Without a doubt, one of my favorite pastimes on campus is participating in intramural athletics, hockey in particular. I know that is the case for many of my peers too. However, recent events within the intramural hockey circle have taken the fun and joy out of participating in such athletics. While I do applaud the work of the countless intramural sports coordinators and directors, they do a poor job of upholding the values and beliefs of the system.
In our hockey team’s most recent game, two issues came up: one of complete dishonesty on the other team’s behalf, and the other of unfair advantage. The first was pretty obvious, the other team did not provide student IDs at the start of the contest—or at all for that matter. If you look through the intramural athletics website and check out the policies, one of the first things that will pop out to you is the ruling “No ID, no play,” printed in large, bolded font. Yet, the other team was allowed to play, and nothing was done about it. Maybe it’s because the Director of Core Engineering’s son was on the team, and there is some nepotism at play, but you can’t forego the rules for specific people or teams. I can understand maybe one person forgetting an ID and letting it go as long as they are on the roster, but an entire team? Give me a break.
Personally, I could let that slide, but it was the second part that really irked me: an ACHA club hockey player participating in ‘C’ league hockey. The people who participate in club hockey are former ‘A’ leaguers that got bored with intramurals, and are looking for higher levels of competition. If that’s the case, what are you doing in ‘C’ league hockey? Considering that they place themselves on the level of our Division-I men’s team, they should have to adhere to the same rules and regulations, and should not be allowed to participate in intramural hockey, period. It’s a completely unfair advantage at any level when kids who receive strength and conditioning coaches and full-ice practices several times a week from the Student Union, as well as equipment and warm-up suits, are allowed to compete against students that will lace up their skates a maximum of eight times a semester. Our team has people who are not only just learning to skate, but also learning the basic rules of hockey. Competing against students who could very easily be playing on the NCAA-level ruins all that is great about intramural athletics and highly discourages those who are trying to learn a new sport.
In trying to find out about the eligibility of club hockey players participating in intramural hockey, I learned that yes, it is allowed, but also another disturbing fact. Not only are club hockey players playing as low as the ‘C’ league level, they are also skating for multiple intramural hockey teams. Another blatant violation of the rules! Yet again on the policies portion of the website—stated in big bold font—“NO INDIVIDUAL MAY COMPETE FOR MORE THAN ONE TEAM IN ANY INTRAMURAL SPORT.” How can this be allowed? For an athletic department headed by someone who puts honesty at the forefront and speaks highly of the intramural athletics program, I am both shocked and disgusted that this is allowed. I think this issue stems from the unrostered players skating as ringers on teams, which would also explain why they weren’t caught being on multiple rosters, and why teams are refusing to hand in IDs.
If you’re going to provide rules and regulations for intramural athletics, you should abide by them at all times, regardless of the sport or who is playing. I am sad to see this black cloud put over such a great program by people who just want one of those “Intramural Champion” t-shirts at the end of the semester. I know our intramural hockey coordinator works hard to make sure teams follow the rules, but there are some things, like unrostered players, which are hard to catch.
As for the club hockey kid playing in ‘C’ league, what’s your deal? Too much of a coward to play ‘A’ league? Scared of getting a hard check into the boards? The only reason I play in ‘C’ league is because I’m extremely small, barely crack a hundred pounds, and had my knee surgically reconstructed. Otherwise, bring on the hits! I’m not afraid.