Fear not sports fan. This is the most painful part of a diehard sports fan’s year. It doesn’t have to be.

Pro basketball is wrapping up its season; football is two and half months away and no offense baseball fans, but meaningful baseball is still a long ways out.

Since I have been in Fayetteville, I have discovered several hidden gems to fill the void for those looking to participate as well as watch.

My top seven summer sports that help take the edge off during the long offseason:

7. Triathlon: Running, swimming and biking are all individual sports that require a certain level of commitment and dedication. Put them all together and it becomes a true test of willpower. Triathletes take three sports and not only master them to a level of competency, but find the ability to compete in all three at once.

6.  Ultimate Frisbee: It is similar to football, except players are not allowed to run with the Frisbee and can only move one foot to pivot. Ultimate Frisbee participants rely on grace and speed, rather than brute strength.  It takes tossing the Frisbee around to the next level.

5.  Wrestling: I don’t mean the kind of wrestling in which participants have nicknames like  “The Rock,” but rather the kind that most major universities participate in. Talk about a sport that tests the limits of participants. Those who wrestle know just how much goes into training for those six minutes of competition. Wrestling may be one of the toughest sports around that gets no love. Wrestling is definitely a sport that brings summer excitement.

4. Lacrosse: Lacrosse is a mixture of hockey and football. To top it all off, the ball travels average speeds of 80 to 90 miles per hour. Can it get any better than that? Yes. Players chase one another with sticks. Is it legal to have this much action packed into one game?

3. Sand Volleyball: Regular volleyball is a fun time, but if you add in the sun and sand, it then becomes an epic experience for each participant. Not only does sand volleyball have the element of beach sand, the game uses less players and smaller courts so all players are more involved in the game than in regular volleyball.

2. Skateboarding/rollerblading: Nothing grabs more air than the Summer X Games participants. A sport that has steadily grown in popularity will return to the big stage June 28. I remember when Tony Hawk was the only skateboarder of note. Bikers, skateboarders and skaters will take to the air to claim the crown of X games champion.

Don’t forget to keep an eye open for roller derby leagues. If speed is your thing, roller derby will feed your craving.

1. Soccer: Aside from being the number one sport in the world, soccer sits atop the summer sports list. Nothing has the soccer community more ready to show off their mettle than the Union of European Football Associations Championships. Sixteen of the world’s richest soccer countries square off to take home the title.

Summer doesn’t have to be the end of happy times. Rather, the hot days are the opportunity for new sporting adventures.