Tue. Dec 1st, 2020

The Blue & Gray Press

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Intramural sports begin in-person games

3 min read
picture of volleyball athletes

Students playing beach volleyball before the start of pandemic. | Brittanie Naff

By: Nick Nammack

This week Intramural Sports are back and are looking for more people to participate.

Campus Recreation decided that it was unfair to allow varsity teams to continue practicing while other organizations were not allowed to do so, leading to the decision to begin allowing club sport teams to begin meeting in-person. Assuming that they will follow the guidelines put in place by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Campus Rec will limit the number of people attending intramural sports. This decision paved the way for intramural sports to reopen an adapted form to ensure the safety of participants and community members.

The two intramurals currently offered are two-on-two sand volleyball and soccer-tennis, which is similar to tennis but played by kicking a soccer ball over the net. Campus Rec is also planning on hosting a future 5k race and 10k race if Covid cases do not increase significantly. All fees for participating in intramurals have been waived for this semester.

For beach volleyball, only two players are allowed on the court at a time for each team, but teams are allowed a maximum of four. Masks are to be worn at all times while playing, and all players are required to use hand sanitizer before and after competing. Additionally, intramural games will be conducted tournament style, rather than having several games throughout the week. This will, theoretically, reduce the chance of spreading COVID-19, because players will only interact with one another for that specific day, rather than throughout the week.

“At first I was a little skeptical about [intramurals starting back up], but after learning about all the things that they’re doing to prevent Covid, I think I’m less worried about it now,” said junior psychology major Lily Stemberger. “I have a few friends who will be participating in the beach volleyball intramurals, and I will probably spectate.”

Spectating is open to students as long as they wear a mask and practice social distancing. Students must also not exceed the limit of ten people per pod in order to spectate, so it is important to reach out to participants and plan in order to properly follow the safety precautions set up by Campus Rec.

“It was hard to open up intramural sports,” said Kenya Carter, Intramural Sports student coordinator. “We tried to go along the same wavelengths as other schools with our varsity sports and sports clubs as well. We tried to think about the students’ safety and what we could and could not do. [We need to] enforce social distancing and make sure everyone stays safe.” 

Administration has set up numerous sanitization stations around the Campus Rec fields, which are located near the [Arrington] parking garage. All equipment is regularly sanitized by on-campus staff. Sanitization stations are also located near the Marshal Hill basketball court for club basketball and other students to use. Additionally, all participants in intramural events are required to wear a mask and maintain social distancing while playing. Groups or “pods” of no more than ten can be in any given area with the exception of the Campus Rec fields where two separate pods are allowed to practice at a time. However, the two pods are not allowed to interact with each other in any way to limit exposure.

“We would shut down in person activities, especially if the cases go up on campus. Right now [COVID-19 cases] have been pretty stagnant. [However,] if we see a huge increase because people stopped following social distancing then we would move strictly online like before. Safety is our first priority…we just want the students to be safe,” said graduate coordinator of Sport Clubs and Intramurals, Carolyn Rouse.

Any additional information about how UMW is handling the reintroduction of intramurals can be found on the Campus Recreation website or on the Intramurals tab found there. The Campus Recreation Instagram account (@umwcampusrec) posts regularly and can answer any questions that students may have via direct message.

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