Rugby, pickleball and broomball . . . oh my

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Nora Rogers

RIT ball carrier Conor Kelley breaks through the defensive line during the RIT Tigers Rugby Football Club’s first game Sept. 10. The Tigers won 17 to 10 against Paul Smith’s College.

Move over running, weightlifting and bowling. Today’s students have a few more options when it comes to recreational sports.

The RIT Center for Recreation and Intramurals has introduced pickleball and broomball to its 17 current intramural offerings this year.

“Pickleball, a low-key version of tennis with large paddles and a Wiffleball-style ball, even has a few faculty and staff teams in the mix,” says Brennan Coon, assistant director for intramurals. An alternative to hockey, broomball is played on ice with teams using brooms to move a ball.

Coon says later this year organizers expect to add ice hockey and kickball to the intramural lineup, which includes basketball, volleyball and indoor soccer.

Meanwhile, rugby has been added back to the list of more than 205 active clubs on campus after a four-year hiatus. The RIT Tigers Rugby Football Club played its first league match Sept. 10, defeating Paul Smith’s College, 17 to 10. Last spring, the team was approved as a full member of the New York State Rugby Conference.

The team plays in the New York East Division III bracket, against teams such as Clarkson and Syracuse universities.

“In just a year and a half, we went from seven guys playing around, to more than 70 people scrimmaging after this year’s club fair,” says Jeff Cosimano, a sixth-year mechanical engineering master’s student and president of the club.