Better Run Intramural Sports Improve Quality of Student Life
By The Executive Board
Amherst is often criticized for having a Varsity sports culture that dominates the campus. As a small college, the fact that a large percentage of our student body consists of athletes is largely unavoidable. What does hedge against this “athletes vs. the rest” dichotomy is the prevalence of club sports and intramural sports. These activities, in particular intramural sports, involve the rest of the student body in athletics. Last year, intramural sports failed to live up to this purpose. There were multiple instances of referees not showing up to matches, and many times the administrators did not keep good records of standings, scores and schedules. The intermediate softball league did not even have a championship because of poor management. Thankfully, this is no longer the case.

The intramurals this year have been run well. After a series of no-shows by referees and teams alike last year, the intramural season has seen smooth sailing thus far. Despite a similar number of forfeited games due to an insufficient number of people, the people running the intramural program have been much better at enforcing rules and eliminating teams with more than two forfeits. Thus, intramural teams are forced to honor their commitments if they want to continue to participate. This increased enforcement of commitment helps to serve the overall purpose and goals of intramural sports. Obviously, it does not help the intramural scene if your team is supposed to play and does not show up. In addition to the absence being marked down as a forfeit it also deprives your opponent the opportunity to play a game they signed up for.

Intramurals provide students with the chance to play other teams in friendly matches, but with a competitive edge. When playing one-on-one with your best friend gets too repetitive, the intramurals gives you that adrenaline rush that can only come from running across court to cast that last shot. Moreover, players who don’t normally play sports have the opportunity to participate in the intermediate bracket of the intramurals while more experienced players can face off in the advanced level. The advanced level allows those students who were passionate about a certain sport in high school, but perhaps did not have the time or interest to pursue this sport on a varsity level, the chance to continue to compete in a sport they love.

Intramurals are a valuable addition to campus life because they offer an opportunity for students who lack the experience or time to join a varsity team to be involved in sports. Such activities provide balance to the hectic schedules of students running from classes to labs to jobs. Sports can be an outlet for stress, a way to make new friends, and of course provide a fun means of exercise when the weight machines at the gym are unappealing. Amherst should be lauded for the fact that a large proportion of its students participate in some sort of athletic activity, be it Varsity, club or intramural. We hope that the athletic department continues to invest its resources and efforts into providing a fun, well-run and accessible intramural system. Continued participation in intramurals can only serve to benefit student life at the College.

Issue 16, Submitted 2010-02-24 02:32:29