With conferences shuffling, the introduction of new sports to match new schools seems like a reasonable possibility.
Penn State currently offers 29 Division I sports teams, but what if it had more?
As a competitive sports institution with several top-flight teams, additions to the many championship programs already in place could prove beneficial.
These add-ons would offer an even more diverse portfolio of sports and open the school up to more opportunities for championships.
Here’s a look at a few sports that Penn State could add.
With Tussey Mountain just down the road, a Division I ski team could easily find its home at Penn State.
While not as grand as the mountains in Colorado or Utah, the State College area has its own snowy winters that could provide solid training grounds to a potential team.
Collegiate skiing falls into different branches of competition, including slalom and freestyle. Freestyle brings a more cross country-esque race to skiers along a path in a race to the finish, while slalom provides a shorter race but adds more obstacles, including gates that the skier must ride between.
With classes already offered to students who love to hit the slopes in both snowboarding and downhill skiing, in addition to the sport already offered at the club level, it seems like it would be easy to garner a ski team in Happy Valley.
While State College doesn’t offer much in terms of bodies of water for a crew team to row in, Penn State’s club crew team practices at Bald Eagle State Park in Centre County.
Division I practice can take place in pools, with regular trips to nearby state parks. Erg machines can also be utilized to prepare the team for competition.
Rival Ohio State boasts its own women’s rowing team, meaning if Penn State started its own team, it would provide another opportunity to beat the Buckeyes.
If Ohio State has the proper facilities to house a rowing team, on the surface level, there seems to be little reason why Penn State could not do so, too.
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Rifle provides Penn State an easy opportunity to add a new sport.
With a smaller team size, in comparison to a sport like football or lacrosse, and minimal space and equipment needed, it shouldn’t put too much financial strain on the university.
Rifle at the collegiate level is an indoor sport requiring a shooting range with air rifles or .22-caliber smallbore rifles and targets, in addition to basic safety equipment.
Not too much space would be required for a range on campus, and a majority of the equipment would likely be a one-time purchase.
Penn State already holds a bowling club, so why not take it to the next level?
The NCAA also offers Division I bowling, so, with a team already in Happy Valley, it’s plausible that the blue and white could compete quickly after sanctioning.
With a club team present, there is plenty of evidence that there are facilities to practice nearby, as well as local competition to strengthen against.
Penn State could even place its own bowling alleys on campus, which would provide a fun opportunity for students to hang out with friends, regardless if they’re on the team.
Rounding out this list is water polo, a sport that would fall in nicely alongside the swim and dive teams.
This is another sport Penn State could add that would provide minimal costs in the way of equipment. Water polo is a sport played in a pool, with a net on either end and a volleyball-sized ball, while players simply don a cap and swimsuit.
Teams could easily use one of Penn State’s many preexisting pools, something the club teams already do.
With minimal change needed to add this sport, water polo provides an easy option toward expansion within Penn State athletics.