One of the most difficult transitions for incoming freshmen is the lack of organized sports. Most athletes that come from high school end up not being able to make a varsity team here at North Dakota State University. Luckily, there is one way to keep in organized sports, and that is by joining an intramural team.
The Wallman Wellness Center offers a wide variety offers of sports for students to compete in, from flag football to volleyball. There is something for everyone, seen as there are over 2,000 freshmen that compete in a sport, as reported by Recreation and Intramural Graduate Assistant Jon Pavlicek.
An added benefit is that most sports require students to be on teams in order to compete. It is a great way to meet new people who share a similar interest. There is no stronger bond than that of a team, just look at how effective the team bonds of the Bison Football team have made the team into a force of nature.
This statement was also echoed by Pavlicek, who said “I have seen many friendships come from it. Not only friendships, but the teams usually have a blast playing and competing.”
The nice thing about these sports is that they are flexible in times. Pavlicek says “All intramural leagues run during hours that most students do not have class, running between 4 p.m. and 11 p.m. with some exceptions here and there.”
Those exceptions usually are the weekend tournaments, such as ultimate Frisbee and softball.
Most of the events take place either at the Wellness Center or at one of the many parks that are just a short walk off campus.
If your team does feel the need to practice, your team has the freedom to set those times whenever, if it all. Those practices can be as serious as you want, though it should be said that most teams do not kill themselves at practice, rather spend some nice time relaxing away from schoolwork.
This coming fall, teams can sign up for a multitude of sports. Flag football, ultimate Frisbee, basketball, volleyball, and soccer will all be offered. Come spring time, more will be available, such as dodgeball, softball, and wallyball (a cross between racquetball and volleyball).
The atmosphere during game play is a light one. While yes, Coach Herm Edwards is correct, and you play to win the game, winning is not everything. The teams compete hard, but there is always good feelings after the game, even after a loss.
If an incoming freshman is worried about not being good enough to play on an intramural team, there is absolutely nothing to worry about. There are plenty of players who are just playing for the fun of it, and some can’t even kick a soccer ball straight. Most likely, there will always be a team that is worse than you.
To get involved, Pavlicek had a few instructions, “Students can sign into the NDSU intramural page at imleagues.com. Once they have made an account, they can start to make teams.” Even if a student does not have a team, most sports will have a “free agent” team that will take part.
These games are a great way to get involved with an on-campus activity, while also giving a reason to workout and avoid the myth that is the freshman 15.