Intramural sports kicked off this semester on Sept. 20 with futsal, a form of soccer played indoors on a hard court instead of a field. 12 entirely student-organized teams are involved, with games being held every Sunday and Wednesday from 7 to 10 p.m. in Pamplin Sports Center until Oct. 18.
The intramural program is developing rapidly this year under the leadership of the newly-hired Intramural Coordinator, Aaron Campbell.
“When I took over in February, there had been no sports in fall semester,” Campbell said. “So, when I got the position, we had a clean slate. There was nothing organized, no sports set up, no gym time reserved. So I think that the biggest changes are having sports organized.”
Futsal was chosen as the first sport this semester due to the popularity of intramural soccer last spring, and largely because gym time is easier to come by than field time. Only one intramural sport can be played at a time due to limited facilities.
“We have a high school team that uses our football field, there are club sports that use the field and obviously varsity sports that use it, so we are trying to find a balance making it most effective,” Campbell said. “Portland State is also going to be using our facility for basketball this year, so we are still trying to figure out what we are going to do next. Second semester, things open up a little bit, so we will definitely be doing outdoor soccer and basketball in the spring.”
Campbell has hired two students to coordinate intramurals: Hannah Van Dusen ’20 as the Student Director of Intramurals and Bryce Johnson ’19 as the Social Media Director.
“What we want to do in moving forward is sort of empower the (student positions) to make intramurals what they want it to be,” Campbell said. “We want to have more than one mind be a part of the greater process of it.”
Oftentimes, intramurals are dominated by varsity athletes, so Van Dusen discussed her goal to get students outside of the athletic department involved.
“There is a large population of student athletes, which is great because they bring a whole new energy to the intramurals, but I also want to reach out to the non-varsity sports students,” Van Dusen said. “The bridge of communication is a lot weaker between those students than the varsity sports students.”
Van Dusen emphasized the inclusivity of intramurals.
“It’s just another way to meet people and have fun doing that,” Van Dusen said. “Also, it’s pretty short games, so it’s not like you need to be that fit to play. Anybody can play, is what I am trying to say. But, also, some of the teams are really good and their level of play is really spectacular, so that’s also fun to watch.”
Futsal has been well received by coordinators and participants alike. Rylie Neeley ’20, a participant in the spring soccer intramurals, compared her experience this semester to that of last semester.
“There is a lot more camaraderie this year compared to last semester when it was a little more thrown together,” Neeley said. “There is a lot more organization, so there is more of a community forming this year.”
Campbell and the student coordinators hope to have volleyball or flag football as fall semester’s next intramural sport; however, they have yet to decide because of scheduling difficulties. Stay tuned for signups this coming month on the LC Pioneers website.