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April 18, 2024

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Spring Housing Guide

Intramural sports offer variety, boosts social skills

Though most students’ sports careers end in high school unless they receive a scholarship, some stay in shape through intramural sports.

More students are flocking to more uncommon sports they may have played in gym class, like badminton, handball and Ultimate Frisbee.

“It’s fun and really chill,” said senior Cory Russell of some of the sports he plays. “No one really knows the rules so we make it up as we go along.”

Russell started intramural sports his freshman year after a back injury on the club Ultimate Frisbee team. After playing a few games, he stuck with it.

“It’s pretty competitive, but not as demanding,” Russell said.

During the course of his college career, Russell has played Ultimate Frisbee, flag football, basketball, badminton, handball and cornhole through intramural sports.

The University usually offers 28 intramural sports to participate in, said Scott Sehmann, assistant director of Recreation and Wellness. This year it offers 21 due to the Student Recreation Center renovations.

Sports range from the traditional ones like soccer and basketball to the recreational handball and futsal. Intramurals cost $25 per semester or $40 a year to play.

Handball, an Olympic sport, is a mix of basketball and soccer played in an indoor arena. Futsal is like a faster paced, indoor version of soccer.

“It’s not a household name, but it might be played in gym in high school,” Sehmann said. “One of the draws is that it’s different.”

While the games retain a sense of competition, Sehmann said it’s not about winning or losing.

“It’s more about having fun and getting away from class,” he said.

Taking her mind off class has been one of the draws for junior Madison Shuret.

“It’s definitely a stress reliever,” Shuret said. “It takes you away from homework, exams and studying.”

Shuret, who played volleyball and softball in high school, plays the two in intramurals, as well as wiffle ball, handball and cornhole.

“In high school, you don’t get the opportunity to try something new,” she said.

Besides the variety of sports, Sehmann said participating in intramurals also helps build social skills.

Both Russell and Shuret have been able to take advantage of this aspect.

“You get to pick who you want on your team and have a good relationship with them,” Shuret said.

Since playing intramurals, Shuret said she has made roughly 20 friends.

Russell said he has made more than 10 new friends.

“You meet a lot of people and make a lot of good relationships,” he said.

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