University offers six new intramural sports

By Rachel Sierminski

After a long day of rigorous academics, University of Chicago students will find themselves with new ways to sweat off their school woes this year. The Department of Physical Education and Athletics announced that it has added six programs to its intramural sports offerings.

For the autumn quarter, 3-on-3 basketball, squash, and wiffleball were added to the existing sports. Indoor soccer, a euchre card tournament, and a weightlifting tournament are now included in the winter offerings.

The decision to add the sports was made over the summer in response to student requests. After the initial inquiries were made, the department assessed the level of student interest via an e-mail survey of past intramural participants. Based on these results, they weighed the potential costs of adding the new programs.

“We wanted to increase the level of opportunity on a competitive, but also on a recreational level,” said Tamsen Burke, director of athletics, intramural, recreation, and club Sports. “We wanted to break down some of the perceptions of the competition (in intramurals) but also to encourage those that want that competitive opportunity.”

Burke also hopes that the addition will become a precursor of broader changes to the intramural program. “It’s an introductory to some things we’re looking at. We know the needs are there, but are the facilities?” she said.

Student response to the changes reflects the same sentiment as Burke’s. “It seems like with the fall IM sports, not a lot of people participate — at least in our house,” said second-year Jai Hong. “Actually, the 3-on-3 basketball, for me, sounds really good.”

Fourth-year Daniel DeRienzis said, “There is no way no one will beat me at squash or the IM clean and jerk contest. I’m glad the IM office decided to add some new sports, where, as it just so happens, the deck is stacked in my favor.”

Some students believe that current intramural sports should be improved before new ones are created. First-year physics grad student Ed Hershey pointed out some of the current flaws: “There are some real deficiencies in the administration of IM sports. It’s total garbage that each IM football team must supply two officials for each game. What is the entry fee for, then? And who has friends who would actually want to referee football games instead of playing them or doing homework?” Regardless of existing problems, the new intramural sports promise to further impress the active lifestyle into the changing character of the University of Chicago.

Participation in intramural sports is open to all undergraduate and graduate students of the University. Registration for several fall intramural sports programs began last week, and will continue through the month of October for others. Entry forms can be picked up from the Campus Sports Office in the basement of the Hinds Geophysical Sciences building.