Spring Intramurals Underway
At a school as active and enthusiastic as Whitman, the intramural program is a popular facet of the outdoor community. While the varsity sports teams are all about competition and serious participation, intramural sports allow for those who are less competitive and more interested in the fun of a sport the chance to play.
Most sports involve two divisions, the first being more competitive. With team names like “Notorious D.I.G.” in volleyball, “Brokebat Mountain” in softball and “Hold Ma Disk” in Ultimate Frisbee, though, it is easy to see that most of the atmosphere is fun and laid-back across the board.
Due to the club team use of Ankeny Field and the busy lives of most Whitman students, arranging field space and game times that work with everyone can be very tough on intramural organizers who have a variety of responsibilities.
“As the league organizer, you have to make sure the roster form is current, make sure publicity is adequate and schedule and lead the captains’ meeting. I also work with the Sherwood [Athletic Center] field space coordinator to figure out when and where there is space to schedule the games,” said senior Gus Friedman, one of the directors of the intramural committee, regarding his role.
Friedman is one of many students working to set up the leagues students participate in with responsibilities of the six students on the committee ranging depending on their positions.
“We’re also responsible for creating the game schedule for the season, collecting and recording scores and standings as the season progresses, staying in contact with captains so that we’re in the loop with the season and can respond to any concerns that arise, scheduling playoffs and finally ordering blue shirts for the champions,” said Friedman.
In general, fall intramural sports like football, soccer and basketball are most popular, but the spring season has been surprisingly busy.
“We have 20 teams for softball, 16 teams for volleyball and 18 teams for Ultimate Frisbee. This spring we’ve had an incredible turnout,” said sophomore Julianna Wetmore, one of the intramural coordinators.
Though there is quite a bit of planning and work that goes into the intramural season, it is also a rewarding process for those involved.
“I enjoy organizing events similar to this, so the coordinating process is enjoyable for me. I think what makes this job rewarding is having to adjust to obstacles that are inevitable,” said junior Brian Choe, the Ultimate Frisbee coordinator.
There definitely is a tangible appreciation that comes from those playing on intramural teams. Rarely do participants have a bad experience playing their respective sports, and for the most part everything goes smoothly.
Riley Paul, a sophomore on the varsity soccer team, reflected on the contrast between playing IM and varsity sports.
“It’s nice to take a break from a really competitive atmosphere and play strictly for fun. Being able to play a sport in a less competitive atmosphere and just branching out and trying sports I’ve never played before is awesome, and doing that in an environment that’s really friendly, with lots of friendly people: That’s the best,” said Paul of his favorite aspects of intramural sports.
Intramurals are also a chance for participants to try a sport they may not have ever played before.
“I’m playing Frisbee and softball. But Ultimate [Frisbee] has been more enjoyable so far. It’s a sport I can relate to a bit more because I have a lot of friends on the club team here, so I’m learning the sport a bit more through them,” said Paul.
Besides learning skills in a sport, participants get a chance to reconnect with friends from previous years. Many teams consist of repeat teammates which makes intramural games even more enjoyable.
“Playing on a team with friends makes the games so much more fun. Though we’re all relatively competitive, the overall atmosphere is very friendly and laid-back,” said first-year Jeremy Kruger, an athlete playing Ultimate and softball.
As a coordinator and player, Choe has insight on both ends of the spectrum.
“I think part of the reason why I applied for this was because I had a great experience freshman year … Most of the people on the committee want to give back and make the experience that great for everyone. I think having fun is what it’s all about, and that’s the essence of IM sports,” said Choe.