For most student-athletes, one question dominates their thinking: What’s the best three-syllable sport on campus?
The upper campus basketball courts are a popular hangout for college students with an affinity for an old-school hoop shooter and the confidence to play in front of 3,000 other people.
Unfortunately, most of us can’t hang on to the ballplayers who dominate these courts.
So, is the answer racquetball?
The McPhee Physical Education Center has several racquetball courts and checked the rackets holders to students during their open recess hours.
However, no one knows how to play racquetball. There is no need for attribution on this statement. It’s just a known fact.
Additionally, open recreation rules at McPhee require all racquetball participants to wear protective eyewear when playing. Enough said.
The real and irrefutable best three-syllable sport on campus is, of course, rock climbing.
Am I biased because I just got back from spending 72 hours in the woods to get my TRCI-A (Rope Climbing Instructor – Assistant Level) certification? Maybe.
Is this article just an excuse for me to change my TRCI-A certification (Top of the Line Climbing Instructor – Assistant Grade, in case you forgot)? Absolutely.
That being said, rock climbing is an incredibly accessible and enjoyable way for students on campus to exercise and socialize.
UW-Eau Claire has two main rock climbing locations facilities – the bouldering wall at Hilltop Center and the top rope wall at McPhee, plus guided rock climbing excursions through the Environmental Adventure Center.
The bouldering wall is usually the best access point on campus for new climbers. Students get free access and shoe hire, meaning new climbers don’t need any prior equipment or monetary investment to check it out.
Block is a style of climbing that involves shorter routes (planned paths up the wall) and padded floors so that instead of being attached to a harness, when you complete a route or fall, you just land on the thick pads about five to seven feet below you.
The bouldering community on campus is extremely supportive and welcoming. Rock climbing is a remarkably uncompetitive sport – all skill levels are welcome and someone who climbs easier routes is never looked down upon over someone who climbs more difficult routes.
The upper rope wall features longer routes and climbers are supported by ropes and harnesses rather than falling on pads. pass at the upper rope wall are five dollars a day or 30 dollars for the semester.
The Environmental Adventure Center also organizes outdoor climbing outings a few times a semester. These are usually day or weekend trips and involve going to rock climbing areas in the area, including Devil’s Lake State Park and Minnesota’s North Shore.
All climbing skill levels are welcome on these trips, and more information can be found at UW-Eau Claire Recreation page or on the Environmental Adventure Center Instagram page (@uwec_eac).
Students should feel encouraged to try rock climbing as an alternative to other three-syllable sports on campus. They’ll likely find a welcoming community and a fun, engaging way to stay active without even having to leave campus.
Volleyball is pretty cool too, I guess.
Porisch can be found at [email protected].