Angelina Burkholder | Echo
Intramurals is under new supervision this year, and the switch is bound to shake up some change.
In the past, intramurals functioned as an extension of the athletic department and were normally operated by a graduate assistant. This year, Taylor Athletics passed on the responsibility of intramurals to the Taylor Student Organization (TSO). With students running the very activity in which they participate, changes are already set in place to make intramurals more efficient.
Senior Heath Moser, a member of TSO and the new intramural director, holds a position with a lot of responsibility and a little creative freedom. As a senior in charge of student organization, Moser has the unique opportunity to put into play all the suggestions he hears from his peers while on the field.
"I love all the sports," Moser said. "I love playing them and it's the best way to make my ideas and inputs happen."
Moser isn't heading intramurals alone. Two coordinators, senior Tony Bellini and junior Tori Calderhead, will work with Moser to install new rules to the intramural network while helping Moser brainstorm about new ideas. All three are bringing their A-game to the process.
"Because it's student-run, we actually hear what other students want," Moser said. "It's a lot easier for us to hear about what people are complaining about, what they like and don't like."
Previously, teams were required to pay a $100 registration fee for their entire group. According to Moser, this system not only kept people from playing because of the high cost, but often left team captains scrambling to pull funds together at the last minute. In the past, some captains even paid out of their own pockets just to keep their team on the roster.
Beyond the high cost of intramural participation, teams were also allowed only to register up to 15 players.
"That hinders floor play," Moser said. "If there are 20 girls who want to play but only 15 can play, then you have to decide if you make two teams, or if some just don't play."
With the memory of those complications hanging around from last year, changing the financial system was one of the first items on TSO's goal list for intramurals. This year payment will take place online at imleagues.com, and the price is only $5 per player. Now each player is responsible for paying his or her own dues, and there is no limit of players per team.
All intramural teams will use imleague.com for registration throughout the year, but this website will offer more than a fancy payment shortcut. Schedules, rosters and game results will also be uploaded so all players have easy access to that information anytime.
Moser and his coordinators also have some long-term goals for intramurals. To encourage a more informed process, they hope to nominate a hall representative in each dorm to spread information on intramurals and adjust season schedules. Schedule changes will be made to include Friday night games, creating shorter seasons and avoiding overlap with other sports. In the long run, Moser is hoping for permission to use competition fields for championship games instead of just the practice fields.Those are just a few of their aspirations.
"I just want to run (intramurals) the best way possible to give students the best experience possible," Moser said.
And that good experience is already beginning. Football kicked off the season this past week with their first game on Monday. Soccer follows football in late fall, dodgeball will be played during J-term and spring semester will include volleyball, softball, basketball, tennis and ultimate frisbee.
Not everyone gets to play collegiate sports, but intramurals gives students who enjoy sports one last punch at the competitive world before graduation hits and the sports field gets traded for the workplace.
"This is our last chance to pretend we're still an athlete, still have fun and enjoy the sports we like," Moser said.
Although football sign-ups are already closed, soccer is right around the corner.