Sports Culture at the UMass Amherst Campus

UMass Amherst Sports

By Jessica Brown
By Jessica Brown
Unigo Campus Rep at UMass Amherst
Nov. 7, 2008


This year on a warm Halloween night, UMass sports fans celebrated at the UMass men’s hockey team’s first home game of the 2008-2009 season. After trailing Providence College by two goals early in the game, UMass finally came back and showed their fans why hockey is the favorite sport on campus. By the end of the game, UMass had scored nine goals to Providence’s four, recording the highest number of UMass goals scored in one game in twelve years.

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The goalie for UMass' women's soccer team punches the ball away from her net. 

The student fans, decked out in their Halloween costumes, packed the student side of the Mullins Center ready to cheer on their Minutemen. It was the typical hockey game at UMass Amherst: passionate fans, enthusiastic cheers (some not so appropriate for the younger fans); one of the greatest atmospheres you’ll find at UMass. Hockey is by far the most popular sporting event on campus—many students look forward to the games, and game attendance reaches over 5,000 spectators.

Besides hockey, the next two sports most enjoyed by students are football and basketball. Game attendance isn’t as high for these sports as it is for hockey, but those who do go are passionate fans. In the past, sports haven’t been a priority for students at UMass. Recently, however, many people would agree that students are starting to take more of an interest. “Sports don’t play a central role on campus, but I feel like more students are definitely becoming more interested,” said Matt Burke, a sophomore sociology major.

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The rink is prepared for the men's hockey team's first home game. 

Other than these three main sports, game attendance is minimal. However, those who are involved in the sports take an active role in making students aware that other games are going on. For example, it’s common to find small fliers on tables in the dining halls announcing when different games are, not just hockey or football.

Along with the opportunity to attend NCAA games, students can participate in both club and intramural sports. Tryouts are required for club sports and being on a team is a significant commitment, but students of any skill level can join an intramural team. The list of intramural sports is huge, ranging from flag football, to soccer, even sports trivia. To join a team, students can either make a team with their friends or attend singles meetings, so it’s really easy to get involved and many students participate.