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Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Winter intramurals kick off season

It’s finally time for winter intramurals at Western, and there’s a wider variety of ways to get competitive than ever.

Whether Vikings are looking to play their favorite indoor classics like volleyball and basketball, or brave the cold and try their hand at flag football, the intramural staff at Western has been busy preparing for it all this season.

This quarter, Western students had six sports to choose from: volleyball, basketball, six-versus-six soccer, 11-on-11 soccer, kickball and flag football.

Kirsten Schumacher, Western’s intramural sports adviser, gave a sneak preview of what can be expected this quarter from her and her staff of 33 referees. Though it’s the coldest part of the year, indoor and outdoor sports have dozens of teams registered.

Between the six options, there are 154 teams signed up to play this quarter, totaling to 1,149 students registered on IM Leagues, according to the team management website. The registration for winter quarter sports has closed, and games began on Jan. 24.

Unfortunately, some people’s favorites will not be returning this quarter, such as ultimate Frisbee, water basketball and volleyball, and Spikeball, due to low registration turnout.

This may be because they are less traditional and not as many students have a background in that sport. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will not become a winter-quarter classic.

Schumacher wants to bring non-traditional sports to intramural sports.

“Getting something to catch on or come back, is showing people that it’s worth their time and it’s something different than what they’re used to,” Schumacher said.

Similar to quarters past, there is the option to join with your friends, as a team, or individually as a free agent.

As always, students have the option to play in men or women’s leagues, co-ed leagues, or a league with your resident hall for basketball, volleyball and soccer.

For instance, there are some less traditional events coming up toward the end of the quarter. Though there are not exact dates for each of the following, Vikings can expect to see an intramural baking tournament, a cribbage tournament, a March Madness Pick-em league, as well as a returning hit from last year, Battleship.

This quarter’s season is in full swing, but Schumacher and the intramural staff are busy planning for spring quarter already. With warmer weather, registration rates are expected to grow, making scheduling a guaranteed five games per team a much bigger task.

Spring favorites will be returning, but Schumacher emphasized students bringing their own ideas to the table. She and the rest of the intramural office are always open to suggestions, and some ideas are made a reality, such as creating a Spikeball league, which was new for the 2015-16 school year.

“Even if it’s something you don’t deem a sport- if it’s a video game or a card game, I’m open [to it]. If there’s something you want to play, come to me. I will program a tournament– I will program a league. Let’s make it happen,” Schumacher said.

Western intramurals are played throughout the week at assorted times from 2 p.m. to midnight. Whether students are competing for the coveted champion shirt or going to support their friends, the intramural staff is eager to get more Vikings involved for spring quarter sports.

“My goal for intramurals is giving as many students as possible the opportunity to be involved in organized, competitive, recreational activities. [I want to] give them the chance to get out and play sports, not just a pick up game, but something to earn and compete in,” Schumacher said.

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