By CHRIS MARKHAM
For the average college student, a break from the day-to-day struggle of getting out of bed, going to class and doing way too much homework is much needed. Some students do this by reading a good book or watching Netflix. Some, however, sink canoes in the Goolrick Pool.
This year, Campus Recreation introduced an intramural sport never before seen at University of Mary Washington: Battleship.
“The IM Sports staff was excited to bring Battleship to UMW this year,” said assistant director of Campus Recreation Daniel Gardner. “UMW Campus Recreation monitors national trends in collegiate recreation to bring innovative programming to the UMW community.”
In Battleship, teams of four students paddle in their respective canoes and are faced with the task of dumping as much water in opposing canoes as possible without leaving their canoes.
It is simple, fun and a great change of pace from traditional campus activities. The event took place over the course of a Sunday afternoon, and it was a big success with a wide variety of UMW students participating.
“New or non-traditional IM Sports programming is designed to appeal to a diversity of interests across campus,” said Gardner.
One of the more popular IM sports at UMW is flag football. Since there is no football team at UMW, students get their pigskin fix by competing in the fall semester flag football league.
According to Gardner, 40 teams registered for flag football last semester, which tied the record set in the fall of 2012 and 39 percent of flag football players were freshmen.
“We are excited that freshmen are connecting with the IM Sports program so early in their campus experience,” said Gardner.
Even faculty got in on the action when Vice President for Student Affairs Doug Searcy laced up his cleats.
“My favorite part of the Flag Football season was watching Dr. Searcy play for Honza in our Men’s and Co-Ed B leagues,” said Gardner.
Intramural sports at UMW are well run, competitive, fun and attract students of all different athletic levels.
Different levels of competition, such as “A” or “B” or Co-Ed leagues, make it possible for those who want to play hard to play against each other and those who just want to have fun to do so as well. This offers students benefits on a social level, as well as mental.
“Learning to play competitively and fairly is part of the growth process that students experience outside the classroom,” said Gardner. “There is a great benefit, regardless of major/minor, in learning how to manage emotions and relationships with others over time.”
Intramural sports provide students with the opportunity to meet new people, stay healthy, practice teamwork and find motivation outside of the classroom.
“Playing IM Sports was the best thing I could have done as a freshman in college because I met people who became life-long friends,” said Gardner. “I got to blow off steam once a week playing sports, and found added motivation to be physically active and make healthy diet choices.”
Other intramural sports going on during the spring semester include basketball, badminton, soccer, bowling, cornhole, wiffle ball and beach volleyball. There is a wide variety of choices for students to choose from when searching for something to keep their mind off schoolwork.
“A wide array of IM Sports leagues, tournaments and special events provides programming that is accessible to the whole UMW community,” said Gardner.
As if there was not already enough incentive to participate in intramural sports, the champion of each league receives a championship t-shirt, so one can boast their glory.
“UMW students should get fired up about competing and winning that shirt too; but remember, the prize is found in the journey,” Gardner said.