Intramural Sports: Dodgeball

On Sept. 13, new and veteran student Dodgeball teams gathered to dodge, duck, dip, dive, and dodge as they kicked off the intramural sports season.

Every Monday through Thursday from 8 to 11 p.m., the 26 (15 coed and 11 men’s) registered teams of six meet at their designated times to compete on the recreation practice courts of the Athletic and Recreation Center.

“We normally start the year with dodgeball, and it’s usually very popular,” said junior and intramurals supervisor Alex Brylske.  “It brings together a lot of different parts of the community.”  Many athletic teams such as men’s lacrosse, SMUT, and the swim team represent themselves in intramurals, as well as other campus organizations.

Intramurals are popular on campus because they give all students a chance to learn a game while having fun, meeting new people, and not requiring prior experience , skill, or a huge commitment.

Even though intramurals are meant to be fun and relaxed, Brylske admitted that this year forfeiting has been an issue. “A lot of people are entering and just not showing up,” he said.

Senior and intramural supervisor Jackie Reymann agreed.  “Fun is what intramurals are about.  The best teams are the ones who have fun and don’t get mad at calls and show up all the time.”

Each game is timed for 25 minutes and is officiated by volunteer student referees, who are generally members of the men’s lacrosse or baseball team, according to Brylske.

Sophomore Thor Petersen, who is starting his second year on his intramural dodgeball team, said, “I just got a group of friends together, so we saw intramurals as a fun chance to get together.  It’s one of those games you don’t get to play as a real sport, only really in gym class, so it’s cool that you can come to college and play like this.”

Sophomore Hannah Rizkallah, who is also beginning her second year playing intramurals, said her favorite part is “how it’s just chill.  You can just show up and play,” she said.  Since Rizkallah is on the varsity swim team, she likes intramurals because they give her a chance to get involved in something other than swimming without a huge commitment.  “I like that there are no practices.  It makes it really easy and fun.”

The Dodgeball season’s playoffs begin this week. Other upcoming intramurals include floor hockey, volleyball, basketball, indoor soccer, flag football, and others.

College Intramurals Hosts Men’s and Co-ed Dodgeball Leagues

St. Mary’s students and faculty got to re-live their high school days with the College Intramurals-hosted Men’s and Co-ed Dodgeball Tournament, held from Oct. 19 to Nov. 4 to give the College community a way to enjoy the sport of dodgeball in a competitive but friendly, environment.

Thirty-one seven-person teams, consisting of men and women from the campus community, are competing against each other in the tournament, sponsored by Intramurals, following the end of the Badminton League and a one-day Capture the Flag event.

“I think it’s the best intramural sport so far this semester,” said sophomore Francisco Rodenzo, member of Co-Ed Team 8, “My Couch Pulls Out But I Don’t.” “I think dodgeball has been going really well.”
The 31 teams participating in the tournament, consisting of 23 Co-ed teams and eight Men’s teams, were organized into groups of four to six.

Each group of teams would compete with each other in an attempt to make it into the playoff games, to be held on Thursday, Nov. 4. The league runs 8-10:30 p.m. during normal league nights, and 8-11 p.m. on playoff night.

“We play for a total of five games,” said Rodenzo. “Each team will play with seven players, and three must be girls for the Co-ed league.”

Each match of dodgeball is played to the best three of five games, with the game win going to the team that eliminates all players on the opposing team. A player is declared out of the game if he or she is hit below the shoulder by a live ball (one that has not hit the ground and is thrown by an opposing team player), attempts to catch a ball but is unable to hold on to it, or throws a ball that is caught by an opposing team player.

Players aiming for opposing team players’ heads will be warned by the game official, and will be eliminated if the offense is repeated.

Players are only allowed to step out of a court to retrieve a ball, which they cannot hold for longer than ten seconds without throwing it. All players were also asked to wear athletic footwear, not wear dangling jewelry, and not bring alcohol to a match or be under the influence of alcohol during a match.

Consequences of breaking the policies of the tournament included a deduction in sportsmanship points (which could ultimately result in league ejection), match forfeiture, or immediate league ejection.
Each match is limited to a total of 25 minutes, and players must remain in a game without switching with other teammates, which prevents some teammates from entering the match until later games.

“It sucks that you can’t sub people in and out of the game,” said junior Mike Snow, also a participant in the league. “It gives less playing time for everyone.”

As in other Intramural leagues, prizes will be awarded to playoff winners. “Playoffs start this Thursday, and we will have a winner from Co-ed and Men’s,” said Brooke Austin, senior supervisor of Intramurals. “Champions will each get a T-shirt.”

The Dodgeball Tournament ends on Nov. 4, and is followed by a one-day round-robin flag football tournament, scheduled for Nov. 6.

Intramurals Hosts Men’s and Co-Ed Badminton Tournament

St. Mary’s students worked in teams of two to hit shuttlecocks to each other for points in what turned out to be a very successful Men’s and Co-Ed Badminton Tournament, hosted by Intramurals during the weeks of Oct 8 and 15.

Beginning Oct. 5 with matches for both leagues at 8 p.m. in the Michael P. O’Brien Athletics and Recreation Center gymnasium, the badminton tournament saw over 140 participants and was held until 11 p.m. each night Oct. 5-7 and 12-13.

Intramurals, in charge of non-varsity events throughout the year, sponsored the event.

Both leagues were divided into groups (eight for Men’s and 11 for Co-Ed), each with three or four teams. While only two athletes would be on the court at a time (with at least one female player on the court at all times for Co-Ed teams), registered teams could have up to four players that could exchange into a game throughout the match.

