How to Get in the Game, Get Fit and Get Excited About Terp Sports
Fan photo by John T. Consoli; soccer photo courtesy of RecWell
From the football team coming off its second straight bowl victory to field hockey opening the season with a national No. 3 ranking to both basketball squads looking to build on NCAA Tournament appearances, there’s plenty of hype surrounding Maryland Athletics this year.
And outside the stadiums, Terps of all experience levels can still get their on-field or fitness fixes through a slew of offerings from University Recreation and Wellness—whether that’s with a friendly four-on-four volleyball match, a badminton battle or a power yoga class.
Here’s how you can take in the action and get active this fall and beyond:
If you’re not one of UMD’s 500-plus student-athletes, fear not! Students, faculty and staff can delve into Fear-the-Turtle fun by showing up at any Terps game free of charge with their university ID, with the exception of football and men’s basketball events.
Students can also attend those for free—the cost is covered under each semester’s activities fee—but they need to claim football and men’s basketball tickets in advance. Previously, that meant creating a student ticket account with a separate personal identification number. But now, through a simpler process put into play midway through last season, they can just use their regular UMD login credentials, said Jordan Looby, associate athletic director of marketing strategy and fan experience.
Claim periods open for football at 8 a.m. three Tuesdays before each game and close at 8 a.m. the following Thursday or until inventory is exhausted, while basketball claim periods are more irregular. (Claim periods are open now for the first three home football games.) If requests exceed supply, then a loyalty-based lottery system goes into effect; students earn more entries based on their previous attendance record for that sport that year.
Meanwhile, faculty and staff can take advantage of a 20% discount on season tickets for football (resulting in a $296 price for the lower level; $99 upper-level tickets are available to all fans) and men’s basketball ($600 lower level, $440 upper level). In addition, through its partnership with SECU, Athletics is offering all faculty and staff up to two free tickets for the football games vs. Towson (Saturday) and Charlotte (Sept. 9), with discounts available for additional tickets. A similar deal is on tap for basketball season, Looby said. For women’s basketball, employees get free general admission with the option to purchase reserved seats.
Fall sports are also offering faculty and staff appreciation games throughout the season with free or discounted admission for guests, and select employees can immerse themselves in the full game-day experience through Athletics’ “guest coaching” program.
For all fans, a few updates this season are worth cheering over: The new Field Hockey and Women’s Lacrosse Complex opens this fall, complete with updated locker rooms, sports medicine equipment and a relocated entrance to ease access to seating areas. And to the delight of UMD sports history buffs, the classic “Script Terps” football uniforms are back full-time, with the team set to sport a new black version during the Friday night game vs. Virginia on Sept. 15.
“Some of the years that we wore those uniforms are our most successful years ever as a program,” Looby said, noting how fans are abuzz about similar possibilities this season.
Club and Intramural Sports
Non-varsity Terps who are craving competition themselves have ample opportunity to hit the field or court through RecWell’s dozens of club and intramural sports.
Forty-five club sports are available this year, from the traditional baseball, basketball and lacrosse to the less expected, like ballroom dance, sailing and paintball. These teams play against other schools and could pay dues and hold tryouts. Interested students, faculty and staff can email the club contacts and then complete registration through IMLeagues to join.
Intramurals, on the other hand, pit Terps vs. Terps, are free and don’t involve tryouts. Last year, 7,696 students participated, and those joining this fall can choose from five team sports, like three-on-three basketball or seven-on-seven soccer; two individual or dual sports, including golf and pickleball; and eight one-day tournaments or Terps After Dark events, like dodgeball and spikeball competitions.
“It’s a great way to find people who have a similar hobby as you, to be able to play and be in community with them,” Brianne Rowh, assistant director of business services, communication and marketing for RecWell, said of joining a team. “It’s really what you make of it.”
Students looking for an on-campus job can also become intramural sports officials—a flexible employment option, Rowh said, with applicants able to choose the sports they’re most knowledgeable about.
Terps can get their sweat on in a less competitive atmosphere by exploring RecWell’s fitness programs. Students paying the on-campus student fee can access the programs and facilities with their ID; otherwise, daily passes are $10 and annual membership is $494. Last year, 4,779 students took advantage of group fitness classes—like barre, cycling and yoga—and more than 80 such classes are available this fall.
Feeling especially daring? Drop in during this semester’s open enrollment at the Challenge Course, where Terps can try out the alpine tower, high ropes course, giant swing and “leap of faith” obstacle free of charge. Terps After Dark is also partnering with RecWell to offer a lineup of high-energy, late-night events, like neon night at the climbing wall and a crate-stacking challenge at the Challenge Course.
New this year, the Adventure Program, which offers outdoor recreational opportunities, is adding a backpacking trip along the Appalachian Trail during Thanksgiving break, and RecWell is hosting pickleball clinics for Terps to relish the quickly growing sport.
With so many rec resources and happenings, Rowh said, Terps can best keep track by following RecWell on social media.
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