Avery Ryan, Contributing Writer

Each season of an Intramural sport— including kickball, flag football, soccer, pickleball, and more— lasts three to four weeks, during which both student and staff teams compete against each other for t-shirts; a reward that has become cherished and intensely desired over the years.

   Spring Volleyball, the final intramural season of the semester, recently concluded with intense and exciting levels of play.

   Justin Davis, junior, has participated in every intramural season this year. “[Intramurals] have been a lot of fun to take part in. I love the competition, and the fact that after the game— no matter what happens— you’re still friends with the people you compete against.”

   Intramural Program Director, Jake Heimlich, participates in each season in addition to his responsibilities in scheduling and officiating. “I do intramurals to have fun with my friends, and to play sports that I normally wouldn’t do, like pickleball,” Heimlich said.

   Heimlich also emphasizes sportsmanship improvements within the program. “I would say that sportsmanship has come a long way. It has improved drastically. Sportsmanship has changed as teams get more friendly than competitive. With the exception of a few sports, people are able to keep it lighthearted and fun.”

   Leah Brackett, Assistant Director of the Fitness and Recreation Center, agreed on the topic of sportsmanship. “[It’s] been fantastic this year. Our expectations are more clear, and teams know that. The environment has improved.”

   The Fitness and Recreation Center is the largest student employment facility on campus with more than 100 student employees across all departments. Brackett noted improvements in student employee officiating this year. “We have high expectations for our officials. They’re all students, and we don’t have the resources for crazy amounts of training, so it takes a certain flexibility and willingness to stand out among your peers.” Brackett continued, “We’re always looking for people to participate as referees. Lots of [our referees] are graduating and there will be many job opportunities.”

   The average intramural season this year has had 10 registered teams, including the occasional staff team. The most popular season was basketball. Brackett has allowed for “free agents” to register and be taken in by teams in the case they could not put together a full team on their own. “The numbers this year were pretty average,” Brackett said. “We’ve had years with very few registered teams and years with crazy numbers.”

   “We hope to grow our numbers and to continue to focus on people enjoying themselves. Everyone wants to win a shirt, we get that, and we want to make sure that we stay competitive without people getting down on their teammates or the refs,” Heimlich said.

   “I would encourage anyone and everyone, new and old, to come out and play. It’s a ton of fun, and a great way to meet new people,” Davis said.