Intramural Sports are the next level for most of us ex-high school athletes. There are a lot fewer perks than playing on scholarship, but for some, the drive to compete is all too similar. So, what’s the deal with Intramural Sports? Are they something we should practice for—or are they just glorified pick-up games with your best buddies? I was able to sit down with Andrew Haines, a former intramural sports referee of two years here at K-State, to talk about his experiences and get some top tips for how to do intramural sports the right way.
So Andrew, let’s say I’ve just come to K-State, and I have put together a team to play an Intramural Sport. How do I sign up?
“Okay, so to start, go to the Intramural Sports page on the K-State website and sign-in using your eID. From there it will take you to the intramural sports website and you will need to register yourself, and then your team. Next, send the link to all of your teammates and they will have to register as well. Then, you will be able to pick what days you want to play, and after everything is finalized, a full schedule will be sent out.”
Now that I am signed up, my friends and I are ready to play. We show up to our game on time and are ready to run the scoreboard. As a ref, what are some things you would like to see from the players during the game?
“RESPECT is the biggest thing I want to see. Even when you don’t agree with a call, just put yourself in the shoes of the referee and understand that not everyone is perfect. When I am out there, I will not put up with any disrespect during the game.”
On the opposite side of the coin, what is the worst thing a player can do during a game?
“Fighting is the worst thing you can do during a game. If involved in a fight, you will be immediately kicked out of the game and banned from Intramural Sports indefinitely. Recreational Services takes the physical health of students very seriously, so they have a zero-tolerance for players trying to intentionally harm other players. I once had an altercation break out in a game between two players who were trash talking all game. We had to stop the game, sit the teams down, and threaten to forfeit each teams’ season. We are trained to get a handle on disputes early in order to prevent fights.”
There are some players who tend to take Intramural Sports a little too serious, and then there are some players who don’t take the games serious enough. What are some things you see from players who find that nice balance of competitiveness out there?
“The players who balance that competitiveness well is something cool to see, for me. I will see players who become genuinely upset after a bad play, but then they pick their head back up and continue to play hard. It’s important to be competitive. That is the nature of sports. However, it is also important to remember that it is just an intramural game; it’s not the end of the world.”
My last question to Andrew: Why do you believe participating in Intramural Sports can have a positive impact on a student’s time here at K-State?
“I think intramural sports are positive because they keep students active. Sometimes kids graduate high school, come here, and then don’t stay active. Remaining active is important for students’ mental and physical health. Also, it is a way to be involved here at K-State. For me, I made a lot of friends through activities at the rec that I wouldn’t have made without being involved with intramural sports. Refereeing was difficult at first but looking back, I don’t regret a thing.”
Sports have had a long tradition of being a fun activity for college students. So, don’t be the player to turn a fun game into a sweaty battle of cheap shots. These games can be a great way to stay active as well as competitive. However, we’re not playing in the Superbowl folks. Remember that just like your jump shot, the referees aren’t perfect. Stay active, be respectful, and have fun playing your favorite games with your friends on an organized, competitive platform.