The haven that is intramural sports

Isabel Pheifer — Staff writer

The intramural sports scene: a place where wannabes, dreamers, washed-up athletes, social butterflies, and try-hards can thrive together. No matter what your relationship with sports is currently or was previously, there is a place for you on an intramural court or field.

Each year, Dordt University offers a variety of sports for anyone that is a full-time student, including graduate students, to compete in. Each semester has two separate intramural seasons, one in the first half of the semester and another in the second half.

In the fall, co-ed sand volleyball, co-ed soccer, and co-ed softball are offered for the first half of the semester. The second half provides students an opportunity to participate in men’s 3v3 basketball, co-ed volleyball, co-ed spikeball, and women’s 3v3 basketball. Each Monday through Wednesday night from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m., Dordt’s recreational center and various fields on campus fill with students wearing shorts, and teams appearing unified with their matching black or white t-shirts. Looks of eager determination, or potentially nervous grins, fill their vibrant faces.

The spring semester brings a new set of sports to be played. For the winter season, co-ed soccer, co-ed ultimate frisbee/football, spikeball, men’s and women’s 5v5 basketball, and co-ed dodgeball were all available to be played. The second half of the semester’s season is scheduled to begin on March 27 and offers co-ed pickleball, co-ed spikeball, co-ed 5v5 basketball, and co-ed volleyball.

Typically, all sports must either be played outside on the soccer field or inside of the rec center. With the addition of the American State Bank Sports Complex, there was increased flexibility with the location. The dome hosted “Monday Night Mayhem” during the fall semester, where soccer, ultimate frisbee, and spikeball happened simultaneously. This provided more space and opportunities for the public to use the rec center, as well as students to be able to enjoy the dome when they may not have had a chance to otherwise.

“I believe that was a great addition made by Joe Kenney to the winter season,” freshman Derek Paup, this semester’s president of intramurals, said.

Intramurals at Dordt are student-run, and supervised by Joey Kenney, special teams coordinator and defensive line coach for the Dordt football team. There is a small group of students who run intramurals each Monday through Wednesday night, led by Paup. After Paup served in a passive role as a worker and scorekeeper last semester, Kenney asked him to serve as president for the spring semester.

“I really enjoyed the work I did last semester and felt like I could make intramurals an even more fun experience, so I gladly accepted,” Paup said. “This whole year has been a lot of fun for me and, from what I understand, a lot of fun for the other workers as well.”

But what is in it for the players? If you are not interested in fulfilling a childhood fantasy of becoming a sports star, you can use it as an opportunity to meet people you maybe wouldn’t have a chance to otherwise. Paup made it clear that building these new relationships is what has made it all worth it for him. But if you don’t care about that, you can use the thought of wearing an intramural champion t-shirt around campus as your motivation to participate.

“I feel like I’m going out of my senior year with a bang, especially being able to get one of the highly sought after intramural champion shirts,” previous intramural champion and senior Kristen Maas said.

Are the games always pretty? Nope. Are they always interesting? That’s for sure. They allow students to take the pickleball skills you didn’t know you had and go show your campus crush how athletic you are, or maybe just make a fool out of yourself and give them a good laugh.

Either way, intramural sports just might be calling your name.

Contributed photo

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