Although intramurals at Mount Allison have been run imperfectly in the past, they have been consistently maintained and have been enjoyed by participants. However, this fall, the quality of intramural sports and overall organization were at an all-time low. Usually you’ll hear a few complaints about unqualified referees, teams picking up ineligible players and even a few potentially dangerous situations. However, this year saw all of these issues and more, including scheduling issues worse than we’ve ever seen.
With the retirement of Janet Robinson, the previous Manager of Athletics, the role had to be filled by someone new. Part of this job is to organize intramurals for students at Mt. A. Organizing schedules for multiple sports is not necessarily an easy task, but this year’s scheduling had many flaws that frustrated students who were used to the consistent organization of intramurals in the past.
The 2016 softball schedule read that the playoffs would be on Oct. 6, 9, and 11. Presumably, booking the Sackville baseball diamond in October should take just a simple phone call, however, this did not happen. An email was sent out on the morning of Nov. 1 announcing that softball playoffs would take place that night. The playoffs were organized last-minute and weeks after the original schedule started in order to be finished prior to reading week.
“It’s rare that you see a slow-pitch softball game in November,” said Charlie Moores, a member of the winning team. Moores said that if the final had to be described in one word, it would have to be “freezing.” The timing of the softball playoffs resulted in an uncomfortable game, with both teams wanting to get it over with as quickly as possible.
Intramural soccer faced similar issues when its intramural season was pushed back by weeks. For intramural soccer, some less-than-thrilling November playoff games took place, with two semi-finals played on Nov. 1—conflicting with softball playoffs—and then a rainy final on Nov. 2 at a temperature close to zero degrees. The referee bundled up in full rain gear and carried an umbrella as he strolled across the field.
Following Thanksgiving, there is always a huge pump-up for intramural hockey. Unfortunately, the schedule was not sent out until Oct. 31. Intramural hockey has always been played from Sunday to Thursday at 11 p.m., so scheduling issues shouldn’t have been a problem. It would only have been a matter of scratching out last year’s team names and putting in the new ones in a timely manner so that every team could have played more than three games before winter break. Again, this did not happen and has resulted in frustrated students.
Flag football was never organized or advertised this year. Many students were confused when they heard that it was “too late” to set up a flag football league. There was no effort put into setting up this very common and enjoyable fall intramural sport. It was simply ignored by organizers at the start of the semester and therefore was never put on for students to enjoy.
Intramural sports are an important aspect of campus life for many students. Those in residence often gain a stronger connection with teammates through the sports they play, allowing them to feel more welcome in their new homes. Even off-campus students benefit from these connections and extra bonding time with friends, as intramural sports are a good source of exercise and fun without a large time commitment.
Almost every intramural representative and team captain you ask will tell you that they sent countless emails to try and determine when sign-up dates and rescheduled games would take place. These were often not answered, causing extreme frustration among all of those volunteering their time as intramural leaders for their teams and residences. Intramural sports did not flow as expected this fall and certainly did not compare to the past.
I, along with many others, are hoping for a big turnaround next intramural season, with an organized schedule and no more forgotten sports. Good luck to everyone playing, and may the best team win.