Intramural sports is a program organized by the University to give students an opportunity to participate in friendly competition in a good selection of sports that could be played individually, with a partner or with a team. Opportunities include intramural leagues, events, athletic leagues (more competitive) and golf leagues. The focus of this post will be on the less competitive intramural leagues.
If there is anything that has been a constant since my freshman year, it has been my participation on an intramural sports team. I always played football (as some may call it, "soccer") while I was back home so when I came to the U, it was nice to be able to continue my hobby by way of intramural sports. I know many students who are sports active and would like to be part of an easy going league. So my aim in this post is to give you a feel of what intramural sports entails and how you can get involved!
-Why intramural sports?
As I said earlier, if you've been an avid sportsman all your life, this is an easy way to find other people who are interested in playing too. Also this gives you an opportunity to try out new sports since intramurals are typically not competitive. You never know, it may turn out you're a pro at a new found sport! It is also a great way to socialize and meet new people. Personally, I've found that participating in intramurals weekly has provided a kind of study break for me when I've needed to take one to get refocused on school work. The best part of intramural sports by far is you get to stay fit!
-Who organizes it?
Intramural sports are organized by the intramural sports office within the recreational sports department. However each sport has a specific group of students and staff that handles it.
The intramural sports office is located at 1901 University Ave SE.
The office can also be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or called at (612) 625-8094.
-Who plays intramural sports?
Basically anyone who has a working U-Card. Your U-Card, a form of student ID, is your key to all university services. If it works, it pretty much shows you are currently a student at the U enrolled in courses. So as long as you are a student and enrolled for the semester, you are eligible to play on an intramural team.
To clarify, intramural leagues are by no means professional leagues. Teams consist of normal students like you and I who are looking for a leisurely way to partake in some sport. This is not to say that teams are only filled with amateurs. Player expertise vary across board from those who have years of competitive experience to those who may be playing for the very first time. The point of intramurals is not competition but fun! So don't be shy with your skills (or lack thereof), this is a great way to start building them up.
-What sports are played?
Some sports include flag football, football (...fine "soccer" :'( ), bowling, basketball, ultimate frisbee (what in the world is that??), hockey, dodgeball and so on. You can find a full list of sports and their rules on the Intramural sports page.
-How much does it cost?
Usually the cost per team varies between $15 and $300**. $15 being for an individual sport like racquetball and $300 when you are using super cool facilities like Mariucci arena (where our school hockey team plays!!) for hockey.
The cost is shared among teammates. While playing soccer over the years, depending on how many players were on my team, I've always paid between $12 and $15 to play.
**The fees stated here are for Fall 2012 and do not include taxes. Fees for each sport can be found on the Intramural sports page as well.
-When are games played?
Typically leagues start after the first two weeks of school. Games are played once a week in the evenings between 6 pm and 11 pm on weekdays. Actually, in freshman year, majority of my indoor soccer games began at 12 am which was pretty late, I know, but those were some of the most exciting times from my time at the U.
On Saturdays and Sundays games could be played anytime of the day, spanning from morning till evening.
-How long do you compete for?
This depends on the sport and league to be played. For instance for a 7v7 TCF Bank stadium co-rec soccer league we have 8 teams and compete over 5 weeks. After that, if a team qualifies, they compete against other teams during play-offs that last one week. So this particular league lasts for about half a semester. Feel free to contact the intramural office to ask about the duration of a league you are interested in.
- Co-ed or Open?
This really depends on the particular sport being played but most sports offer the option of a co-ed or open team. Co-ed teams are required to have both male and female players in specific numbers while open teams could have any number of boys or girls on the team i.e. it could be an all-male team or an all-female team depending on your preferences.
-How do you register?
There are just a few steps to take in registering an intramural team:
-Get a team together!
Ask your friends, roommates, lab partners, student organization members, that random guy or gal you awkwardly make eye contact with in freshman writing... Ask ANYONE if they would like to start an intramural team with you or if they have an intramural team you could join.
If you don't have a full team by the time registration rolls around, don't worry, you are allowed to add players to your team roster right until play-offs.
If you can't find a team to join/start, most, if not all intramural sports have the free agents registration. This is for students who , for one reason or the other, cannot find a team. For this, you register yourself independently as a free agent and the intramural office assigns you to a team of free agents--very convenient right?!
-Fill out a registration form
Collect all your team members (or just your own for free agents) full names and ID numbers and fill out a team registration form that can be found on the intramural page when registration is around the corner.
Look on the intramural website to see the time and date of your sport's registration and make your way to the recreation centre to do so early.
I've had the experience of registering a team a few times and I have to say it's an interesting process. Soccer usually takes place at 7am in the morning BUT the line for registration is 20-people long by 5:30 am in the morning (yes before the crack of dawn -_-). When the recreaction centre opens at 5:45am to let us line up inside, the scene is best described by the picture below.
Welcome to the jungle...Just kidding! We shuffle in in a civilized manner and conduct our business in an orderly fashion, eyes bloodshot and half asleep. Fun times, especially when you bring a friend to tag along!
And so I hope I've been able to shed some light on intramural sports at the U. If you still have questions about it feel free to ask! Goodluck!