O-Issue 2012: Intramurals

Too cool for school, too weak for varsity

By Jake Walerius

As the next four years pass by, you might be amazed at the lengths you’ll go to for a free T-shirt. It’s worth knowing right off the bat, then, that no free T-shirt is more prestigious than the one worn by an intramural champion. And here at the University of Chicago, all intramural sports are created equal. Whether it’s dodgeball, broomball, or even billiards, a bright, shiny, brand new T-shirt is waiting for the winner, proudly emblazoned with two of the most important words in any U of C student’s vocabulary: intramural champion.

In addition to established sports such as basketball, flag football, and soccer, there is a wide range of less mainstream (and sometimes completely ridiculous) sports in which the would-be intramural champion can compete, such as broomball and walleyball (we don’t even know what that is). The best part is that anyone can play provided, of course, you can find the requisite number of teammates to form a walleyball team. But let’s face it, that’s not going to be a problem.

There’s also an eclectic mix of less athletic options you can choose from. Students can try their hand at intramural chess, backgammon, euchre, and several other card games. So if you still really want that T-shirt, and even the thought of running around leaves you out of breath, don’t fret, because there’s no reason why you couldn’t be the University of Chicago’s next intramural euchre champion. Unless, of course, the thought of card games leaves you out of breath too. Then you might have to pay for your clothes.

Whether you’re a champion or not, intramurals are a lot of fun and a great way to meet people with similar interests. Just because your team’s run at the walleyball final is over doesn’t mean that you can’t get together once a week at Crown for a pickup game of everyone’s favorite obscure sport.

Intramurals give students an opportunity to enjoy and compete in the games they love without the demanding time commitments of a varsity or club sport. That isn’t to say, however, that things don’t get serious. The range of intensity of IM sports is huge. You can choose to compete with your house team, usually a more laid back affair, or you can create your own team and join an independent league where the level of competition can be very high. The beauty is that it’s up to you. Occasionally, of course, you might come across a team who has decided to take inner tube water polo a little too seriously, but that’s what your teammates are there for: to casually make fun of said team while they scream at each other, struggling to stay afloat.

Signing up for intramural competition couldn’t be easier. If you are competing with your house team then all you have to do is check your emails and sign up when your IM sports rep tells you to. If you’re competing as an individual or forming an independent team, you’ll have to head over to the intramurals office in Ratner, pay a small registration fee, and then you’re good to go. It really is that simple. If you want more information, the intramurals office is the place to go, and they will give you all the information you could want on intramural euchre, whiffleball, and a host of other sports too.

There may be easier ways of getting a free T-shirt, but few are more enjoyable or memorable than doing it by becoming an intramural champion. And if you lose…well, there’s always Kuvia.