Emma Ulring

The majority of Gonzaga's freshmen feel overwhelmed during the first few weeks of classes, but playing intramural games can be a great way to relieve stress if done properly and safely. 

For about three weeks before intramural sports opens up for the rest of GU’s students, only freshmen participate in their own tournament called “Freshman Games.”  

The goal is to introduce first-year students to the various intramural games they can play for the next four years, while teaching them to arrive prepared, play safely and compete with integrity. 

This year's round of Freshman Games has to change and it won’t take much to do so. 

Last years’ round of Freshman Games was full of injuries and unorganized freshmen. The majority of players would show up late to their games, without the right jersey on and lacking a player or two.  

There are many new challenges thrown to freshman’s first weeks of GU, but reading pre-game emails and informative information on preparing for the games truly isn’t too difficult. Organization and attention are the only two factors in being a responsible player.  

An email from IMLeagues, the organization teamed up with the Rudolf Fitness Center for fitness classes and intramural games, notifies participants either the week before, the day before or the day of the game.  Included in the email is what time the game will start, what color jersey each time must wear and a reminder to bring a GU student ID card. Receiving and reading such emails is the fastest and easiest way to show up to a game ready to play.  

While getting ready for the game, make sure to bring the correct attire. Enough water, many layers as the season changes, and contacting the whole team to clarify they can all come must happen before getting ready to play.  

Once to the field or gym, a tent or table of intramural referees will be waiting to receive ID cards, participants’ initials and equipment to rent if needed. At this point, many freshmen tend to run back to their dorms to put the correct colored jersey on or find their ID. By reading the emails before signing in, such time wouldn’t be wasted. 

Before the game begins, warming up is necessary. Many students are used to high school sports were stretching exercises were implemented into the pregame routine.

Listening to the referees’ rules before the first whistle blows is vital in feeling ready to begin playing. There are different rules for intramurals compared to some high school sports because of the size of the playing areas and adapting to such changes can be confusing. 

Throughout the game, asking the ref questions and clarifications on rules is the best way to avoid making future mistakes or causing penalties to the team. Sportsmanship is a key component to GU’s intramural program and acting fairly and supportive to each and every player is highly respected and recognized by referees. 

The Freshman Games are a tremendous way to make friends, relieve stress and discover which sports to play in future years. 

There is a simple solution to the problem: arriving ready to play and fully aware of the rules will automatically lessen the chances of injury and increase the chances of fun. 

Emma Ulring is a contributor.

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