Basketball leads intramurals in popularity


by Matt Bower


Simpson’s intramurals provide many opportunities for exercise and fitness for those students wishing to shed extra holiday pounds as well as those who want to get out and have a good time.

Intramurals is currently offering 5-on-5 basketball, which will run through Feb. 13. The finals will be held after this date.

According to Director of Intramurals, Nicole Darling, basketball is by far the most popular event.

“We have a large participation level,” Darling said. “We try not to schedule other events around basketball because so many students are involved with it.”

In addition to basketball, students can also participate in badminton. Last Sunday marked the second year in row that badminton was offered.

Darling said washers will take place during May Term, along with several other activities.

“We will have activities going on every day during May Term,” Darling said. “Right now basketball is the big draw, but then throughout April and the spring we’ll have little games and events leading up to and preparing for May term.”

Some of these activities include tennis, Tuesday night cards and an Easter egg hunt.

“The Easter egg hunt we did last year was a big success,” Darling said. “We decided to bring it back this year and Tuesday night cards will be going on again as well. Every Tuesday there will be card games going on at the Grill and that starts up in April.”

In order to stay on top of things, Darling is assisted by the Intramural Council.

“It’s a staff of about 25-30 students who really help me out,” Darling said. “They help with the events but also are a good source of feedback from the students participating to see what things we’re doing well and what things should change or improve.”

In addition to the IM council, Darling also has an undergraduate assistant who works for her, senior Grant Vanderheiden.

“I wanted to do something sports-related. I’ve played sports all my life,” Vanderheiden said. “I’m pleased with it overall; I think we’re doing all right. Next year I think we might get more interest and less dropouts. We had a lot of people sign up and then drop out in the past.”

Despite the dropouts, Darling believes the intramural program has a good base for participation.

“We are still at a 65 percent participation rate,” Darling said. “This year I think we’ll be close if not higher.”

Intramural events in February may help students fight winter boredom.

Water aerobics will be held at 9 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights in February. Ping-Pong singles and doubles tournaments will be held Feb. 17. Beginning Feb. 14 sign-ups for indoor soccer and racquetball will be held with the leagues starting on Feb. 21, and running till spring break.

“Indoor soccer and racquetball will be double elimination tournaments with the students scheduling their own games,” Darling said. “The finals will be held after spring break.”

Scheduling conflicts combined with lack of facility space and late evening time slots seem to be the only things that get in the way of the intramural program.

“We haven’t had any major problems,” Darling said. “There’s good sportsmanship overall. It does get pretty competitive but it’s all for the T-shirt.”