Like all other aspects of campus life, intramural (IM) sports continue to adapt to a COVID-conscious environment. Last term most IM sports, including 3v3 basketball and dodgeball, were canceled, prompting IM student coordinators to brainstorm new and COVID-friendly IM events to provide fun and flexible recreation for Carls.
Over the fall, IM Coordinator Justin Crawmer ‘23 spearheaded an online trivia event where students could fill out a trivia questionnaire sent to their emails. Participation was high, with over 55 participants competing for a chance to win an IM Champion T-Shirt. Trivia contests will continue this Winter Term and also be held on the student-run IM Instagram page @carls_im.
The pandemic prompted further innovation with the introduction of IM esports. Ninety students signed up to compete in games such as FIFA and NBA 2K organized by IM coordinator Donoan Taras ‘21. Taras explained that although interest was high, technical and logistical obstacles limited participation: “Getting everyone online at the same time and to talk was a challenge. Also a lot of students didn’t have the right computer equipment to play.” Esports will continue this Winter Term with hopes of fostering more interaction within the gaming community.
Fair weather also provided the chance for IM to host small, in-person, one-day competitions including frisbee golf, outdoor tennis, and HORSE basketball during fall term. That said, snow, frigid temperatures, and the uncertainty of virus conditions pose a new set of challenges for IM sports this winter. IM coordinators are considering expanding into less traditional activities such as snowpeople building contests, dodge(snow)ball and sledding to take advantage of Northfield’s snowy winter. Starting January 18, in addition to the usual skating, skiing and snowshoeing equipment, The Rec plans to offer sleds available for rental. Nordic Skiing will be allowed as usual in the arb.
While the Bald Spot ice rinks will be set up and made open for use, the prospect of broomball remains up in the air. IM Supervisor Mikki Showers explains that traditional broomball will most likely not be possible because of rink capacity limits and physical contact concerns: “We are working to brainstorm versions of broomball with smaller teams such as four-on-four or individual trick shot competitions to limit contact and allow adequate social distancing. We want to continue to offer something for students to do but most importantly keep everyone safe.”
The ice rinks themselves will be run differently. Rinks will be staffed with monitors to enforce 20 person capacity limits per rink on both weekends and weekdays. Signups will also be required for one-hour slots.
Working within the restraints of COVID-19 guidelines has been a challenge for IM leadership, but students and staff are committed to finding creative ways to provide quality extracurricular activities for Carls to stay healthy and active together.