Group Commentary: Sports you wish were varsity team sports

When you think of Canadian university varsity teams, you probably think of the classics like football, hockey, soccer, and volleyball. But what sports from your childhood do you really wish were varsity team sports at the U of A? Don’t lie, you’d definitely sign up to beat the University of Toronto in laser tag and play McGill in a round of Marco Polo.

Capture the Flag

You hide your flag somewhere on campus — people who have explored the BioSci building to its fullest will have a distinct advantage. This sport reaches maximum success when no one is ever really sure who is playing and who is just attending class like a normal university student. It’s like the Hide-and-Seek club on steroids. People somersaulting across campus and hiding in bushes would bring joy to any midterm season.

— Emma Jones 

Laser Tag

While we’re on this streak of revitalizing trends from the last few decades (see: mom jeans and vinyl), why don’t we start pulling from the context of the time periods we’re attempting to recreate? If anyone tells you that they aren’t jazzed about the idea of airing out their repressed childhood birthday party memories through running around in an enclosed, fog-filled, sweaty mess of an establishment while also wearing unnecessarily heavy protective gear, they’re probably lying. It’s basically an indoor biathlon, but your targets are humans. University students need a better way to lower our levels of aggression, and there’s no better way to do that than to bring out your inner child.

— Michaela Friedland 

Big Buck Hunter HD

This is the best arcade game and why not? At any bar/arcade/place worth going to has this amazing game set in the corner and sparks the most intense rivalry between friends. Imagine each university sending the best player to go compete against the rest of the country. Give Alberta and Saskatchewan something to win, give us western Canadians some to triumph over eastern Canada. Honestly though we should have this because my friend only brought like five bucks in loonies and that’s a fucking pedestrian effort at best.

Nicklaus Neitling 

Red Butt (or whatever you called it in elementary school)

Let’s face it, the U of A needs to bring a little elementary school spirit into its stuffy roster of varsity sports. And Red Butt (A.K.A. “Butts up,” “Burn Ball,” “Ballsies,” “Chinese Suicides,” “Peanut-butter,” “Rump Rounders,” “Buttock Blocker,” “Sky Blue,” “Blackjack,” “Assies’ Rehab & Tea,” “Wall Ball,” “Slaughterhouse,” “Fourteen Eighty-Eight,” “Fumble,” “Butt Ball,” “Buju Gay,” “Beartrap,” “Asses Up,” “Suicide,” “Stitch,” “Pee Pee’d,” “Peg,” “Balls Deep,” “Fire in the Bum,” “A-Ball,” “Buns Up,” “Booties Up,” “Electric Booty,” “Glempner,” “No Fear,” “Red Bum,” “Red Ace,” “Jetters,” “Red Ass,” “Red Out,” “Sting,” “Error,” “Off the Wall,” “Kirby,” “Spread,” “Burn,” “Murderball,” “Blue Gooch,” or “Brandings”) is the perfect choice. Everyone remembers the (painful) after-school game from their childhood where you’d chuck a tennis ball at a wall, hoping to God you’re coordinated enough to catch it again for fear of failing to touch the wall in time and being lined up before a tennis ball firing squad. Reimagined into the realm of the Golden Bears and Pandas, the game could take on a whole new level of intensity as our school’s top athletes could compete for the opportunity to bean other in the ass with a ball.     

— Sam Podgurny 


Not only is this sport a good stress-relieving opportunity during midterm season, it’s the best for team-building. You have to communicate in order to coordinate who will run where. You should trust each other to make sure a teammate has your back. And you have to work together to come up with a strategy that plays to everyone’s strengths. Plus, your paintball colours would be your university colours, so when you totally annihilate a team, other teams would be warned by the splattered green and gold on the other university teams’ bodies.

— Ashton Mucha

Polo, Marco Polo

When it comes to breaking ties in swim meets, or just giving them something to do, nothing would be better than finely-tuned aquatic athletes playing everyone’s favourite backyard pool sport.

Picture this, one member of one swim team is placed in the pool, and has to tread water as the other team swims away. It emphasizes maneuverability and athleticism, and I’m sure the swimmers would develop a plethora of advanced techniques. It’s like dodgeball in Lister, upgrading a sport from gym class fun to cutthroat savagery. Plus, you wouldn’t even need to make a new varsity team. All in all, this just makes sense.

— Mitch Sorensen

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