Amid the profound time commitment and demanding skill capacity, playing a sport for many students is often an entertaining idea but less of a realistic option due to their already intense schedules.
According to Associated Student Body Sports commissioner Stephen Lee, ASB provides intramural sports as an alternative to varsity sports so that students can experience some of the thrill of playing a sport with more accessibility and less commitment.
“ASB does intramural sports to give students who don’t take part in a varsity sport a chance to participate in organized athletics and is a way for students to do some exercise and destress,” Lee said.
Participants are encouraged and motivated to play purely out of their joy for sports, which Lee said makes the experience more fun and inclusive.
“Students participate to have fun with friends and bragging rights mostly,” Lee said. “There is a little prize for the winners of the tournaments but the driving force for participation is the playing.”
This low-stress structure of play appealed to junior Zander Darby, who chose to start his own team for some of the intramural sports.
“I decided to make and join teams because I love playing sports and it’s fun to play them with friends especially during school rather in a more organized setting,” Darby said.
He encourages students to participate in intramural sports to have a great experience just like he did.
“It is a great alternative for people who don’t have time for paly sports because it’s not that serious and is a very low time commitment,” Darby said. “I would 100% recommend intramural sports because it’s a good way to have fun and spend time with your friends.”
Senior Nick Burwell is one of these athletes that Darby describes. He played varsity basketball his junior year but did not participate this year due to the heavy time commitment.
“I wouldn’t really say one is better than the other,” Burwell said, comparing varsity and intramural sports. “They both have their own positives and negatives”
According to Burwell, the two have completely different atmospheres and playstyles.
“Intramural is definitely more relaxed and independent because there’s no coach so you and your teammates can do whatever you want,” Burwell said. “Varsity is definitely more intense and competitive because of the difference in skill level.
Lee said that so far ASB has hosted three Intramural sports tournaments. The sports included volleyball, basketball and a new sport he added this year, dodgeball but he hopes to hold more tournaments before the school year ends.
Lee wanted to be a proactive sports commissioner and make changes to the intramural tournaments such as the addition of dodgeball.
“We added dodgeball because we felt like there needed to be a fresh new intramural and it sounded like a super fun game,” Lee said. “It was a little tougher to organize because we’ve never done it before and it was after school at night so we had a little more supervision.
Many of the issues that Lee ran into had to do with the logistics and organization. Naturally, with the luxury of less commitment to the sports, there is a tradeoff and it is more difficult to communicate with everyone
“Getting everyone on the same page was a challenge,” Lee said. “Some people just don’t read your emails. Seeding tournaments with the random numbers of teams was hard. Whenever there is a disagreement among teams that has to be settled.”
Darby shared these criticisms of the tournaments.
“There can be issues with the rules and communication but in general everything is well organized and is always a good experience,” Darby said.
Despite going through some minor issues and dealing with the stress of coordination, Lee is still a sports fan and loves going to the games and organizing them.
“My favorite thing is when people get really hyped up about games and when there’s a bunch of people watching,” Lee said.
Lee has cherished his time leading these tournaments and reflects fondly on the experience.
“I really enjoy organizing these intramural tournaments,” Lee said. “I think it’s great to create something fun for the student body once in a while. The only thing I regret is not being able to participate in the tourneys.”