Posted March 30, 2016
As the weather gets warmer, people spend more free time outside. On the UW-River Falls campus, many students do just that by playing intramural sports organized by the Campus Recreation program.
During the spring semester Campus Rec put on nine different leagues and eight different sporting events, according to its website. The remaining four league sports left to be played this semester — soccer, softball, ultimate Frisbee and volleyball — all began this week.
Running the intramural sports program involves a lot of behind-the-scenes work.
Ryan Rudesill, assistant director of Campus Recreation, said that his own experience helps guide decisions about which sports to offer, but a lot is determined by student interest as well. For example, some sports are now offered both fall and spring semesters.
“I think historically here everything had one season and that was it for the year. So, we’re trying to build on that and if people want more basketball, we’ll do it more often,” he said. “(We) just try to keep people active and keep people out playing.”
Student involvement also is important. To have a league enough teams need to participate, and to have enough teams, enough people have to want to play. With the snowfall last week, Rudesill said no one was thinking about registering to play sports, and that resulted in lower than expected numbers.
“It’s hard when people wait to register,” he said. “Because we have facility space, and we have to hire and train officials, and get them ready, and then not know if there’s going to be games or not.”
But Rudesill said there’s a reason behind the numbers.
“Spring sports are pretty low right now. It’s not unique for people to wait last minute to register. It makes scheduling for us a little more hectic,” he said.
Despite that challenge for the department, UWRF junior Christian Rhinevault, a referee and player, said he feels Campus Rec still provides a good experience for students and explained why he enjoys intramurals so much.
“They’re pretty consistent every year, and the number of options they have is really cool,” he said. “I like that they’re constantly expanding and trying new things.”
For Rhinevault, the promotions for intramurals during his freshman orientation is what got him to give the experience a try. It was one of the best decisions he has made since coming to UWRF three years ago, he said.
“I met a lot of people by doing different sports, and made a lot of really good friends,” Rhinevault said.
Sophomore Andrew Sandford agreed with Rhinevault. After joining a football league his first semester on campus, Sandford made a lot of friends through the games.
“We get to meet other people we normally wouldn’t see around campus, see a lot of new people, and compete against them,” he said. “It gave us something to do.”
Sandford also said he enjoyed the competition because anyone interested can participate.
“It’s for everybody. Anybody can play it. There’s a lot of un-athletic people that play and do well,” he said.
The intramural application allows students the opportunity to not only sign up as a team, but also as single players to give them the chance to find a team. Further information about intramural sports at UWRF is available online at http://bit.ly/1UtFLZH.