Important changes made for intramural sports to be back at the rec center


Submitted by: Mason Jones

Intramural schedule

Mason Jones

Although initially not considered for the fall semester, intramural sports at the Ashland University Recreation Center will begin play on Oct. 4 with coronavirus friendly activity offerings.

With pandemic guidelines in full-swing, the NCAA has prohibited the majority of colleges from athletic play during the fall season.

While competitive sports are canceled, the rec center has found a way to allow intramural sports to be played safely. 

“We definitely had to be creative in what type of sports we are offering the students,” rec center programs intern Brittany Close said. “We can’t do full team sports at the moment since that’s close contact, so we had to look into other options that we haven’t always done in the past or done before. Students can still compete against each other and get the offerings of the programming that we do, just in a different format.”

Close has worked at the rec center for several years and understands the difficulty of planning intramural sports seasons. This year, she says it was harder than ever.

“It’s a lot of individual competition, but it’s still competing against others for an Intramural t-shirt as we always have done, just in smaller one-on-one games,” she said. “We still wanted to have the programming for the students on campus so that it can help to make this semester as normal as possible just in a more creative way. It was a really nice experience to be able to help the campus in providing students with this opportunity, with all the regulations in place.”

 Popular intramural sports, such as sand volleyball, basketball and flag football had to be removed from the program this year due to COVID guidelines. Players constantly touching equipment would make sanitization of areas extremely hard and make games cumbersome.

With the new sports that are being offered, several steps have been taken in order to ensure the players’ health and safety are protected.

“For the intramural sports that we are providing, we are requiring students to wear a mask as most of these sports don’t require heavy physical endurance, such as the wiffle ball home run derby we held earlier where students wore masks the entire time,” rec center programs intern Kimberly Gayhardt said.

“While most sports will take place outside, we do have permission to move inside the rec, where we can use the basketball courts and we can move the ping-pong tables aside so we can continue our activities”. 

While almost all guidelines are in place, only one guideline is an exception, and that is the amount of people able to compete in intramural sports. 

“For all of the sports we are offering, there’s not necessarily a limit to how many people can join, except for Esports, where the maximum number of people able to participate is around 30 people, because of the capacity of the library’s basement where Esports is played,” Gayhardt said. “But since the campus wide scavenger hunt is the only other thing that involves multiple people, we are making it so people will work in groups of five to ten instead of multiple people together in order to ensure the guidelines are in effect”. 

While the changes to intramurals is drastic, it should not stop people from having fun and taking a load off from the stress of school work. 

The AU intramural schedule is online at the AU website as intramurals are different this year, but they are still in full-swing in spirit.