Point Park Sports: An Overview – Croup’s Corner

Written By Josh Croup, Sports Columnist

You’re in your first week of classes and strike up small talk with the person beside you. The small talk leads to interests outside of school.

“I play on Point Park’s (insert sport here) team,” they tell you.

“We have a (insert sport here) team,” you reply.

It’s a common conversation I both overheard and had as a freshman last year. Let this column serve as a guide to all things Point Park athletics.

We are the Point Park Pioneers and the bison serves as our mascot. The bison became the school’s mascot in 1967, the school’s first year of intercollegiate competition.

Point Park currently fields 13 varsity sports teams: Both men’s and women’s basketball, cross country, golf, track and field and soccer; baseball, softball and volleyball.

Point Park is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), not the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The NAIA puts a strong emphasis on enhancing the character building aspects of athletics. It is smaller than the NCAA and is comprised mostly of small schools across the country.

The NAIA includes over 260 schools, while NCAA Division I alone has nearly 350 schools.

Point Park enters their fourth year as a member of the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (KIAC) that includes 12 other schools across Pennsylvania, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia. The KIAC will celebrate its 100th year as an intercollegiate athletic conference in 2016.

Point Park earned the KIAC Commissioner’s Cup in 2014-15 as the top overall athletic department in the conference for the second time in three years.

No, Point Park does not have a football team. However, Point Park does have a rugby club that plays matches in both the fall and spring semesters.

The volleyball team plays its home games in the Student Center Gym and is the only team that plays home games on campus. Look across the Monongahela River and you’ll see Highmark Stadium, home to both Point Park soccer teams. All other teams play off campus.

Free “Fan Vans” are often available for Point Park home games not within walking distance. A shuttle bus takes students from the Student Center parking lot to the site of that day’s game. Information regarding “fan van” transportation will be posted to the Pioneer Athletics website and social media accounts closer to game day.

Whether you’re a returning student or just beginning your Point Park journey, we welcome you to Point Park. Go to a game, get involved, support your fellow students and have fun. Cheers to a great school year.