The new college sports: Dodge a Ball, Dodge a Zombie, Dodge a Rail

Ah, college. Time to hit the books, study hard, make friends and… RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!! ZOMBIES!!

No joke. Students get chased by the brain-hungry living dead at Hillsdale College in Michigan. And it’s awesome.
College is serious stuff, but it’s fun too and letting off steam is important. For years, intramural sports and other organized activities have done the trick. But with 40 million youths nationwide involved in athletics, colleges now are getting creative and expanding offerings.

Your Dad may have been satisfied with intramural basketball, but nowadays there’s so much more:

Zombie Runs
On Halloween, Hillsdale College students toed a starting line like any other 3K. Except they wore costumes. And carried flags. And were chased by zombies. Those who finished the race with all their flags avoided infection. Those who didn’t became zombies and the fun multiplied.

Serious Horseplay
Albion College calls it a “340-acre classroom experience … with leather seats.” The Nancy G. Held Equestrian Center allows students to board their own horses and hosts equestrian teams. But it’s also open to the entire campus and offers rides and instructions to all comers.

Wiffle Time
Wiffle ball has become a more hardcore since the days when anything past the shrubs was a ground-rule double. The University of Detroit Mercy hosts an intramural league featuring the iconic perforated plastic ball.

Dodge Ball
Alma College has a wiffle ball league as well. But it ups the ante with leagues for pickleball, kanjan and, the most sadistic schoolyard sport in history, dodge ball. Olivet College and Calvin College have dodge ball leagues as well, which is perfect for relieving finals’ week aggression.

Pong is King
Dodge ball is overtly aggressive. Its gentler cousin, ping pong, is merely passive aggressive. But make no doubt: The club games and intramural leagues at Calvin College, Hillsdale College and Albion College are legendary and ruthless.

There’s so much more
Michigan’s top 15 independent colleges and universities also offer traditional intramural sports from flag football and soccer to volleyball and ultimate Frisbee.

It’s all part of a dynamic, truly unique experience that allows students to forge success by following their own path. The colleges are smaller and emphasize community over crowds. And the independents boast higher four-year graduation rates and smaller class sizes for a truly unique and affordable experience.

Be bold. Be different. Go independent.