The arena smelled of musty old sweat. The man walked out to the middle of two teams at war. The bright green ball drops from his hands and on to the hard surface. One athletic warrior runs with the ball, tapping it with his feet. Thwap! The ball soars off his foot to the man in front of the yellow-checkered net. He reaches to grab the ball, barely missing it and it tangles in the net. GOAL!
This isn’t World Cup soccer. This is Castleton State College intramurals.
Intramural sports at Castleton are becoming more and more popular each year. Some students come out to play games for fun, other to compete at a high level.
“It doesn’t matter your talent, anyone can play intramurals,” student advisor, Judge Walters said.
For the late spring season, students can either play soccer or floor hockey. But throughout the year, several other sports are offered including basketball, dodge ball, kickball and softball, Walters said. With more students participating, Walters said he has been able to offer more sports and get new equipment this year.
Despite the just for fun mentality of some, students play hard every night to try to earn that W. They don’t play for trophies or conference championships, they play for pride and bragging rights and of course the championship T-shirt.
“This is place where people can step up their game. It’s a challenge for them. There is a real competitive edge playing intramurals,” Walters said.
Freshman Jason Gramling loves the competition.
“It’s pretty competitive, but fun at the same time. People play for the love of the game,” Gramling said.
It’s also a stress reliever, students say. It’s a place to get away from school and the homework for a little while. Walters opens the floor to anyone, regardless for age, sex or talent.
“This is my first semester playing and I’m having fun,” sophomore Jeremy Henderson said. “It’s nice to have that break from your work at night and go kick some butt in intramurals.”
And although there aren’t many, there are rules in intramurals. There is no drinking or drugs. There is also no fighting.
“I enforce all the rules. I have had to kick people out because I can smell alcohol on their breath. As far as fighting, I haven’t seen too much. The kids get real competitive though. I usually bring a Public Safety officer to the championship games because games can get out of hand sometimes,” Walters said.
Other minor rules include having no more than two varsity members on a team and for coed sports teams are requires to have at least two males and two females on each team.
In addition to your mainstream sports, intramurals students can partake in intramural swim night every Wednesday, which includes games like Marco Polo, dodge ball, or volleyball in the pool. Kickboxing was also offered this year for the first time.
And for the future, Walters is trying to add more sports to list. Ultimate Frisbee and flag football are among those he’s trying to add for next year. Flag football seems less likely than Frisbee though.
“I’ve asked Deanna (Tyson) about football and she has said no before. I think it might have to do with injuries,” Walters said.
With intramurals growing with more people and more sports, Walters has created quite a buzz around campus.
“It doesn’t matter who you are, just come out and play. It’s a place to just get away and have fun,” he said.