club of the Year by Tech following their recent season. In an average year, the team plays around two dozen games. Some of the games are in mid-season tournament form and the SECHC tournament and Nationals occur at the end of the year.

Club lacrosse at Tech plays at the Men’s College Lacrosse Association (MCLA) level, and plays over a dozen games per year in the regular season. They run several lines deep, with over 40 members on the roster. They have seen recent success, making it to the semifinal round of the MCLA invitational tournament in 2021, losing to eventual champion BYU.

There are around three dozen other sports clubs on campus, including sport parachute, roller derby, sailing, and equestrian. Many are looking for members with any level of experience and often have vibrant social aspects along with the athletic side. The information for all sports clubs can be found at crc.gatech.edu/sportclubs. Links to each team’s website can be found as well as information about contacting each team’s president or captain.

Each team’s active season varies, but some play all year round. The CRC has three phases ­— fall, winter and spring — and many sports’ seasons last an entire semester, so be aware of changing practice times. Head to the website today if interested!