Club sports should be given precedence over intermurals

El McCabe

Staff Writer

If I were to take a poll of the University’s student body, I would be willing to bet that at least 90 percent of students have played on a sports team at some point in their lives. Yet, only a small percentage of these individuals are actually able to compete on the Division I level, leaving many strong and experienced athletes missing competing and being a part of a team. As someone who played sports my whole life and competed on two varsity teams in high school, I was worried I would never get to experience organized sports again. Once I found out that the University had a club volleyball team, I was ecstatic.

At first everything on the volleyball team was going great. We would practice two times a week at reasonable hours and it was the perfect way to meet new people who shared a love for the game. After just a month of practicing, suddenly all the available gym times were booked for intramural sports games. We started attempting to practice at 10:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, but many of our team members were either asleep or studying at that point. Without the majority of the team present, it was hard to go over rotations, field two teams to scrimmage and learn how to play cohesively and consistently with one another. After numerous phone calls, meetings and complaints, our two co-captains fought tooth and nail with the sports administration for more reasonable gym times. To their dismay and our disappointment, no headway was made and as a result the women’s club volleyball team has not practiced since late November.

The fact that intramurals take precedence over club sports is absolutely ridiculous. Having been a part of two intramural teams this year (volleyball and basketball), I have witnessed firsthand how many teams simply fail to show up to games just because the members “don’t feel like it.” Just because intramurals affect a larger part of the student population, the teams that actually compete against other colleges should not fall by the wayside. Frankly, without practice time, it is nearly impossible for the club sports teams to stand a chance at tournaments and games. This past weekend, our club volleyball team competed at a tournament in Bloomsburg and came in last in our bracket simply because we hadn’t played in months.

The lack of available gym time is the sole reason why the University has so few club sports teams. People assume the lack of club teams is due to laziness and lack of interest, but this is hardly the case. Club sports attract students who have a passion for sports and want to compete on the collegiate level, but members get frustrated with the lack of help and support from the administration. Every once in a while new club sports teams will pop up with big hopes and aspirations, but sadly there is very little chance they will be able to compete competitively with no practice times. Please help break the cycle of the rising and falling of club sports teams and let the administration know that its policy is misguided. Hopefully then more club sports can be formed to bring sports back to the lives of many talented students.

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