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Intramurals to add three new sports next year

BY ETHAN SEBERT | APRIL 26, 2010 7:30 AM

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Pick a sport, any sport.

The University of Iowa Recreational Services can fulfill just about anyone’s sporting desires.

Through its intramural program, Recreational Services has offered 16 sports so far this spring. Its final sport of the semester, disc golf, will hold a tournament on April 29. The department will offer an additional sport, 4-on-4 flag football, this summer.

It also offered 17 sports during the fall semester, which brings the total to 35 activities for UI students, faculty, and staff members to participate in.

That number will grow by three for next year’s intramural competitions, with the addition of a swimming meet, tug-of-war, and shuffleboard to next school year’s lineup.

“As a staff, we brought up ideas of sports we should try,” Kenny Weets, a senior and intramural student supervisor said.

The process of adding a new intramural sport is a multitier effort that begins with the leaders of the intramurals staff proposing the new sport. The staff members then consider a sport’s popularity, what is needed, where and when it can be played, and if the UI community would be interested.

The staff voted on a number of different sports, Weets said, including curling, before picking the three new events. The staff also decided to keep all of the current intramural sports on the schedule for next year.

The final list is decided before the end of the spring semester each year, in order to have the events in the Recreational Services calendars that are handed out to incoming freshmen at Orientation.

After picking up a new sport, the intramurals staff has to schedule the sport, decide on an entry fee, determine where to play, and consider how many divisions there should be.

The number of divisions for each sport depends on the number of participants for each event. Some of the more popular sports, such as football, have three divisions — Men’s, Women’s, and Co-Recreational.

This year’s intramural basketball season had five divisions, the same three in football plus a Fraternity League and a Residence Hall League. Other less popular sports only haveone Open Division for all competitors.

“Most of our leagues we try to do Open so we get the participation,” said intramural student supervisor and graduate student Suzanne Bochmann.

Some sports — such as sand volleyball — exist as Co-Recreational sports only. Bochmann said some sports are coed mostly to increase the number of participants and make the tournament brackets larger.

The intramurals program works hard to promote all of its sports, especially its new ones, by posting fliers around campus and schedules in the Field House. It also provides information on the department website.

The hard work doesn’t always translate to high participation rates, though, especially for the less popular sports. Kickball only had six teams for this year’s competition, well below the 15 to 16 teams that participated last year.

“There are a lot of different sports that students don’t take advantage of,” junior intramurals student supervisor Jimmy Malewig said.


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