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Intramural Sports Undergo Transition

December 16, 2010

Ariel Katz
Intramural Sports Undergo Transition

This past year, CMS changed the way that intramural sports are executed.  In addition to implementing new rules and guidelines, CMS started using Athleague, an online database that helps with organizing different intramural events. Students, in order to participate in intramurals, must make an account with Athleague to sign for different sports and teams. CMC students who were interested in participating in intramural sports were told to set up an account earlier this year.

Adam Pruett, the new IM director at CMS, explained the reasoning behind the shift, "The biggest thing is the need for our campus to go digital. It's sustainable, meaning we're not killing trees, and students are online. While it's not perfect, the two major things that make it good for us is that it's free, and it centralizes things. Rather than sending out e-mail to students that will get deleted right away, students now have one site they can go to to get information."

Claremont McKenna, Harvey Mudd, and Scripps all participate in the CMS intramural sports league. At CMC, intramural teams are divided by either dormitory or self-organized teams registered with Athleague.

While the shift to using the Athleague website standardizes intramurals on campus, it also makes IMs less of an inclusive, laid-back environment. Sophomore Kelsey Gross, dorm bra last year for Berger and this year for Claremont Hall, explains that the shift to using Athleague has brought about a change in the event. "Intramurals are way more competitive this year because the focus is on tournament play versus league play. Because of this, there are fewer games scheduled and unless your team is really good, you don't get to play as many games."

Pruett acknowledges the switch to more competitive IM events, but also stresses that the recreational side of intramurals is still present. "There are two different tracts people participating in intramurals can take. Now, the students have the choice on whether they want to play recreationally [sic] or competitively. While students can play with their dorms, they can also create their own, more competitive teams with whomever they choose from Claremont McKenna, Harvey Mudd, or Scripps."

Certain intramurals remain more dorm-based, like inner tube water-polo, while for others, like flag football, students can create their own teams. This tends to the more competitive edge and Pruett mentions that flag football and basketball are two of the sports becoming more competitive.  He points to the fact that there are even IM championships at other colleges as signs of this.  Pruett said that the IM basketball champion at CMS will be sent to compete at the regional level at University of Nevada-Las Vegas in March.

The switch to using Athleague has opened up several opportunities for students to take intramurals to the next level.  Christina Khavarian'12, one of six IM supervisors along with Travis Roher CMC '11, Chris Blees CMC '11, Emily Jovais SC '13, Bayley Clarke SC '13, Elsa Watlandand SC '13, claimed she noticed a downfall in participation in intramurals this year.

Khavarian explained, "From hearing the opinions of many students on IM sports ...this year, there have been a variety of reasons [for] the decrease in participation of CMCers. Some say creating a team on Athleague and having to continuously check it for game times is a hassle. Others say that their dorm jocks & bras aren't doing as good of job as they hoped, and the game times are inconvenient."  

Khavarian also notes the lack of  advertisement around campus. "Historically there have been sign ups at the dining hall, posters around campus, word of mouth and Facebook. This is not to say Athleague shouldn't be used, but I don't believe it should be the sole form of advertisement."

Pruett notes this lack of communication as a problem, stressing that students now have to be more proactive than in the past in signing up for events. "The switch to Athleague came as a bit of a shock to a lot of students and it's still too early to say whether or not it has been successful. Students are now more responsible and it takes a little bit of accountability for the student to go on the website and look up game times."

Pruett has high hopes for the future, hoping one day to expand the IM program to all of the 5Cs. He also mentioned that he remains flexible to student's needs. "I'm able to adapt. If students want to change rules, all they have to do is propose it."

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