Intramural programs floundering

A lack of leadership and communication by the intramural sports organization this year has resulted in low participation and frustrated athletes. While some sports such as volleyball and soccer have flourished, the basketball and football programs have been neglected. Participants are spending more time attempting to organize makeshift teams than they are actually playing the games, resulting in players who are annoyed and aggravated with the entire intramural program.

In recent years the football and basketball programs thrived, attracting more enough players to have several teams compete during every scheduled event. For example football drew enough participants last year to field six teams of seven players, in addition they returned every weekend to participate in their scheduled games.

This year is drastically different. Participation for football and basketball is extremely scarce, especially in football where barely enough people are enticed to come out and play, the outcome is one five-on-five or six-on-six game.

“The teams who are playing could be organized better,” freshman Elon Glucklich said. “We come out and don’t know if we are going to have enough guys to play. It could be structured a lot better.”

Another aspect that’s entirely different from previous years is that once people participate they rarely return. Teams and players alike aren’t returning in consecutive weeks to build a consistent base of participation for the program. They are repelled by an absence of organization and steady participation. Competitiveness is also sacrificed by the lack an influx of new participants. Anyone who consistently participates plays the same group players constantly, causing some players to complain.

“There are also problems because so little people know about intramural football,” said Jerwei Chang, a football and basketball participant. “Each Sunday there are only about 12-14 guys that come out, last year we had four to five teams of seven. I have talked to a few people who came out and didn’t have fun. People expect to play with organized teams. It isn’t fun playing the same teams over and over every week.”

Players have also criticized the scarcity and quality of advertisement for intramural sports, particularly football.

“I have talked with some guys who play intramural basketball and they didn’t even know that there was intramural football,” Chang said. “There isn’t any advertising. I only know about football because I played last year.”

The lack of consistent attendance and participation in basketball and football prompts a considerable amount of shuffling and organizing by players and referees prior to games, resulting in a substantial loss of playing time.

“We spend too much time picking the teams, which takes away from the competitiveness and fun of the game,” Chang said. “It isn’t done very smoothly, the organization could use some fine tuning.”

Sam Wilson-Moses, a two-year football, basketball and softball intramural veteran is displeased as well. “Good people run it, but it isn’t very organized. It takes 20 minutes to get a game going while the people that are supposed to be running it are off doing their own thing,” Wilson-Moses said.

Communication deficiencies have led to several scheduling problems and seem to be a point of emphasis for many of the frustrated players. Gyms are occupied by one activity when another is scheduled and players grumble about not knowing exactly when their team will be playing, resulting in squandered time and aggravation on the part of the participants.

“There is no one to tell you when the games are taking place. If there were advance warning it would be fine. For basketball you show up at seven and don’t get to play for a while,” Wilson-Moses said. “Basketball is scheduled for every Wednesday and Thursday night but sometimes volleyball is using the gym. Last year I knew who ran it but this year I don’t even know who is running basketball. I enjoy playing and I show up, but it is frustrating.”

The intramural organization attributes the low participation on time conflicts and field priority issues, stating that because they can only have football on Sundays it detracts from the number of players able to attend.

“We have lost some attendance because we can only have it on Sundays,” student intramural coordinator Bryan Ryberg said. “There are also many time conflicts. If we had lights we could run them at night but unfortunately we don’t. We plan to run it at a different time in the future.”

In recent years players were notified about upcoming games via e-mail. This season the intramural organization also has schedules posted in the basement of the Peter W. Stott Center and on their web site to inform participants about upcoming events and games. However, many participants are still confused about when and where they will play their upcoming games.


“It is unrealistic to e-mail everyone. We use the site because coordinators can update it very easily,” marketing coordinator Tony Rasmussen said. “However if requested we can e-mail the players. We always try new things, sometimes they are successful and sometimes they aren’t.”

It should be noted that every program isn’t having a frustrating season like that of the football and basketball programs. Soccer and volleyball are having successful seasons with great participation and satisfied participants. These sports are so popular coordinators are forced to turn incoming players away because maximum capacity has been met.

“Soccer has always been popular year round,” Ryberg said. “Soccer is constantly full and we are having to turn many people away. However it is a bit frustrating having to turn students away.”

“Volleyball has been fabulous so far this year. We currently have ten to twelve teams and about 60 to 80 people a night,” Rasmussen said.

Participants of these sports are very satisfied and aren’t subject to the same conditions as many of the football and basketball participants. No complaints currently exist regarding a lack of organization or participation in soccer and volleyball. Everyone knows when to arrive and simply play. There is nothing more to it.

While the majority of soccer and volleyball participants are enjoying intramural sports, the same statement can’t be made for many participants of the football and basketball programs. In previous years these sports prospered in the same fashion as soccer and volleyball have this year. Nevertheless, this year not only the participants but also anyone affiliated with these two sports has been marginalized and neglected which has led to an unsuccessful program so far this year.