Each team would play two matches each night against other teams in their designated group, after which the top-scoring teams in each group would face each other in a tournament the following week.

Each match was limited to 30 minutes and consisted of three games to 15 points, leaving the winning title to the team that won two of the three games. Fifteen minutes were allocated to each of the first two games, in which a team would only win by scoring 15 points with at least a two-point lead.

“The games were pretty fun,” said Travis Lear, a member of the Men’s Group F team #23. “Most games had a laid-back atmosphere, except for some with conspicuous competition.”

In badminton, each team of two players attempts to hit the shuttlecock, a rubber ball with a plastic, netted, cone-shaped tail, onto the opposing team’s court on or inside the boundaries to score a point.

Scoring teams maintain the right to serve the shuttlecock, also called a birdie, to the opposing team, and alternate between left and right sides of the court for each subsequent serve. Faulting the serve, either by hitting the shuttlecock out of bounds or into the net or other players, results in a second serve attempt, after which another fault will award the opposing team the right to serve.

Each side of the court can only hit the birdie once, and only the serving team can score a point.

As part of College Intramurals policy, participants and spectators were prohibited from bringing alcoholic substances to the tournament, and athletes were asked to wear non-marking athletic footwear.

To encourage sportsmanlike conduct, Intramurals also introduced sportsmanship points to each team during the start of the tournament, a way to ensure appropriate behavior on the courts without influencing team scores during matches.

“Each team has ten points at the beginning for good sportsmanship, and if you do anything unsportsman-like, points are taken away,” said Jess Riesett, another student participating in the tournament. “If you lose all points, you are automatically ejected from the game.”

According to the sportsmanship regulations, athletes would lose one point for Level One Infractions, three points for Level Two Penalties,and seven points for Level Three Ejections, after which that athlete’s team would be forced to forfeit their league membership.

A sportsmanship rating of less than seven (at least a Level Two Penalty) would force the offending team to forfeit the game currently being played.

The tournament ended on Oct. 13 after two final matches, one for each league. Seniors Colin Gload and Christopher Becraft (of team Gload) bested Alex Lykens and Andrew Reighart (of team Bear Force One) in what turned out to be an intense final round for the men’s league, while the Co-Ed league title was taken by team Loko (with players Mike Victory and Pui Sham) after a close match against Bear Force One (with Reighart and Joanna Purich).

Prizes were awarded to winning teams from both leagues.

“We had winners from each league,” said Intramural Sports senior supervisor Brooke Austin. “Both [teams] received pint glasses.”

Having hosted a Capture the Flag event on Oct. 15, Intramurals is preparing to host a dodgeball tournament, again with Men’s and Co-Ed leagues, from Oct. 18 to Nov. 1.

Club Spotlight: College Intramural Sports

Floor hockey, one of the College Intramurals league events from last year, had nearly 55 participating teams in the competitive and recreational leagues.  The event will return this year, along with other returning sports events including Capture the Flag and dodgeball. (Photo by Kevin Baier)
Floor hockey, one of the College Intramurals league events from last year, had nearly 55 participating teams in the competitive and recreational leagues. The event will return this year, along with other returning sports events including Capture the Flag and dodgeball. (Photo by Kevin Baier)

Beginning with a modified version of kickball this month, the St. Mary’s Intramural Sports are officially starting their sports-spanning season, representing the College’s values of good sportsmanship, earning free stuff, and having a fun time.

Intramurals has risen in popularity over the past few years, gaining enrollment from its true beginnings in the 1990s for offering a wide range of activities representative of the College’s diversity of ideas and interests. From volleyball, to five-kilometer Turkey Races, Intramurals has several programs in which students can engage, whether or not they are competitive in the activity. With the varying levels of complexity, small time commitments, and mostly evening times, the activities fit the needs of a wide range of students and faculty.

Intramurals is beginning the Fall of 2010-2011 with Matball, an alternative form of volleyball played inside the Michael P. O’Brien Athletics and Recreation Center basketball courts. Students and faculty members can form teams by sending in rosters to Intramurals@smcm.edu, or by posting on the St. Mary’s Intramurals Facebook page.
The organization itself is making a few changes for this year, including a transition from three-week leagues to smaller events to better adjust for student time commitments and activity feasibility.

“We’re planning on short, weekend-long events,” said Brooke Austin, a senior supervisor of St. Mary’s College of Maryland Intramural Sports, “to get a lot of people participating and having fun.”

To aid in student participation, Intramurals is still offering recreational and competitive leagues for sports-related events, offering a chance for novice players and experienced athletes to both enjoy the activities. While College athletes cannot compete in the recreational league of their sport, novice players are free to play in either league for the winning prize.

“[The events are] not intimidating,” said Caitlin Kennedy, a sophomore supervisor with Intramurals. “You don’t have to be good.”

While t-shirts with the year’s Intramurals theme are given to the winning teams of the event, be they competitive or recreational leagues, Austin has also mentioned “a new incentive” for this year’s Matball winners. Other confidential information, including this year’s theme, will be posted on the Intramurals bulletin board in the ARC and announced during this year’s events.

Some returning events for the club include dodgeball, floor hockey, badminton, and, of course, Capture the Flag, which has boosted the popularity of Intramurals over the past few years with consistently high turnout rates.

“So many people love playing intramurals,” said Jackie Reymann, a junior supervisor with Intramurals. “And, you can join [the event] without a team. We’re on Facebook, so you can join as a friend to find a team.”

Upcoming events include this September’s Matball league and Capture the Flag, which will be on Oct. 1.