Fall intramurals jump into high gear

Tie up those sneakers and get ready to jump for some rebounds. Grab your pigskin and work some passing drills. The fall 2013 intramural season is now upon us.

Every year, 3,200 students sign up for intramural sports. At roughly 10 percent of the student population, Georgia State’s intramural leagues are filled with plenty of competitive spirit.

Flag football, three-on-three basketball, indoor soccer and racquetball are now in full swing.

The season kicked off on Sept. 16 with the 330-person indoor soccer league. With three weeks of its season already gone, the playoff tournament is just right around the corner.

For each major sport, the regular season lasts about five weeks. Then, each sport holds a two week long playoff tournament to crown a champion.

Champions only receive a t-shirt, but it’s about much more than that to competitors.

Assistant director of intramurals at Georgia State Andy Hudgins said, “They take it very seriously. They know they’re playing for a t-shirt, but they still want to win and be the best on campus.”

The athletes are not shy with their competitiveness. They will show it when they disagree with a call.

“They’ll get angry if something doesn’t go their way,” Hudgins said. “All of the officials I have are students as well, so if student officials miss a call or something the players will get upset and they’ll let us know it.”

Flag football started its season on Sept. 22 with 420 people registered.

While flag football is the most popular sport during fall, basketball is the most popular intramural sport overall.

Three-on-three basketball is popular, but it’s on a much smaller scale. There are only 25 people playing basketball right now.

What makes it so popular is its spring season goes on around the same time as the annual NCAA tournament. During the spring there are often as many as 40 five-man teams.

Hudgins said, “I think basketball is more popular because it’s here on campus. Flag football is not on campus; it’s out in Decatur at our Panthersville facility. So that hurts football a little bit.”

Racquetball is a bit of dark horse sport during the fall, but it is seeing its best year ever with 22 students signed up.

Chris Toliver is a senior who has been involved with intramurals for a couple of years.

“Flag football is probably my favorite, but I play basketball, softball and dodgeball too,” Toliver said.

Intramurals are competitive but they’re also somewhat lax in terms of practicing, something Toliver enjoys.

“Depending on the sport we’ll practice a little bit,” said Toliver. “We will practice some with football and basketball, but softball and dodgeball are pretty laid back. We just kind of pick them up on gamedays.”

Intramural sports are a good opportunity for students to enjoy what they played growing up and in high school, and they also help students learn new sports.

Toliver played some football and basketball in high school, but he picked up softball and dodgeball when his friends decided to join.

Severe injuries in intramurals are not common, but sports do not exist without injuries.

“Very rarely do we have anything serious. We have a lot of sprained ankles and jammed fingers, and a couple of concussions but thank god we don’t have any major stuff,” Hudgins said. “But our staff is well trained. They’ve trained in CPR, first aid and with AED.”

Each sport has a men’s, women’s and co-ed league, so no one who wants to play should be excluded.

Volleyball has not begun, and registration ends on Oct. 28. Dodgeball also has its registration open until Oct. 30.

The table tennis tournament is a one-day event on Oct. 23, and registration is open until Oct. 21.

Registration and participation are completely free; they’re already covered by student fees.

If you’re interested in registering for one of the remaining sports, hop onto recreation.gsu.edu, find the intramurals link and sign up.