By Erika Byler
Intramural sports are a long-running tradition at Bluffton University. They help students connect across campus through teamwork in several sports.
Students can compete in four sessions during the year, two per semester. Next spring will feature three-on-three basketball, pickle ball, indoor soccer, and indoor volleyball.
Tami Forbes, the chair of Education and Sport Science Division, said the winners from each sport are given a T-shirt to commemorate the event. This year’s shirts are grey.
“The value of an intramural T-shirt holds a lot of weight around here,” said Forbes, “One of our professors still has his intramural T-shirt from 1972.”
According to Forbes, the tradition of giving the winners T-shirts was started more than 35 years ago by a professor named Elaine Moyer.
Forbes said the excitement of intramural sports can lift the spirit of the entire campus. She recounted a particularly exciting game that happened in Founders Hall.
“The winning shot had three seconds to shoot, shot a three-pointer, and you would have thought he was a national hero around campus because of that shot,” said Forbes.
She also mentioned a more recent game that was exciting for her.
Colton Eby, junior, was in that game.
“Our last game we were seeded last, and we made a comeback to tie it up with very little time left in regulation and held the other off and went into two overtimes,” said Eby.
Eby said after that game he and his teammates were still sore several days later.
“We agreed that it was no longer intramural basketball and it felt like being on a real team again,” said Eby. He played basketball on his school’s team in high school.
Forbes said next year there will be a new option for students who aren’t as enthusiastic about sports.
The fall will feature several weeks of drop-in games. A new game will be played each week, and students will have a chance to win T-shirts each week.
The drop-in games will include corn hole, Spikeball, RampShot and a variety of other simple games.
“Drop-in sessions are designed so anyone can play, and it’s a way of getting to know other people,” said Forbes.
She said that one challenge was finding a way to include students who either do not enjoy traditional sports, or are athletes on campus and therefore not allowed to play intramurals due to the risk of injury.
Forbes said she hopes the smaller chance of injury will help bring a larger turnout of the games.
“This is a way for students to meet other people in a friendly, competitive atmosphere and to have a good time,” she said.
More information on intramural sports at Bluffton is available at bluffton.edu by clicking on Intramurals under the Athletics tab.