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UW-River Falls intramurals improve programs for students

September 26, 2014

The past two spring intramural seasons have been rough as weather has not cooperated, leading Recreation and Sport Facilities to make some adjustments this year.

The biggest change to this year’s intramural schedule is the slow pitch softball season, which has been moved to the fall. In years past, softball and ultimate Frisbee have always been played in the spring. Frisbee can be played indoors if need be, as well as soccer, which has been moved from fall to spring this year. However, softball cannot be played outside, which is why the change was made.

Broomball is another intramural sport taking on a little different look this year. In years past there has been a women’s broomball season in the fall semester and men’s broomball season in the spring. This year there will be both men’s and women’s offered both semesters.

Tiffany Gaulke, assistant director of recreation, said if a team wanted to compete in both semesters that they are working on giving a discounted price for the second season.

“It would kind of be like a buy one season of broomball, get the other half off,” Gaulke said.

Broomball games have historically always been played late at UW-River Falls and still will be this season, but Gaulke said they are making sure that no games will go past midnight this year.

One area of concern early on as the softball and flag football seasons have started is numbers. Typically campus recreation has seen a minimum of 30 percent of students enrolled in their leagues. They will be looking to get back up to that number as the year goes on.

“We did not get the numbers we expected right away but are hoping once students settle in and look to get involved on campus that we will see those numbers go up,” Gaulke said.

Intramurals have seen higher numbers in upperclassmen than the incoming freshmen, according to Gaulke. One way intramurals is hoping to get freshmen involved is by putting on the hall cup challenge. The idea of the challenge is to get students in the same dorm to team up together and compete against other dorms for points. Gaulke said they did not market the idea as much as they would have liked last year and hope to get it going strong this year.

When students do get started in intramurals they often stay throughout their time at UWRF. Nathan Reckard, a senior at UWRF, is a testament to that. He has played intramurals all four years and has tried almost every sport that is offered.

“Intramurals is a great way to have fun with friends and be competitive,” Reckard said. “That is one thing that I really miss from my high school days is competitive sports.”

Shirts are given away to the top team in each league. There are co-recreation leagues, recreational leagues and competitive leagues for each sport. Reckard said trying to win the shirt is enough incentive to provide friendly competition between the teams.

Registration for the one day kickball tournament is open until Oct. 1, which costs $15 per team. The first broomball season registration is open until Oct. 7, and volleyball is open until Oct. 14, costing $40 per team, according to imleagues. com, which is the site UWRF intramurals uses for all its registration and on updating teams of schedules and standings.

“Intramurals helps me relax, lower stress and keeps my competitive nature going,” Reckard said. “I would not enjoy college as much without them.”