As I sit here writing this notebook with a black eye and slight pain in my nose, I want to discuss intramural sports. Simply, they are recreational sports here at RPI and other schools that anyone can join to play. Just gather a team together, pay a few bucks, and you’re in a league. Back to the black eye I have, last Wednesday night I had an IM division two basketball playoff game. It’s the five versus five league, and I was pretty pumped for this game. First of all, out of all the people in the two courts at the East Campus Athletic Village, I was the only girl playing, while two others were watching. Additionally, already three times at frisbee, I was the only girl playing under the lights at the football stadium. Why was I the only girl playing? IM teams are open to everyone.
Going back to basketball playoff game, I was hit very hard when trying to get a rebound in the second half of the game. I have never played on a legitimate basketball team beforehand, but when the first half was up, I noticed the strong competition between the two teams. From the remarks made due to “bad” calls from the referee to remarks under players’ breathes. I could feel the hostility in the room, and soon enough, blood started gushing out of little Maria’s nose. My team had ended up winning, in my eyes, due to sportsmanship. There are several ideas that I took-away from this game.
To start, this should not be the reputation IM sports have on girls’ decisions to play. I believe that if more girls did play on these IM teams, the true meaning of having a good team while playing on a recreational IM team will shine. Plus, with more girls, there would be a better balance of males and females, and hopefully a better balance between team’s interactions.
Secondly, IM games should never reach a level where players are throwing f-bombs around because of referee’s calls. The referee is just a student too, there to regulate the game as best as he (never had a female ref) can. If a player feels the need to go beyond and be very competitive, then there are club sports and even varsity sports at RPI. Sportsmanship is always shown in teams that work hard, strive to succeed, and have a good time when playing sports. Another thing, people that play sports should have the ability to control themselves, if you notice you’re getting a bit out of hand, take a breather and a quick break on the sideline.
The main take-away from this notebook though, is to positively get involved. If you’re a boy or girl, played or never played a certain sport, looking for a little competition, then join an intramural team or make up your own team. There are a variety of sports on the intramural level, including basketball, frisbee, volleyball, kickball, wiffleball, and soccer. If more students can get involved with IM teams, then IM will gain back their “having a good time” reputation. What are you waiting for? Take your leadership and respectful qualities to the court or field.