September 17, 2011

O-Issue 2011: Intramurals

If you don’t think intramural sports are a matter of life and death, then, well, you’re just wrong. We here at the University of Chicago take our intramurals seriously, whether it’s dodgeball, broomball, or perhaps most importantly, ping pong. And when I say seriously, we mean that we’re serious about having a good time.

One of the benefits of being at such a diverse school is that there’s seemingly no end to the wide variety of intramurals available. Of course you have the established sports, like basketball, football, and soccer, but you also have a lot of the quirky sports that U of C students love, like whiffleball, inner tube water polo, and ultimate frisbee. Anyone can play, and the intramural office does a great job of dividing the leagues so that you’re never matched up with teams that will curbstomp you.

One of the more interesting parts about our intramurals is that they aren’t just bound of the world of athletics. If you love chess (and let’s face it, if you’re coming to the U of C, you probably do) there’s an intramural chess tournament every year where you can strut your stuff. Numerous card games are also offered, including euchre, spades, and hearts. Not only are intramurals a great way to make friends, they’re a great way to find people with similar interests, so once the intramural season is over you can still meet up with people to play the games you love.

Now, some of you may be asking, this all sounds great, but will I have time to play intramurals with my hectic school schedule? The short answer is yes, you will, if you prioritize all your work correctly. The long answer is that even if you don’t, you’re never going to remember the all-nighter you had to pull to finish that sosc essay, but you’re definitely going to remember when you and your housemates became intramural kickball champions of the world (of the University of Chicago).

The level of competition at intramurals ranges anywhere from lighthearted to deathly serious. The house leagues are generally friendly, but when you get to the independent leagues for the fraternities and people living off campus, it tends to get a little more intense. Also, anyone can be a referee and get paid for each game - this means that occasionally the refs either don’t care or aren’t very knowledgeable about the sports that they’re refereeing, so be prepared for some questionable calls. Most of the time, though, this isn’t a problem, and they won’t get in the way of you enjoying yourself. If they do, feel free to go talk to the supervisor in charge.

Signing up for intramurals is also easy. If its through your house then all you have to do is read the emails, sign up, and show up for the games. Individual sports are a little more complicated, but it’s still fairly easy. Just head on down to Ratner, pick up a form from the intramurals office, pay your two dollar registration fee, and you’re off. The intramural office is a also a great place to get additional information on all the sports that haven’t been listed here, which, if you can believe it, is quite a few more.

So get out there and have some fun. Intramurals are a great way of keeping in shape and getting to know a bunch of different people, and at the end of the day, win or lose, you definitely won’t regret it. That is, unless you break something.  But don’t worry.  We have world class doctors for that.