It's that time of year again. Gymnasiums are starting to get a little too toasty after a game of pick-up basketball, and the warm sun beckons us out of the cool darkness. I think springtime is the opportune time to break out the tennis shoes and dust off the baseball glove for some recreational fun in the sun.
The intramural season is wrapping up with one of my favorite intramural sports: softball. I think softball is one of those sports anyone can play. Think about it: Even white-collar, corporate conglomerates divide up the departments and play intramural softball tournaments. These "athletes" are usually better at crunching numbers than slamming homers.
But that's the glory of intramural sports: Anyone can play! Seriously. Faculty and staff often compile an intramural team in a few sports every year, proving to us students that you're never too old to relive the glory days of athletics past. I mean, even Bruce Springsteen had a friend in high school who was a big baseball player who only talked about those glory days.
Intramural sports satiate my competitive hunger for playing sports throughout college. While my intramural loyalties are through my sorority, teams are open to everyone. Greek life, student governments, residence halls, sports teams, graduate and law students, other clubs or just groups of friends, are often active participants through the Weinstein Center's intramural program.
Shelby Timberlake, director of intramural sports and facilities, and his crew of student workers sign up teams, organize brackets, referee games and pick the sports to play. There is a sport for just about everyone. Do you happen to be a Ping-Pong pro? There's an intramural game for that. Do you want to relive that state championship basketball game and hit the game-winning three-pointer?
There's an intramural game for that. Are you the next racquetball rock star? Yes, there is an intramural game for that.
Your team can play for points and a quest for the coveted champion's banner, or your team can play for fun times and pride. Intramurals provide a little slice of athletics for everyone willing and eager to play.
Though intramural sports aren't broadcast on national television or written up in print media every time (sorry, there are just far too many games for that to ever happen in The Collegian), people don't play intramurals for the attention. They play to relive the glory days.
When I finished my senior year of basketball knowing that I wasn't going on to play at the college level, I was a hot mess. The thought of never playing basketball on a team again crushed my spirit. The competition would never be the same -- playing against my rival high school in a crowded gym with my friends watching. That was gone.
I loved the team mentality and the bonding aspect.
The rush of adrenaline and excitement that coursed through my veins during warm-ups was unparalleled. I thought that the chance to swish a jump shot in front of my opponent's face was gone forever. Then I discovered the wonderful world of intramurals.
From the moment I stepped onto the court to play intramural basketball my freshman year, it was as if I had stepped onto the basketball-court time machine (cousin to the "Hot Tub Time Machine"). It didn't matter that I was playing against girls from different parts of the country instead of different parts of the county - I was competing again.
While my friends and foes will agree that sometimes I get a little too intense during intramurals, I can't help it. I try to flash back to the glory days during every intramural sport, win or lose, whatever the sport may be. I try to have fun the only way I know how to have fun, which is to be competitive.
I respect those who play intramurals just for fun. Which scenario would you rather encounter: Taking an hour or so out of your day to have a bit of friendly competition on the court or field, or spending that hour being unproductive, Facebook-ing or looking up "Texts From Last Night" in a remote corner of B1? I'd like to go with the first option, Regis.
The intramural employees work hard to provide regulated and supervised sports a few nights per week throughout the school year.
Each game lasts one hour tops, so you have plenty of time to go back and continue working on that 17-page paper, group project and problem set.
People always talk about reliving the glory days of high school, yet no one ever wants to relive high school academics. The weather is warm and inviting, so RSVP. Set aside an hour or two during the day so you can go out and enjoy it. The glory days of high school and college do not include the hours and days spent preparing assignments.
Getting out and playing any kind of game or sport (dizzy bat and corn hole included!) helps relieve stress and create great memories. So as we head into our last few weeks of school this year, don't forget about the glory days of old and go play outside.
Contact staff writer Amelia Vogler at firstname.lastname@example.org