Intramural participation increases across board

Parker Willis

Intramural sports has seen a major increase in participants this semester.

“The thing I’m noticing is that in the past we’ve had a really hard time getting women to form women’s teams. Girls will play on co-rec teams when men form them,” said Eric Norris, director of intramural sports. “Over the past three years women just haven’t put together teams for whatever reason. But this year we’ve had a good base of women participants coming out and making women’s teams.”

Norris said he’s actually seen an increase in all of the intramural sports.

Participants in flag football has increased from 118 last year to 131 this year. Sand volleyball has increased in all three of its categories, men have went from four teams to eight, women have went from two teams to four, and the co-rec participants has increased from 61 to 70.

But the biggest increase has been in soccer.

“In the last two years we’ve done this I’ve never had over five teams in soccer. In fact last year the turn-out was so low we were getting ready to cancel soccer. And this year we had ten teams come out,” Norris said. “We had close to 120 participants in soccer. So we doubled our team amount and over tripled the number of participants.”

Norris has also added several categories to his list of intramural sports.

“We’re trying to continue to diversify intramural sports away from just the core sports,” Norris said. “We’re getting people attracted to intramurals by offering different activities then through that they’re participating in other things. Say someone stops by to do the weekly football pool in the Lions Den on Thursday and they notice one of our other flyers, like the Playstation 2 NCAA football tournament coming up.”

The Playstation 2 NCAA football tournament deadline for signups will be Tuesday. The wiffle ball world series signup deadline is also next Tuesday.

Currently the window for the 6-on-6 indoor volleyball league has closed. But Norris said any students wanting to participate in a team league can come on as ‘free agents.’

“Any sport that we have as a team sport you can either signup a team or you can come on as an individual. If you’re an individual what we do is try to put you with a manager that doesn’t have a full team and can use someone else,” Norris said. “Sixty percent of the time we can find you someone to play with, but sometimes teams are full and they just don’t need anybody. But that’s the chance you take as a ‘free agent.'”

But if there are enough free agents before the league starts Norris will form an all free agent team. In fact last year Norris had an all free agent team in the soccer league.

Norris has also had another new idea this year. He wants to have a ‘turkey trot,’ a 5k cross country race, the last full week before Thanksgiving. This will be the only event that Intramurals will ask for an entry fee. It will cost either $2 or 2 canned goods, and if you pay $2 the money will be used to buy canned goods.

Norris said he plans on having several divisions, divided up by men’s and women’s and age groups. The way he will decide the winners is by making the runners guess how long it will take them to run the race beforehand, then the runners who complete the event closest to their estimated time will win a frozen turkey.

“I want it to be a fun event but more than anything it’s an opportunity for campus rec to give back to the community, with the food drive,” Norris said.

For anyone wanting to participate in intramural sports please contact Eric Norris at 659-5427, or visit the student services office in Billingsly Student Center. There is also an intramural group on Facebook that displays all deadlines.