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Intramurals still a safe way to play

Intramural sports will feature more individual than group sports this semester. Photo via Scout Archive.

With the ongoing pandemic, intramural sports remained a way for students to escape the stress of the new campus life. Scott Wood, the assistant director for campus recreation and athletic facilities programs, is determined to continue bringing the Bradley community that escape.

In the past, students have been offered a variety of activities like volleyball, flag football, softball and basketball to participate in – either individually or on teams. Sports that require a lot of contact, whether on the field or on the sidelines, are not being offered this semester. Instead, a variety of singles and doubles competitions were added to the schedule.

“We had a decent turnout with our outdoor basketball shooting contests,” Wood said. “Before quarantine shut down the school, I thought I had a very good turnout for our tennis singles with about 20 people signed up, about 40 teams for cornhole and about 20 teams for spikeball.”

Wood said he is committed to ensuring all students and staff are safe while also being able to participate in these extra events. To accomplish this, there are strict guidelines about who is playing where and when and time in-between games for staff to clean the equipment.

At first, athletes were required to wear a mask in any game they couldn’t be six feet apart from each other, but Wood said after this quarantine, he is going to require all participants to wear a mask at all times.

Since everything is going digital, Scott took advantage of the opportunity to implement esports. Students can register for a variety of online games such as Rocket League singles and doubles, FIFA, Hearthstone and Madden.

“We’re trying to get a good combination of esports and like traditional Xbox and PS4 games,” Wood said. “There’s just so many games out there. I’m just kind of putting our toes into it right now and seeing how it goes.”

The main thing Wood said he and his team are trying to accommodate is ensuring these intramural activities are enjoyable, not a task. He said students spend their whole day looking at screens and worrying about the added difficulties of the pandemic, and he wants everyone to continue to have this outlet to relax with.

“When I was at the outdoor basketball shooting match, people looked like they enjoyed just having something to do,” Wood said. “Just forgetting about class for a little bit, have some fun, take a break. So many students enjoy and need that stress reliever.”

Nate Massa, a junior music education major, has participated in coed and men’s volleyball and field hockey in the past. While it looks like these group sports may not be possible any time soon, he is open to any new individual opportunities he could have as a result.

“I’m not sure exactly what all I’d be able to do,” Massa said. “But I’m always looking for
something to do so I’m excited to see.”

If you’d like to get more involved with intramurals on campus, you can follow their Instagram and Facebook @BradleyCampusRec, or create an account at IMLeagues.com/Bradley. There, you can find daily virtual workouts and intramural sign-up deadlines.

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