Intramural Basketball Season Tip-Off

The Georgia State University Student Recreation Center isn’t just a place for pumping iron and video game tournaments; it’s a hub for a diverse range of activities, boasting numerous intramural sports leagues with easy access to students and faculty across each campus. As the spring semester reaches the midway point, the popular GSU intramural basketball league makes its return.


“When it comes to our five on five intramural basketball league here at Georgia State University, teams are able to sign up online,” Coordinator of Competitive Sports Matt Mendoza said. “It’s all free for students, faculty and staff associated with the university. You need anywhere from four to 15 players on your roster and you can sign up for men’s, women’s or co-rec leagues.”


The Competitive Sports program offers not only the opportunity for students to participate from the court, but from the sidelines as well. 


“We’re also offering official training,” Mendoza said. “We’re continuously looking for people who want to get engaged with the sport of basketball or other sports. No experience is necessary, so we take any skill set. You might be the world’s best official, you might have no idea how to officiate, but we’ll bring you into the family. What we do is go through a classroom setting and we’ll do different kinds of mechanics and drills. One of the benefits of working on campus and participating in intramural sports is that you can officiate and play in the sports too.”


While basketball is one of the most popular sports played at the student recreation center, the convenience of the location for participants to make it to their games is the cherry on top. 


“For us, it’s also a big sport because it is hosted here at the Atlanta campus,” Mendoza said. “For a lot of people, it’s easy for them to come from class or their dorm and come compete.”


In previous years, the basketball intramural league mimicked an NCAA basketball format, featuring two 20-minute halves. Mendoza and the staff are enthusiastic about tweaking the clock to enhance the atmosphere during the games.


“This year, what we’re excited to bring, is that we’re going to be transitioning to four quarters,” Mendoza said. “That should give it more of that NBA type of play style. Definitely more breaks, which I’m sure participants would love to have. This also means more opportunities to strategize with your teams.”


As the sport gains traction around campus, the growing number of participants would also lead to more time to play, as the staff continues to find ways to fit every team into the schedule.


“As long as more people start to participate and keep signing up, one of the changes we’ll make is adding an additional day for people to play,” Mendoza said. “This would make it even more catered towards their schedule. We have a couple more changes, but I don’t want to spoil it so we’ll have to save it for the season.”


Along with this season’s improvements, the Competitive Sports program continues to demonstrate exceptional customer service, promoting to their employees what they call “selling a service”.


“For us, when it comes to sports, we’re always selling a service,” Mendoza said. “What that means is that anyone who walks through our competitive sports office, doors, or program, we always want to give them the best possible experience they can get.”


The competitive atmosphere mixed with the hospitality are two major reasons for the popularity of basketball intramurals. To Mendoza, it’s about more than just basketball.


“I love when teams are formed from free agents or when someone knows a friend of a friend, and they end up hitting it off,” Mendoza. “Then when they play in the league, I’ll see them together in the main gym, making new friendships. Basketball is a community and that’s the whole point of competitive sports. You might want to just play the sport and sign up as a free agent, but next thing you know, you have some friends and that helps you outside of the classroom. We’re always here to recreate and give participants the best experience possible.”


From Feb. 26 to Mar. 21, intramural basketball will be open to all students wanting to have fun on the court and meet plenty of other students. Even if you don’t play basketball, it is a fun experience for all students to watch.