The UW-River Falls intramural staff has had to get creative this year as the weather has affected the spring sports seasons: softball and ultimate Frisbee.
“We have had weekly meetings to discuss what to do with the seasons. Softball is going to be having a week of games and then a weekend tournament for co-ed and then the week after the men and women’s leagues will have the same thing,” said Skyler Harmon, student intramural coordinator. “Ultimate Frisbee is being played in Hunt Arena in an arena style of play.”
Harmon said numbers have continued to grow this year with more marketing under a new staff. Softball has seen more teams then ever, which is why Harmon knows how important it is to make sure games will be played.
Bethany Sommerfeldt, a sophomore at UWRF, said it is disappointing not to be able to have a full softball season.
“Being a captain was a lot of hard work. Making sure we have a team and getting everyone to register, so I appreciate the work of the staff, despite the weather, to ensure we will at least get some games and in planning the tournament,” Sommerfeldt said.
The intramural program at UWRF had 1,445 students registered in at least one of the eight different sporting seasons or in one of the six tournaments it has offered this school year, according to IMleagues.com a website that UWRF intramurals uses for students to register.
Students currently pay a $9 segregated fee toward the intramural program regardless if they take part in every one of the activities offered or not, and a $4 segregated fee toward the intramural sporting complex, according to the UWRF website.
Other schools in the UW System run intramurals differently. UW-Stevens Point offers 17 intramural sports and UW-Stout offers many sports during both semesters, such as having basketball seasons in fall and spring along with softball, outdoor and indoor soccer, and other sports.
A reason for this is the UWRF intramural program only has one professional worker, Tiffany Gaulke, who works in three different areas in the Recreational and Sporting Facilities.
Harmon is the only person dedicated to the day to day running of the actual intramural program, and he does this on top of being a full time student.
“It is hard to compare our program to other schools in the area because those schools have professional staff while our program is student run” Harmon said.
Tanner Rognholt, a junior at UWRF, was on four intramural teams this year and has enjoyed participating in the program.
“The intramural program is really great. The refs are easy to get along with and are really nice. I have been doing intramurals since my freshman year and have enjoyed every second of it,” Rognholt said.
Harmon said that the refs are the backbone of the program and have been flexible in their schedules to ensure the seasons run smooth.
Moving forward, the intramural program is looking to keep slowly expanding, and are open to new ideas.
“We are looking into doing a hall cup between all the dorms as a challenge to see which dorms can get the most teams registered,” Harmon said.
Harmon also said the staff is looking into having an indoor ultimate Frisbee season in the fall based off the success that it has had this spring.
The intramural staff says it would not be able to run without student support and are open to any feedback. They have an input section on the UWRF website to take any comments.
“We are a customer service industry. We are here for the students and could not run without them,” Harmon said.
The intramural program has faced challenges this year, and especially this spring, but it continues to grow in numbers and for sure have made a lasting impact on one student.
“The intramural program is great because it gives me a chance to hang out with my friends during the week and take a break from school work,” Sommerfeldt said. “It has been a great part of my experience here at college.”