RecSports is expanding intramural league activities this semester, after many were canceled in March as part of COVID-19 safety precautions.
Some of these activities, including volleyball, cornhole and the annual track meet, were offered in the fall semester but will have expanded play opportunities this semester, including more available dates and larger groups. Other activities, like softball, soccer, tennis and foot golf, are being reintroduced after their cancellation in March due to the pandemic.
“RecSports wants to make sure that we are providing safe activities (following University protocols) and allowing students to try something new, to be able to socialize safely and to social distance with friends,” said RecSports senior director Jennifer Speer.
RecSports will not begin in-person activities until Feb. 1, following the University’s guidance for a two week period of online-only instruction, Speer said.
RecSports did a trial run of one of their larger events, the annual track meet, in the fall at the intramural field with students six feet apart, said Darci Doll, the associate director for intramural sports. She said the success of this trial assured them that they can continue to safely offer more opportunities.
“We’re following what we’re hearing from the University,” Speer said. “If we had a sudden spike in (COVID-19) numbers, we could always pare back some of these activities.”
RecSports offers activities as both league events and one-day special events, said Doll. A list of all activities and sign-ups for intramural leagues can be found on the RecSports website.
Social distancing is enforced between teams, and groups must be 10 people or less. Teams or clubs larger than 10 people must practice separately, Speer said.
Speer said masks are mandatory when inside the facilities. Outdoor activities with social distancing precautions do not require masks, Doll said.
“If (students) feel sick at all, they're encouraged to stay home,” Speer said. “We have the opportunity for them to reschedule those contests if for any reason they're not able to participate because they're in … isolation or quarantine.”
History senior Kaitlyn Dougherty said having opportunities like intramural sports can be very helpful to ease the stress of college life and the pandemic.
“Students that play intramurals really rely on that game time to unwind and blow off some steam,” said Dougherty, a supervisor and official at RecSports. “College can be really stressful, so playing games with friends makes it much easier to manage.”