Fall Club, Intramural Sports Start Out Strong

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Author: Riley Kimball

Last Saturday marked the first day of fall intramural sports at Occidental. Adding one new sport each, intramural and club sports are expanding rapidly with the incorporation of singles tennis and Quidditch, respectively. This year, there are 55 teams and over 500 registered participants in club and intramural sports.

These participants vary in athletic ability, but intramural sports give them the opportunity to get involved in athletics at Occidental. With so many new programs for this school year, virtually all skill sets will be incorporated in both club and intramural sports.

As part of a new program for 2011, Occidental intramurals have partnered with an online service called Athleague, to digitize and evolve athletic participation. On the website, students can sign up for teams, see schedules, compare statistics and read updates on scores or rain outs. The streamlined system has produced the largest intramural season yet.

Club sports, more competitive teams that play against other schools outside of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) sanctions, have also grown. Club sports have not only become more popular, but have been largely successful in their conquests. After a two-year provisional process, the Club Sports Council, made up of captains and representatives of each club team, voted unanimously to add Quidditch as an official club sport, which has become a popular sport on campus.

Intramural sports and club sports exist between the formality and competitiveness of varsity NCAA sports and the physical activity clubs that meet just a few times a week. Intramural sports are small leagues of teams composed entirely of Occidental students and staff.

“They’re a good way to play sports competitively, which I haven’t gotten to do since high school,” said Conrad Fihn (junior).

Club sports require a larger commitment and function much like varsity sports, but they practice slightly less often, exist outside of the NCAA and receive less money from Occidental.

“Club sports are amazing because you spend so much time over four years with the same team, and you get really close with a group of people” said Wes Goodman-Levy (senior), who plays club lacrosse in addition to a number of intramurals.

With the fall leagues just starting, Recreation Sports Manager Sae Woon Jo has already begun planning for the spring.

“We always get a few people requesting inner-tube water polo, so if that got a good response we could move forward with it. We’re also looking at dodgeball or kickball,” he said.

Jo added that student input will ultimately determine his decision, so anyone interested in these sports should express that to athletics.

The new spring sports will come in addition to the planned spring intramurals of soccer, 5-on-5 basketball, volleyball, team or doubles tennis and possibly outdoor court hockey.

Club sports will also see new offerings in the future. Jo has initiated the provisional stage for men’s volleyball and fencing, and if these teams can fund-raise and prove their abilities to maintain rosters after the founders graduate, they may be added as full club sports.  The aforementioned club sports would be added in addition to Occidental’s current eight offerings of men’s and women’s rugby, men’s and women’s ultimate frisbee, Quidditch, men’s lacrosse, cheerleading and dance.

Having doubled participation and expanded sports offerings considerably, Jo looks forward to the future of Occidental intramurals and club sports.

“We’re constantly trying to grow and evolve, to get better,” he said, “We’re incredibly excited to have so many people participating.”

The Intramural and Club sports are looking forward to playing games.

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