Intramurals provide chance for students to enhance their experiences at Washburn

Natasha Sims

It’s 10 p.m., and teams are still playing basketball competitively. This isn’t a Washburn University vs. Emporia State University game gone into double overtime either. It is intramural basketball.

The Student Recreational and Wellness Center hosts 5-on-5 basketball intramural games for participating teams. Three 40-minute games are played four nights of the week, with the first beginning at 8 p.m. and the final game starting at 10 p.m. The six men’s divisions play Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. While the women, who have only two divisions, play on Tuesday nights.

This week is the final week of regular season play. Playoffs begin on Tuesday, Feb. 21.

Because there are several men’s teams, John Cummings, SRWC program coordinator, said the men’s playoff will be split into competitive and recreational brackets.

“It gives an opportunity for those who are playing for the fun of it a few more games to play,” said Cummings.

Intramural sports offer an avenue for athletes who are looking for a way to still play competitively.

“Most of us played in high school and college,” said Mike Sheridan of his team. “We’re reliving the glory days.”

Sheridan is one of 10 law students on the team FTL.

But intramural competitions are not always just about winning. It’s also about the friendships, participation and sometimes hidden lessons.

“Intramurals are definitely a social activity,” said Cummings. “I think it also helps with time management, but the biggest thing participants get out of this is conflict resolution. It’s a learning process.”

The players can get frustrated with calls or other players, but they have to find a different way to deal with and express that frustration rather than acting on it physically, said Cummings.

Conflict resolution is especially important because of the sportsmanship ratings and guidelines in place for all intramural events. Teams who receive consistently low evaluations will be eliminated from playoffs in that event.

At this time, no team has been eliminated in either the men’s or women’s brackets.

A stricter sportsmanship policy was not only necessary for the players but also for the future of intramurals, according to Cummings. There was very little structure to the games and treatment of the officials had discouraged many students from taking the position in the past.

“I’m very happy with the officials,” said Cummings. “It was a struggle to find officials last year because no one wanted to get yelled at.”

Game officials are trained at the SRWC, but some have previous experience with officiating games. All the current officials are Washburn students.

Not just for the body

While intramurals call to mind basketball and softball games, Cummings wanted events for everyone. This year, he has planned a Scrabble tournament, rock wall climbing contest and spring sports trivia for those not interested in team and athletic events.

“It’s an opportunity to exercise the mind,” said Cummings. “Team sports may not be right for all.”

Other events new to this year’s intramural scene include golf, 8-ball, 9-ball and the home-run derby.

And while intramural participation numbers have been increasing and there’s an overall positive response to the activities, Cummings does not see intramurals becoming a requirement for students.

“Intramurals are definitely part of the college experience but they aren’t part of the Transformational Experience,” said Cummings. “While I think it’s a great way to interact, it’s not a life-altering experience.”

All policies and procedures, as well as events, schedules and deadlines can be found at the SRWC website,