The whistle blows and the referee calls the ball out. Cries from the team erupt as the realization of the call begins to hit them. As arguments spark from both sides, players begin yelling back and forth at one another. The tension is high and a fight is brewing, while the ref struggles to maintain peace on both sides.
Although this scene sounds like a typical varsity game being played at any school around the country, it is actually a regular occurrence at a Quinnipiac intramural game. The amount of passion in each game can rival that of any varsity game.
Since all of Quinnipiac’s athletics are Division I, it can be hard for students to play sports they used to enjoy in high school. However, intramurals can fill the void that is left when students stop playing the sports they used to play competitively.
“The intensity level is high,” said Sam Robichaud, a junior legal studies and english double major, “Everybody is pouring sweat by the end of the game.”
Robichaud, who used to play varsity soccer, basketball and softball in high school, not only plays six different sports for intramurals, but also works there. Thus, she sees firsthand the intensity level students bring to the games.
There is a mentality that every game means something, which brings out competitive nature in its purest form. It is this mind-set that can at times lead to serious injuries.
“As a worker I have seen so many fights almost break out. I actually saw a kid break his arm playing Division I soccer once and that was only in the regular season,” Robichaud said.
As teams start to advance into the playoffs it can be hard to distinguish between an intramural player and Michael Jordan in the finals. The joking around ends and the significance of a playoff game rests heavily on players’ shoulders.
“The intensity level only increases as you go further into the season,” said Tyler Schuck, a junior health science studies major, who used to play varsity volleyball in high school. “The games become pretty much the same as a varsity game.”
Many students hold practices, make uniforms and warm up in specific ways to build unity among teammates. Additionally, there must also be a sense of responsibility within the team. Students have to find a way to maintain self-discipline and find a sense of purpose throughout the season.
“When your coach is like a drill sergeant, practices could become some of the most intense sessions, but here, you have to pump yourself up for a game. In college you’re on your own and intramurals reiterate that fact,” Shuck said.
Many students look at intramurals as a way to continue on with whatever sport they played in high school, but it can also be a way to try a new sport. With over 20 sports available, the opportunity to try something new is there.
“I picked up volleyball, Frisbee and dodgeball since I’ve been here. The surprising thing is how competitive the games can become, even though it’s the first time you’ve played the sport,” Robichaud said.
Whether it’s trying a sport for the first time or continuing on with a forgotten obsession, intramurals provide a competitive environment for students. But make sure to bring a first aid kit, just in case.