When you think of college sports, the first ones that likely come to mind are basketball, American football, soccer, or tennis. However, there are also some sports you probably didn’t know are offered at the college level! In this blog, we’ll tell you more about six of these sports.


You read it right; chess. College Chess is offered as an official college sport at various universities. Chess is offered at nearly a hundred universities. The frontrunner in chess is currently the University of Missouri. In the spring of 2021, the school became champion, providing both finalists for the individual event in the fall of 2022, and finishing as the runner-up in spring 2023.

Secretly, within Slamstox, we’ve been familiar with college chess for quite some time. As early as 2018 and 2019, Benjamin Bok and Robby Kevlishvili left for the college chess team at Saint Louis University through Slamstox.


The second sport on the list of obscure college sports is Rifle. Better known in the Netherlands as shooting sports, it involves rifle shooting at both long and short distances, with individual and team competitions. The sport is offered at only 28 NCAA universities, meaning all universities compete in the same college rifle competition. The National Champion of the past season is TCU with 4732 points, narrowly edging out West Virginia with 4729 points for second place. So, it was a minimal difference.


Thirdly, a sport that predominantly takes place at high altitudes: skiing. Students can participate in various disciplines such as slalom, giant slalom, and ski jumping. Cross-country skiing competitions are also organized. College skiing is offered at only 29 universities, firmly earning its place on this list. In 2024, Colorado claimed victory during the NCAA National Championships in college skiing.


Fencing, or in Dutch, schermen, is the fourth sport on the list. There are only 46 colleges that offer fencing as a sport, making college fencing definitely qualify as an obscure college sport. In the state of New York, fencing is most popular, as it is offered at eleven universities there. In total, the college sport is practiced by 1454 athletes across the 46 universities.


When you think of bowling, you probably imagine a fun night out with friends, but it’s also a college sport in America. It’s a popular sport in the United States and is offered at around 200 colleges. Bowling is available through official competitions and matches, but many universities also offer it as a club sport or as part of their own organized competitions.


It’s almost unbelievable, but even E-sports is offered as a college sport at some schools! Currently, there are over 170 universities and more than 5000 students involved in the American college E-sports scene. Are you curious about how you can earn a scholarship through E-sports? Then this article is definitely worth reading!

A lot of “unusual” sports are offered in college, so there’s something for everyone, emphasizing once again that the opportunities in America are endless. If you want to know more about any of these sports or about sports and studying in America in general, please fill out this form, and we’ll be happy to contact you to explore your options together.