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Monday, June 17
The Indiana Daily Student


Intramurals provide outlet for students

Sports already plays a large part in many IU students' lives; ranging from football tailgating parties to dressing up or painting yourself with as much cream and crimson as possible. \nFor many, being a spectator is the full extent sports plays in a person\'s life. But there is a place where the student doesn\'t just have to watch the game, but rather is in the game -- Recreational Sports located in the HPER and the SRSC.\nThere is a wide range of activities for any student to participate in. IU Rec Sports department has popular sports such basketball and flag football, but offers niche sports, such as table tennis and euchre for men and women. Events and leagues are held in both the fall and spring semesters. \nThroughout the year, there are 24 different sports; giving students various opportunities to compete. Josh Downing, coordinator of Recreational Sports, said there is no discrimination concerning who can participate in activities, adding that there is no age requirement for competitors.\n"Any IU student with a valid ID can participate," Downing said. \nMajor sports like basketball, soccer and tennis are played in multiple formats. Basketball has events like three on three and "Basketball Bonanza," along with multiple five on five tournaments.\nThese tournaments bring in a wide range of student athletes and people looking for something to do. Whether you are in a fraternity or a sorority, undergraduate or working towards a doctorate, you can get involved with a recreational sport.\n"I think there\'s kind of a misperception that it\'s only fraternities and sororities that are playing," assistant director of club sports and intramurals Stacey Hall-Yannessa said. "Even in basketball, there\'s a lot more campus teams than fraternity and sorority teams." \nThe sheer size of the participation within recreational sports shows that fraternities and sororities could not be the only participants. According to Downing, there are about 25,000 total participants, including about 13,000-17,000 people competing in intramurals. \nIn order to combat such numbers, all sports are divided up into divisions, which keeps tournament skill levels fair. According to Kido, intramural competition has remained stable each year.\nWhile intramural participation has been consistent at IU, there is a different trend nationally for women. \n"Nationwide, female participation has been dropping considerably," Kido said, adding that the cause is unknown.\nDowning said the national trend has not held true at IU, where female participation has stabilized.\nRecent changes within Recreational Sports include the switching of soccer and softball between fall and spring semesters. This change has created a fluctuation in the participation of these sports.\n"Softball dropped this year, because we moved to fall semester, to about 170 teams, dropped from 240" Hall-Yannessa said. \nRec Sports is sensitive to the concerns of the students. If there is a change that students feel is needed, such as roster additions, Rec Sports strives to accommodate the participants. \n"The students will give us feedback and we have a council of students who are participants and also employees," Hall-Yannessa said. "They\'re called the intramural sports council -- they provide us guidance on what types of sports students like or sometimes they\'ll even drop a sport that maybe are not as popular," \nRec Sports promotes good sportsmanship and provides an outlet for students to remain active. Kido said intramurals also promote a social atmosphere. \n"It's a good way to meet people and make friends"

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