Intramuruals an alternative to league

Credit: Alison Chiu/Advertising Staff Member Credit: Alison Chiu/Advertising Staff Member

When people think of sports on campus, they often think of varsity sports. These sports take an extraordinary amount of time and talent, things not everyone at Carnegie Mellon may have when it comes to athletics. However, for those of us who are not cut out for varsity or club teams, there are intramural (IM) leagues.

With the end of spring break came the start of a new lineup of intramural sports. Intramurals for the mini 4 semester include badminton doubles, indoor soccer, softball, kickball, tennis doubles, and golf.

One out of five students participates in IM leagues, according to supervisor in athletics Colin Shaffer, a junior ethics, history and public policy and business administration double major. “Participation numbers are constantly growing and we get a wide range of students,” Shaffer said in an email. According to coordinator of intramural and club sports David Wiley, intramurals are designed so that you can go out and have fun while you play sports.

For those who do not have friends who participate in IM sports, a free agent system allows students to meet new people in the community while playing sports for free.

Carnegie Mellon Athletics provides a diverse offering of sports and activities through IM leagues. Some leagues are competitive, but all are open to any student regardless of talent level.

“IM sports provide an opportunity for any student, no matter what their athletic background, to compete and to have fun,” Shaffer said. Some of the leagues are more recreational, designed for students to hang out and have fun. Come championship time, though, Shaffer said, “all of our sports are extremely competitive throughout the women’s, [co-rec], men’s [recreational], and men’s competitive finals.”

While athletes in varsity and club sports compete with students at other schools, IM competition remains entirely within the Carnegie Mellon community. IM leagues have various divisions based on the level of competition people are looking for. There are divisions for students who want to play with no base level of talent or experience, as well as competitive divisions.

Beyond different divisions, there are also a variety of activities. In addition to five-on-five basketball, there are IM leagues for dodgeball, inner tube water polo, and even a rock-paper-scissors tournament. Through these unique sports, the athletics department aims to introduce people to new experiences and make IM sports inclusive, according to Shaffer. “Inner tube water polo is probably one of the most popular sports on campus simply because it is different, it’s fun, and literally anyone can sit in an inner tube for an hour and float around with their friends,” Shaffer said.

It’s easy to get involved, said Wiley. Not only can students play with friends or as free agents, but the games are also refereed by members of the Carnegie Mellon community, who can be near the action without actually playing. IM sports are not limited to students; faculty or any other member of the Carnegie Mellon community can participate too.

With a range of activities designed for wide participation, IM leagues are a place where people can seek either competition or fun. “It’s a way to get out of the classroom and clear your mind,” wrote Wiley in an email. “An active mind cannot exist in an inactive body.”