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Intramurals participation continues to grow
As the fall season of intramural sports gets under way, Mike Medina, the Assistant Athletic Director of Intramurals, says the number of teams and participants is up, and has been rising steadily in the three years he has been at Quinnipiac.
This fall drew a record number of soccer teams, with the university trying to accommodate 50 men’s, women’s and co-ed squads.
Not only has soccer noted an increase, but football has as well.
“Pretty much every sport is up and has been across the board since 2004,” Medina said.
The season began on Sept, 13 and will run until the end of this semester. Programs are six days a week until early November. Following this, programs will be five nights a week until the night before finals start in December.
Medina said that the overall enthusiasm among students for intramurals is a unique characteristic of the university.
“(Quinnipiac has) one of the highest participation rates in the northeast for the percentage of the student body that participates,” Medina said.
Last year nearly 4,400 roster spots were filled in intramurals. Medina is hopeful that this year will draw in at least 5,000 participants.
Quinnipiac tries to offer intramurals for every varsity sport the university has. There are 11 sports being offered this fall and 13 additional intramurals in the spring. Fall programs include soccer, football, field hockey, basketball, and tennis.
In addition to this, the school offers other sports not played at the varsity level. Dodgeball, ultimate frisbee, and kickball are among some of the popular non-traditional sports.
How do some of these obscure sports turn into intramural leagues?
“We look for programs that will grow so one day tournaments can become leagues in the future,” Medina said.
For example, a hockey tournament will be offered this spring at the TD Banknorth Sports Center. If there is a good turnout, it could eventually be offered as a league.
Intramural sports attract students for various reasons.
“It is one of the best ways students can have fun with their friends in a very social and competitive atmosphere,” Medina said. “Many students played varsity sports in high school but can’t play at the varsity level here. Intramurals allow them to continue their glory days.”
The program not only allows students to continue playing sports, it also lets them form new friendships with other students.
“A lot of times teams will play as a floor their freshman year but will keep that same team together all four years even when they are not living together,” Medina said. “It is interesting to see how intramurals get friends together and get them engaged with each other.”
Valentine Lysikatos, a junior public relations major, is a dedicated intramural participant.
“I started doing intramurals fall semester of my freshman year and have been playing every season since,” Lysikatos said. “I am always on the same team as my best friend Cassie but other teammates vary depending on the league and sport,” Lysikatos said.
Lysikatos has made some of her closest friends through intramurals. “Intramurals really bring people together,” Lysikatos said. “Cassie and I are best friends now and we weren’t until we started playing sports together.”