Intramurals have been present on college campuses since the 19th century as a relaxed alternative to varsity athletics. The Beloit College Intramurals program plans to stick to the tradition of providing formally organized activities, games, and sports designed to meet the needs of the entire Beloit community.
There are two primary ways to be involved with intramurals on campus. The first is from a work-study standpoint, which includes becoming a coordinator, referee, or a scorekeeper. The other way to get involved is to be a participant and compete for championship t-shirts or ‘swag’ as Meredith Newman, intramural administrator and head women’s lacrosse coach, describes it.
“[Intramurals] are a way to stay healthy and active while being an outlet for life stressers,” says Newman. “The competition takes place in the Sports Center, which contributes to our overall goal of making the Sports Center more widely used by the greater student body rather than just athletes. This facility is here for everyone.”
The intramural program at Beloit is known for having a large social media presence - especially on Facebook. There is one drawback though: “We’re trying to reach the total Beloit College population, but not everyone is on Facebook,” Newman explains. “Essentially what we’ve turned to is BeloitLink.”
BeloitLink (B-Link) is a website that allows students to have access to all of the clubs and organizations, on campus events, updates – and all they need is their Beloit College username and password. This year, intramurals will use B-Link as their primary form of communication.
“We’re instituting a law that everyone must go through B-Link to be able to sign up for a sport,” says Newman. “All sport documents are on there including sign-ups, schedules, scores, and the new intramural handbook we’ve developed.” B-Link has a ‘wall’ and e-mail function that are similar to Facebook, and the intramural coordinators are in charge of keeping the site up to date.
The use of B-Link isn’t the only new aspect to Intramurals. Along with the addition of new sports such as flag football, Ping-Pong, kickball and badminton, the layout of more traditional intramural sports is also changing.
“We’re trying to mix up sports like volleyball and basketball between seasons and adding more single day events. Soccer is a little different too. They play pick-up in the Field House on Mondays and Thursdays, then after fall break there will be team competitions every Saturday,” said Newman.
Intramurals will also be hosting a dodgeball tournament on Oct. 28 and the final two teams will compete during halftime of the final football game.
Looking forward, Newman hopes that the program will continue to grow. “We’re trying to increase the board and part of that is offering a sport that students are looking for,” she said. Newman encourages students interested in becoming coordinators or if they have a suggestion for new activities. does she mean she encourages interested students to become coordinators and to submit suggestions?