Mar 19, 2021 | SPORTS | By Tia Vierling | Photo by Anil Jergens

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed life on Colorado College’s campus in myriad of areas, from dining to library services to class formats. Athletics and recreation were among the aspects of campus life hit hardest at the beginning of the year.

But as of the end of Block 6, one of campus recreation’s most beloved offerings will return. That’s right: Intramural sports are making a comeback.

For students who aren’t on a varsity team or don’t want to commit to club sports, intramural sports offer the perfect balance of low-level commitment and high-level fun. CC intramurals (IMs) have thrived in the past, as students compete against other CC teams in tournaments for inner tube water polo, basketball, soccer, and more.

Now, for the first time since the pandemic began, campus recreation is running a select few intramural sports. IM campus golf is scheduled for Block Break 6; soccer, softball, and ping pong IMs are currently set to span Blocks 7 and 8. Weather permitting, a grass volleyball tournament is even planned for Block Break 7.

Chris Starr, the Director of Recreation and the Adam F. Press Fitness Center on campus, has been hard at work ensuring that IMs will be safe as well as fun in the spring.

According to Starr, all IMs will limit shared equipment (and wipe it down between games if it can’t be avoided), require masks for all participants, and limit the number of people who can show up for a game. Furthermore, teams should ideally be composed of no more than three households.

Starr recognizes the importance of “mitigating steps,” but at the same time, she doesn’t hold back about her excitement. “To me,” she told me, “it’s the final step of renormalization on campus right now.”

Getting IMs back on the table was a group effort. Starr wanted to make sure to thank Brian Young, who shared the initial intramural proposal with El Paso County Public Health; Andrea Bruder and the Science Advisory Group, who contributed safety suggestions and support for opening up campus rec; and Lesley Irvine, Vice President and Director of Athletics.

As of this week, the website for submitting intramural team rosters is up and running. Rosters for campus golf are due on Tuesday, March 23. Rosters for softball, soccer, and ping pong are due Thursday, March 25. And finally, rosters for the grass volleyball tournament are due on Tuesday, April 20.

While there is still plenty of time to pull teams together for IMs, it is definitely something interested students should start planning for. With no experience required to submit a roster for any IM activities, intramural sports are an accessible and fun way to stay active moving into the end of the 2020-21 school year.

Hopefully, more intramural sports of all types will be offered in the fall. But for now, the fact that IMs are even being considered viable provides a unique opportunity for students. While all possible steps for reducing risk can and should be taken, as Starr put it, intramurals are “the final piece of campus rec coming to life back on campus.”

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