Geneseo intramurals provide stress relief for students

While many people may envision college athletics to consist solely of varsity and club sports, it is important to recognize the importance and popularity of the intramural sports program. The intramural program at Geneseo caters to a large portion of the campus community, allowing for everyone to participate in sports, whether they were former high school athletes, current varsity athletes or students who just enjoy playing the sport.

It may not be the most competitive or serious sports program, but that’s exactly what makes it perfect for so many students. It is a program that almost everyone tries out at some point during his or her college career, as participation in the intramural has increased dramatically over the years.

“Participation has been very good. Teams send their entry forms to my office, or can complete an online submission,” Intramural and Recreation Director Brooks Hawley said. “The online submissions have been a good option for the students, as more than half of the team submissions have been online.”

There are many reasons why one should join an intramural sport, but some students may be tentative to participate, especially if they believe that they do not have the skill to play. Hawley clarified some key reasons, however, as to why college students should join intramural sports.

“Students should participate to have fun and be with friends in a relaxed atmosphere,” Hawley said. “For those who have played a high school sport but do not currently play in college, it is an excellent way to compete.”

Many colleges and universities boast of an excellent intramural program, but the program at Geneseo is one-of-a-kind in that it provides students with a way to balance school with other situations of their lives.

“When one plays an intramural, they can leave the stress of a test behind, begin to decompress and take advantage of all the student life Geneseo has to offer,” Hawley said.

There are currently four intramural seasons at Geneseo. Of the numerous sports offered throughout each of the four seasons, however, the two sports that have been the most popular during the 2016-17 school year so far are outdoor soccer and broomball, according to Hawley.

One of the most popular and original sports to play at Geneseo is broomball, which can be thought of as an original take on hockey. One of the main reasons Geneseo offers this sport is because not many students have prior experience in competing in such an unusual activity.

“It takes place in the ice rink on campus; all participants wear sneakers, the ice is worn down so everyone is at a disadvantage, the stick used is like a broom where one team is trying to hit a heavy ball into another team’s net,” Hawley said. “The teams are usually six-on-six players, where the games are usually three periods for seven minutes. Since there are only three to five games in a season, everyone shows up, as there are no forfeits.”

The more difficult aspect of creating a broomball team, however, is the prospect of playing games as late as 1:30 a.m. That scares away many potential players who have early classes and love their sleep.

“The only reason intramurals are played so late at night is the order of teams who could use the ice during the season,” Hawley said. “The varsity teams have the right to use it first, then the club sports and, finally, the intramurals.”

In addition to broomball, there are many highlights that should be mentioned when speaking of intramural sports, such as flag football and outdoor soccer.