The intramural season is set to start, despite the continued construction at USFSP. Leagues such as basketball and sand volleyball will be moved off-site during the creation of the Multipurpose Student Center.
“The only major change was the sand volleyball, because obviously we used to have the courts right there at the corner,” said Todd Clark, intramurals sports and fitness coordinator.
Clark said as a result, sand volleyball would not take place at night. He said games would be played more in the late afternoon and early evening at the sand courts behind the North Shore aquatic complex near downtown.
Other popular intramural sports returning are 7-on-7 flag football, 3-on-3 basketball, dodge ball, cornhole and soccer.
“I’m looking forward to watching the games,” said Heather Willis, intramurals supervisor. “We have some really good teams that put on quite a show.”
Each sport will coincide with students’ busy schedules and are on different days and times. Dodge ball will take place on Monday nights, cornhole will happen midday on Fridays, water polo and water volleyball will take place at the Waterfront on Sunday afternoons, and soccer will take place on Thursdays, Clark said.
“Returning teams and free agents are getting together for flag football and practicing scrimmaging,” Clark said.
Flag football and soccer took some coordination this year with team captains, free agents and night games being played off-site.
“Flag football and soccer will still be on campus during late afternoon, early evening. Later, we’ll be going off-campus to a couple of different county fields as needed to do night games to fit the student’s schedules,” Clark said. “We looked into trying to do sand volleyball at night but we couldn’t find a good location with lights that was close enough to the school that can be convenient for the students. We went with North Shore, that way we’ll still be close, but just no lights out there.”
Clark tries to accommodate everyone’s need to fulfill playing conditions.
“The free agent meetings we’ve had and meeting with the team captains, we’ve asked if they could go off-site,” Clark said. “We ask, ‘Do you have the means to get to an off campus site if it’s within 10 minutes of the school?’ If they can’t, we try to schedule all their games on campus. That way, we don’t have any issues or missing games. Teams that can, I try to gear all their games off site and have plenty of room on site. We ask the free agents as well.”
Flag football referee Lauren Dakers is concerned about the new arrangements.
“I was pretty disappointed with the fact that our courts were taken away and we were forced to find a new offsite location to play,” she said. “I fear it could possibly discourage students without a ride to and from the games from playing but I think that as long as everyone keeps an open mind, everything will work out.”
Another major change in intramurals is only students will be allowed to play.
“Student participation is actually up,” Clark said. “This year, we’re not allowing the public to play. We have about the same number of people as last year. We wanted to let the students feel like they could play in the leagues whether they’re experienced or coming in for fun. We want to make sure it’s a little more balanced. Our focus is on the students. Soccer, the student participation has almost doubled.”
Photo by Daniel Mutter