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Monday, February 26, 2024

Opportunities to get involved in intramural sports


IM community offers team, individual sports, jobs

In the athletics community, the beginning of a new quarter means the beginning of new intramural sports teams and leagues. With warmer temperatures and longer days leading up to summer, spring IM sports offer opportunities for students to take breaks from studying, meet new people and stay active as the academic year closes out.

This Spring Quarter there are seven different sports for IM athletes to play, more than any other quarter: flag football, grass volleyball, soccer, softball, tennis, inner tube water polo and ultimate frisbee. These teams offer a wide range of practice and game day times, as well as give students the chance to play on a team or individually.

Officiated sports teams have an entrance fee of $50 a team, with non-officiated teams capping at $30 and individual or partner teams rounding off at $10. First-years participating in the sports within the resident hall leagues have their fees completely covered by Student Housing.

Teams play one game every week for five weeks. They are then divided into ranks based on their individual records, rating scores and FairPlay. After the regular season is over, the top teams compete in one- to two-week long playoffs, and finally in a one-league championship to determine who will hold the crown for that IM sport.

The teams that earn the first-place prize are awarded a team T-shirt and also get their team pictures featured on the Activities and Recreation Center’s Wall of Fame, which has displayed over 3,500 champion groups since its birth in the late 1960s.

For students who are already familiar with the spring sports offered and are looking for something new to try, UC Davis extends the IM sports organization with tournaments and paloozas with six other one-game sports, including cornhole, outdoor basketball, kickball, KanJam, soccer tennis, and spikeball. The registration dates for these sports are either currently open or will be opening up within the next few weeks.

Second-year human development major Addy Newman, who played flag football in the fall, gave her advice on why students should participate in IM sports.

“It’s something so different because we don’t really have the time in our day to do things like this,” Newman said. “We are full-time students and members of clubs and other things and extracurriculars, and we have jobs. Soon enough, we won’t have the opportunity to just sign up for an easy sport. So I’d say do it. It’s a good way to be active, and it’s a good way to meet friends. Even if you don’t know anyone else, sign up.”

Second-year biological sciences major Connor Heinzman, who has experience playing IM soccer, ultimate frisbee, volleyball, and softball, works as a resident advisor in the Tercero Residence Halls and added to Newman’s sentiments by giving his thoughts on why IM sports are particularly beneficial for first year students.

“It’s just something you can go do with your friends and it’s kinda competitive, which is nice,” Heinzman said. “It’s a great way to make friends in the community and get involved. If you play with your floor as a freshman, it’s a great way to meet people on your floor you might not have met yet. It’s just a nice, fun way to take a break from all the studying.”

On top of allowing students to compete in the diverse IM sports, UC Davis also provides opportunities for students to work within the organization and gain even more experience in the world of sports.

There are three different levels of jobs within IM sports alone: officials, supervisors and managers. The sports officials, or referees, are in charge of keeping the sports games fun and safe for participants as well as striving to administer the rules for each sport and ensure that each game is played and scored with complete fairness. They are also responsible for the setup and breakdown of each field and court before and after the games, and these students may have the opportunity to work up in the IM career ladder based on their performances as officials.

The competitive sports supervisors are one step above officials, and they attend each intramural games, as well as club sport tournaments, practices, games and any other home events. Supervisors act as first responders in case of any injuries during games and manage the officials to make sure that each game runs smoothly.

The top title belongs to the competitive sports managers, who work together with the other positions and sports teams to work out schedules and practices. These students also assist club teams in any way that they can and are responsible for the hiring, training, and ultimate scheduling of officials for IM sports.

Fourth-year psychology major Praveen Karunatileka made the transition from an IM athlete to an official and described how he got involved in the program.

“I had always played IM sports,” Karunatileka said. “Freshman and sophomore year, I had a couple friends that were in the department, and I thought it would be a cool thing to do, so I became an official last year. I reffed soccer for two quarters, […] and I really enjoyed officiating and wanted to get more involved, so I applied for supervisor and, from there, it just kinda took off. Officiating is a unique way to look at sports, especially since I had never really done serious officiating at any level, so I guess I have more appreciation for officials now.”

Karunatileka also shared some of his favorite elements about being involved in the IM sport world.

“Honestly, it’s a really good way for me to get a workout, always moving around and you get to meet […] so many like-minded people — everyone likes sports,” Karunatileka said. “It doesn’t even feel like work when you’re out there. You’re just really hanging out with your friends and everyone is cool […] The whole atmosphere around the IM sports program is really cool, and once you’re involved with it, it’s something you never really want to leave.”

Students are encouraged to both participate in IM sports and cheer on their peers during matches. For more information about the leagues offered and how to get involved in IM sports, visit the UC Davis Campus Recreation and Unions website.



Written by: Kennedy Walker — sports@theaggie.org


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