Athletics and Recreation
The Department of Athletics and the Department of Recreation are housed in the state-of-the-art Harold Alfond Athletics and Recreation Center. Opened in 2020, the 350,000-square-foot facility is the most comprehensive Division III facility in the country. The departments offer 32 varsity sports, intramural sports, club sports, lifetime fitness classes, and recreational activities. Together, they provide opportunities for all levels of athletic interest and accommodate different levels of competitiveness and intensity.
Indoor athletic facilities in the new Harold Alfond Athletics and Recreation Center include the Margaret M. Crook Center with three regulation courts; the O’Neil | O’Donnell Forum and the Jack Kelley Ice Rink; a squash center with nine regulation courts; the 14,000-square-foot Boulos Strength and Fitness Center; an Olympic-sized 50-meter, nine-lane indoor swimming pool; field house, which includes a six-lane 200-meter indoor track, pole vault, high jump, long/triple jump, shot put, four regulation tennis courts, and a 48-foot climbing and bouldering wall; the O’Neil Family Wellness Studios; the Papadellis Erg Room with 30 machines; the Carl E. Nelson Hydrotherapy Room; a central courtyard; and three classrooms.
Outdoor facilities include four artificial turf fields: Seaverns Field, a long-grass synthetic turf field and the primary field for football and men’s lacrosse; the Bill Alfond Field, a lighted artificial turf field, the primary field for field hockey and women’s lacrosse, which opened in the fall of 2017; and a new baseball and softball complex completed in 2016—the first facility in NESCAC with both artificial baseball and softball fields. A 2008 project installed the artificial turf football field, rebuilt the 400-meter all-weather Alfond Track, and created a stadium feel around Seaverns Field in the Harold Alfond Stadium. In the fall of 2017, a state-of-the-art competition grass field for soccer, an oversized natural grass practice field, and a newly installed rugby pitch were added to the outdoor facilities.
Other outdoor facilities include the Alfond-Wales Tennis Courts (10 hard-surface courts) and the Klein Tennis Pavilion, the 8.5-mile Campbell Cross Country Trails for running and Nordic skiing, and a woodsmen’s area for traditional lumberjack competition. A mile from Colby is the Quarry Road Recreation Area, an International Ski Federation-certified Nordic ski racing trail and a snowmaking system, where the Nordic ski team practices and holds competitions. Seven miles from campus, the Colby-Hume Center is a 10-acre estate on Messalonskee Lake with a boathouse and docks for the crew teams. The Colby-Hume Center has boat access and can also be used by Colby students for swimming.
More than a third of Colby students participate in one or more varsity teams. Colby belongs to Division III of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). It also belongs to the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), one of the most competitive Division III conferences in the nation. Colby sponsors 16 sports for women, 15 for men, and one coed team. Varsity teams include baseball, basketball, crew, cross country, field hockey, football, golf, ice hockey, lacrosse, squash, Nordic and alpine skiing, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, indoor and outdoor track and field, and volleyball.
The NESCAC, founded in 1971, includes 11 highly selective liberal arts colleges that are committed to academic excellence and believe that athletic excellence supports their educational mission. Each institution is committed to a comprehensive athletic program available to the entire student body, the equitable treatment of all participants in athletic activities, the highest ethical standards in conference relationships, and equitable competition among member institutions. NESCAC schools have won 59 national championships in the past 10 years and have had the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup winner in 19 of the last 20 years.
Currently serving faculty, staff, and students, the Recreation Department consists of eight component areas: informal recreation, intramural sports, club sports, fitness, instructional programs, aquatics, special events, and outdoor programs.
The Harold Alfond Athletics and Recreation Center (HAARC) is available for “walk-in” informal recreation or self-directed programming at specified hours. Ample time is available for fitness conditioning, walking, lap and open swimming, ice skating, as well as court/field sports such as basketball, volleyball, badminton, squash, and indoor soccer.
Intramural sports are designed to provide faculty, staff, and students the opportunity to compete and have fun in a flexible, yet structured environment. Sports are offered in either tournament or league format.
These student organizations are established to promote and develop a common interest in a sport activity and have gained university recognition via Colby Recreation. Each club sport is student-initiated, organized, managed, and maintained by volunteer student leaders. Club sport teams have the opportunity to compete outside of the institution against other registered collegiate club sport teams.
Fitness classes are held in the HAARC O’Neil Family Wellness Studios and are available to the Colby community. Classes are offered at various times throughout the week and admittance to class will require registration. Individuals at beginner, intermediate, and advanced fitness levels are welcome to participate.
Instructional programs offer experiential learning, personal enrichment, and skill-building opportunities for the Colby community.
Recreational swimming is available in the HAARC Aquatics Center. Lap swim, open swimming, and special aquatic programming are also made available to the Colby community.
Colby Recreation partners with Outdoor Education to offer positive outdoor education, recreation, and adventure experiences.
For information about the departments, teams, and the department’s faculty and coaching staff, visit the Colby Athletics website.