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by Emily Wheeler

Intramural Sports: How Do I Get Involved?

The simple truth is that not everyone can be a varsity athlete in college—it’s just not the way things work and the majority of people don’t have the desire to be one, even if they are athletic and/or love sports.  But even if you’ve never considered yourself athletic, you don’t think you have the time to commit, you’re nervous about learning something new, or you simply don’t know about any opportunities to play sports on your level, I’ve got news for you: you need to try intramural sports.

There are basically three levels of athletics here at UNC: varsity athletics, club sports, and intramural sports.  Since most of us have had the chance to see varsity athletes in action, whether on TV or on campus, I’ll skip to explaining the club sports.  Club sports are a step down from varsity sports and for people who want the intensity of regular workouts with a dedicated team and fierce competition in regular games and matches.  They typically compete for one season or semester per year but practice two to three times per week year-round.  Playing a club sport is a wonderful opportunity to continue something that you were passionate about before you got to college, or to expand your talents to a new sport, as well as to meet new people and find a place where you belong on campus.

Intramural sports are another step down from club sports and are for those people, like myself, who like working out and playing sports but who also like variety and a lot of fun involved.  Intramural sports allow you to form your own team with friends and friends-of-friends and competition can be as brief as a two-day tournament.  Want to play CoRec sand volleyball, a singles tennis tournament, or whiffle ball? All of these intramural sports opportunities are currently open for registration this week and all you have to do is go to the campus rec main website to find the Fall 2013 IM schedule under the Intramural Sports tab at the top of the page.  The schedule shows the sports currently open for registration, as well as upcoming sports so that you can begin to plan and form your team! All the information you need is on this page, with links for detailed rules and regulations as well as general registration information available for each specific sport.  The process is simple and available completely online for your convenience. Heck, you can even participate in a cornhole competition this month!

Intramural sports here at UNC are such a wonderful opportunity for us as students to get out there, get active, play away some of our stress, and to discover things that we simply love to do.  The atmosphere is casual, all skill levels (or lack thereof) are welcome, and classic sports like soccer and basketball are available as well as more unique sports that you may not have had the chance to play before, such as innertube water polo and pickleball.  This means that nearly everyone is new at the game and that you can learn and improve as you go.

field hockey group with sticks Girls_chasing_ball

Personally, I have always have the desire to play sports and to be “athletic,” but I’ve never been that natural athlete that just gets out there and manages to win every time.  I came to realize that for me, sports weren’t about training every single day and battling frustration and getting down on myself when I wasn’t feeling up to par with everyone else.  For me, playing sports is about fun, it’s about self-improvement and learning, it’s about that feeling when you’re jumping up and down because you just won together, it’s about that feeling of shock and joy when you’re new at something but you act in a way that turns out just right, and it’s about that feeling of walking to get frozen yogurt together because you just lost but you had a great time doing it. It is for these reasons that I think intramural sports are simply awesome and that anyone and everyone can benefit from getting involved and giving it a try.  My motto is that people don’t regret the times that they got out there and at least tried something; they regret the times that they didn’t even try.

Registration for four sports starts today, so don’t delay and start forming your team now!