Championship shirts no longer playing hard to get

By The Beacon | April 3, 2014 1:44am
Junior Parker Kimball shows off his championship shirts. Kimball has played many sports, and won many championships. but sees the low turnout and lack of new teams as a huge detriment to the program. Photo by Parker Shoaff

By Mitchell Gilbert |

There are few things people will voluntarily go to Howard Hall for. Intramural sports have usually been a constant that draw people to the soon to be out of commission building. Yet, this year, student turnout has been low, the seasons short and the organization a bit off. The typical competitiveness for the coveted championship t-shirts has been lacking, and those who are avid intramural athletes are taking notice.

While intramural basketball and soccer remain popular, for many of the less popular sports such as ultimate frisbee, turnout has been low enough that teams are skipping straight to the finals or are winning a majority of their games due to forfeited matches.

Much of this low turnout can be attributed to inefficient scheduling on that part of the intramural sports organization. Many of the sports are only offered for limited times of the week, eliminating the opportunity for many students to play.

“The hardest part can be finding appropriate times every week,” junior Mike Laskowski said.  “A lot of the times if you have classes on like a Tuesday night you aren’t able to play the sport because all of that sports games are on Tuesday.”

However, the main cause of the unusually low turnout is the lack of underclassmen involved in intramurals.

“I think that the low turnout can be attributed to the lack of new teams in various sports,” junior Parker Kimball said. “The only difference between this year and many of the other years is that we are playing the only the same teams that we have been playing over the last two years.”

The intramural sports championships are usually extremely competitive. Competitors pride themselves on how many different sports, and champion t-shirts, they can win. This year teams advancing straight to the finals, however, eliminates much of the competition and pride that comes from winning an intramural championship.  Kimball said his volleyball season ended abruptly.

“We played the same team about three times, and some of those times didn’t even count,” Kimball said. “One morning I was in class and I just randomly got the email that the other team had forfeited and we had won the championship and won the t-shirts.”

Even in the most popular intramural sports, the number of games teams are able to play is limited. Indoor basketball, the most popular sport, has a total of 10 teams in its Division I men’s league, yet the season only consists of four regular season games with the possibility of playing two playoff games.

“I know we have limited court space and time, but playing basketball it is something that I really look forward to doing (at UP)” sophomore Marcus Giovacchini said. “I was upset we only were able to play four games over the course of five weeks this season.”