Sports play an important role in U.S. society and can be a great way to meet people. Depending on the geographic location and size of their university, students may participate competitively or recreationally in a range of indoor and outdoor athletic activities. Campus sports generally fall into two types: intercollegiate sports where organized teams sponsored by the university play other universities in a similar geographic area; and intramural sports which are organized on campus. Intramural sports activities are designed to provide opportunities for enjoyable participation in an activity for each student. Programs exist for a number of sports like soccer, volleyball, basketball, baseball, etc. In the event that a university does not offer soccer, for example, students could organize a team and get an organization or department to sponsor them to start a soccer team. Tennis, skiing, and hiking may also be possible. Participating in a sport is an excellent way to stay fit and healthy and offers a satisfying break from academic work.
Many universities have recreational centers on campus with weight rooms, basketball and tennis courts, pools, running tracks, and studios for yoga and Pilates. Students can access these facilities for free while they are enrolled as students. Additional outdoor activities could be available near the university campus. For example, universities that are close to bodies of water could offer sailing or rowing. Universities near mountains could have opportunities for students to downhill or cross-country ski, hike, or climb. Rental equipment for all of these activities is frequently available on campus. This allows students to try out new activities without having to purchase equipment themselves.