Club, intramural sports build community, fitness

Jessie Marks

Rec centers gives students options for competition

As students arrive on campus and ease into the college lifestyle, many are looking for ways to stay active with sports and athletic competition.

With more than 20 sport clubs and more than 40 intramural sport leagues offered through the Department of Recreational Services, students have several options to choose from.

Greg Bailey, assistant director of club and intramural sports and community leagues, said club and intramural sports are an easy way to get involved on campus while staying active.

“It’s a very social activity, but it also has the competitive aspect if you want it to be competitive,” Bailey said. “In college is where a lot of your lifelong friends are made. You meet them through the activities you do, through common interests.”

Although sport clubs and intramural sports share many of the same activities, the structure, cost and time commitments make them different.

Intramural sports

The Department of Recreational Services offers a broad range of intramural sports that allows students to compete in athletics throughout college and promote an active lifestyle.

“When you come to college, you have a busy schedule and something gets left out, and it could be physical activity,” Bailey said. “Intramurals and club sports promote lifetime fitness.”

Students can participate in intramurals for a nominal fee that varies by sport.

Men’s, women’s and coed intramural leagues run during fall, spring and summer seasons. Participants use an instant scheduling system to choose the day and time of their games, with contests taking place in the evenings between 6 p.m. and midnight.

Intramural sports give students the chance to participate in athletic competition without a complex schedule, Bailey said.

“Intramurals is different because it doesn’t have the structure that a club program has with practice two to three times a week and travel,” Bailey said. “Intramurals is getting your five best friends together and you’re going to play.”

John Krehnovi, intramural sports and community leagues coordinator, said intramural sports give students a social network.

“One of the biggest benefits to intramurals is that it’s a great way to get out and spend time with friends,” Krehnovi said. “Intramurals is the perfect opportunity to try a new sport because it’s not as competitive – they’re designed to be fun.”

For the first time, in Fall 2008 the Department of Recreational Services will offer “free agent registration” for the intramural program. Students who want to play but don’t have a team can sign up on the rec center Web site as a free agent. A meeting will be held where all free agents can meet and form teams based on interest and availability.

Jon Taylor, senior tourism management major, participated in softball and flag football intramurals last year.

“As a senior, I wish I would have started intramurals sooner,” Taylor said. “You meet a lot of people, and it is a good time.”

Taylor’s advice to fellow students is to use intramural sports as an outlet and to have fun.

“Sometimes dorm rooms can get pretty depressing,” Taylor said. “Intramurals keep you active and get you out of your dorm room.”

Bailey advises students not to wait until the last minute to sign up. He said registration begins on day one of the semester, and each sport program has deadlines.

Bailey said students can check the rec center Web site or the Program Guide for intramural schedules and specific sports’ deadlines. He encourages students who have questions or concerns about getting involved in club or intramural sports to contact the rec center.

Club sports

Club sports require greater time and financial commitments from members but offer a higher level of competition in exchange.

Club sport teams are student-operated but remain closely affiliated with the university. These teams are like varsity sport teams because the clubs travel and compete against other institutions.They are different because the students are responsible for making their own competition schedules.

Members of club sport teams often have dues and hold fundraising events that vary based on the sport. Funds collected by the club are used to purchase uniforms, pay for travel expenses and pay contest officials.

“Club sports are common interest groups,” Bailey said. “They are much like fraternities, sororities or any other student organization.”

Students can learn more about sport clubs from the rec center Web site and the contact information for club team student managers will be available the second week of classes.

Contact student recreation and wellness reporter Jessie Marks at [email protected].