Flag football regional spotlights Rec Services


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Championship banners hang from the ceiling of the Field House. These banners are not the product of a Hawkeye varsity sport that used to compete in the Field House, they are the result of Iowa intramural teams that have excelled at regional and national tournaments.

This weekend, the University of Iowa will host one of eight regional tournaments for intramural flag football at the Hawkeye Recreation Fields. This is the fifth year that the flag football regional is in Iowa City.

Twenty teams from 17 institutions will vie for regional crowns in men's, women's, and co-rec competition. Teams are coming from as far as Southeastern Louisiana University and as close as two teams of Hawkeyes. The winning squads will advance to the national tournament at Texas A&M in January, with a travel stipend given to help teams make the trip to College Station.

Recreational Services applied to be one of the eight hosts, and it was selected by a committee who looked at least 20 factors, said Valerie McCutchan, the National Sport Programs director for the National Intramural-Recreation Sports Association. The association is the governing body for the regional tournaments, which began in 1998, as well as the national tournaments, which began in 2006.

"Iowa's central location in its region was the No. 1 factor in picking it," McCutchan said.

She also pointed to Iowa's experience as a regional host as a major factor.

Receational Services' Jon Randle, who is the tournament director, pointed at the attention directed at Iowa's intramural sports program, as well as the university and Iowa City, as a big reason for wanting to host the tournament.

"It gives the Recreation Services department a chance to shine, and it brings attention to the university and Iowa City in general," he said.

Teams from seven different states are converging on Iowa City for the three-day tournament.
Randle pointed out that the monetary gain from hosting the tournament is negligible.

"Some years we make money, some years we lose money, but in total we pretty much break even," he said.

UISSC Dynasty, which will represent Iowa in the men's tournament, won the regional title in 2008. UISSC's Clark Anderson, who has been named to regional all-tournament team two years in a row, said he likes that his team doesn't have to travel to play in regionals.

"It's nice to be able to go home and sleep in our own beds after the games," he said.

Recreational Services plans on continuing as flag-football regional host in future years. The university has also hosted basketball regionals three times, but Randle said the department has discovered that it takes a lot of work to host one regional tournament, let alone two.

"It's nice to let other places host and see what they do well so we can add it to our tournament," Randle said.

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