Intramural sports are a significant part of the fabric of the Gonzaga community. Students can be seen on Mulligan Field or in the Rudolf Fitness Center playing a variety of sports with their friends any day of the week, all year round. Some students begin playing intramural sports as freshmen and keep their teams together through their senior years.
The first opportunity to become involved in intramurals is the annual freshman games tournament, where freshmen can sign up with hallmates to bring glory and bragging rights to their respective dorms. The two-week tournament is single-elimination and covers four sports: softball, indoor soccer, volleyball and flag football. The team with the most combined points from all of the events wins the coveted intramural championship T-shirt. These garments are worn with pride around campus by those lucky enough to achieve such a feat.
“Intramurals are a ton of fun,” said senior Andrew Smith, an intramural referee and four-time intramural soccer champion. “They are a good way to reduce stress, get away from school and studying for a while and just play sports with your friends.”
Intramurals offer a variety of different team categories. There are men’s, women’s and coed divisions. Also, the skill level ranges from recreational and rec-intermediate to intermediate and competitive divisions.
“Intramurals are great because anybody can participate regardless of athletic ability,” said senior Justin Magbutay, an intramural referee and participant. “They are also a sure-fire way to meet new people and go after a championship together.”
The easiest way to set up a team is to email or personally reach out to friends and invite them to play on the team. However, each student is only allowed to play on one single-gendered team and one coed team per sport, per season. A whole year of intramurals costs $25 while a single semester runs for $15.
GU offers over 30 intramural sports and events. On Sept. 8, the Rudolf Fitness Center is hosting the first-annual “RFC Fest” from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. This is an opportunity to learn more about athletic programming as well as enjoy live music and score some giveaways. The RFC also has several job openings for students, including front desk, lifeguards and customer service.
“Our 2017-2018 unique participation was 55 percent of the undergraduate population and we are currently ranked 11th in the nation in the category, ‘Everyone Participates in Intramural Sports’ by the Princeton Review,” said Shelly Radtke, the associate director of the RFC.
Some former high school athletes use intramurals as a way to maintain fitness or as an outlet to replace their desire for a competitive atmosphere.
“I recommend becoming involved in intramurals because not only can you meet new friends, but they are a good way to stay involved with sports if you were an athlete in high school,” said senior Christine O’Connor, a coed intramural soccer champion.
Not everyone is destined to win a prized championship T-shirt, but almost everyone who plays intramurals enjoys all they have to offer.
Andrew Quinn is a staff writer. Follow him on Twitter: @andrewquinny.