Female participation in intramurals slowly dropping

BY JOVANA SIMIC | MARCH 04, 2010 7:30 AM

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Despite many opportunities in the world of intramural sports at the UI, female participation is slowly decreasing.

Originally housed under the Women’s Physical Education Program, Recreational Services took over the administration of the women’s intramural sports program in the early 1970s and created 15 intramural sports for females to play.

Now, 40 years later, there is a wider range of sports for women to choose from. However, there is a smaller number of female students involved.

Senior Anna Schmitz, who has played intramural sports since she was a freshman, said she believes women aren’t aware of the intramural opportunities.

“The males are encouraged to join teams right away in college by their RAs, resident halls, and fraternity leagues,” Schmitz said. “Most women are on their own to hear about intramurals and find a team to play with. It can be hard for them to find six or seven more girls who are interested in sports and who are willing to play.”

Associate Director of Recreational Services Mike Widen said there has always been a larger number of men participating in intramural sports. Yet despite the drop of women in intramurals, he said, it doesn’t reflect the lack of interest in physical activity.

During the last two years, he said, program registration numbers indicate approximately 70 percent of fitness-facility users, 95 percent of group-exercise participants, and 85 percent of mind and body class attendees are women.

Female participation is also high in sports such as volleyball, basketball, 5K cross-country, and bowling. The sports that tend to have a lower involvement come from mostly male-dominate sports such as wrestling, flag football, soccer, and golf.

UI graduate assistant Jon Randle said flag football and soccer have the largest difference in participation between men’s and women’s teams, and volleyball has the largest number of women participants.

“I think one reason for low numbers is because females don’t grow up playing organized football, as males do, so when they come to college, playing organized football is foreign to them,” he said.

“However, this trend is the same with volleyball. The number of women’s teams was more than double than that of men’s.”

In 2008, flag football had 176 male teams; just eight female squads registered. The next year saw both sides drop, to 163 male teams and only four women’s teams entered to compete.

Soccer remained the same. The men’s teams went down by one, to 47, and the women gained a team to bring their total to seven.

Volleyball is one of the few intramural sports in which women outnumber men. Last year, 24 teams competed, but only 10 men’s teams registered — a significant drop from the 16 signed up in 2008.

The biggest question presented to Recreational Services is how to regain female participants in intramurals.

“I think that better promotion would definitely help,” Schmitz said. “Like having the RAs and resident halls encourage freshman and sophomore girls to get involved — especially helping them find other girls who are interested and forming a team.”

> Share your thoughts! Click here to write a Letter to the Editor.

comments powered by Disqus
Daily Iowan Advertising
Today's Display Ads | Today's Classifieds | Advertising Info

Follow the DI through:


Sponsored Links  
T-Shirt Design  
Insurance Leads Charlotte Web Design
Health Insurance Leads Home Equity Loans
Life Insurance  
Custom Magnets DMI Furniture
Solar Products Custom USB
Snow Removal & Odd Jobs Buy a text ad


Privacy Policy (8/15/07) | Terms of Use (4/28/08) | Content Submission Agreement (8/23/07) | Copyright Compliance Policy (8/25/07) | RSS Terms of Use

Copyright © The Daily Iowan, All Rights Reserved.