Intramural sports are an integral part of the Gonzaga University community, with over half of the undergraduate student body participating every year according to the Rudolf Fitness Center (RFC). However, intramurals had a brief hiatus during the 2020-21 school year to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Luckily, due to the high vaccination rate in the GU community this fall and current Washington State COVID-19 restrictions, the RFC is bringing back intramural sports for the 2021-22 school year.
The RFC plans on hosting nine intramural sports and events this fall semester in hopes of bringing in new and returning intramural athletes.
“This year, we are really focusing on our high participation sports,” said Tyler Seth, assistant director of the RFC. “We decided which sports we would offer this year based on our participation numbers from fall 2019 and spring 2019. We also decided we will offer our major sports in both the fall and the spring to give more opportunities for students to participate.”
This fall, the RFC will be offering intramural softball, indoor soccer, volleyball, flag football, basketball, freshman and sophomore games, a spike ball tournament, a cornhole tournament and a tennis tournament.
Format wise, each intramural sport will have a “regular season” followed by an end of season playoff tournament for a championship.
“We have a three game season over three weeks and then playoffs," Seth said. "Depending on your record, you will be entered into a playoff tournament. The winners of the playoff tournament will receive a championship shirt."
In order to keep competition fair, each intramural can be played at three levels of competition: Boone, Sharp and Sinto.
“Boone is our lowest level of competition," Seth said. "Sharpe is more of an intermediate level. This level is for if you have some experience with the sport but maybe your whole team has not. Sinto is the highest level of competition. This is for the ex-high school player who has been playing this sport their whole life."
Seth believes that having three levels of competition allows for all players to feel welcomed to play. Former intramural participants appreciate the ability to choose your competition level.
“If you are competitive or not competitive, if you have no experience or a lot of experience, it does not matter," said Cameron Wright, a junior and former intramural athlete. "There is a league for you."
Wright finds that intramurals offer many other benefits besides just a place to find competition and play games.
"They are a good way to meet people outside of your classes, they are a break from homework and you have a lot of fun doing them," Wright said. "I would encourage people to do them if they get the chance."
The RFC staff similarly believes that intramurals are a great way to socialize and have a good time. Seth also emphasized that students should sign up even if they do not know anyone else doing intramurals.
“Intramurals are a great way to meet people and stay active," Seth said. "If you do not have a team and you want to play, reach out to the RFC and we can get you on a team."
While many of the intramural sports seasons have already begun, registration is still available for a few activities in the fall semester. The sign-ups for the cornhole tournament during Fall Family Weekend closes on Friday, Oct. 8, while flag football, basketball and tennis are open until Oct. 18. More intramurals will be offered in the spring for students.
Haley Yeager, a sophomore participating in softball and indoor soccer, is loving her first time experience with intramurals.
“Because of COVID, I didn't get to have the full intramural experience my [first] year," Yeager said. "So I was really excited to try it out this year. It has been a lot of fun to run around and play sports again."
In order to sign up for intramurals, students will need to sign up through IMLeagues.com. IMLeagues is available in the app store or through an internet browser. Once signed in, students will be able to register teams with friends or join preexisting teams. If there are further questions, students can reach out to the RFC.