The University of Colorado Boulder has seen many stars pass through its fields and stadiums; from Chauncey Billups to Laviska Shenault Jr., CU is and was home to a host of stellar athletes. But with an undergraduate population of 30,000, only a fraction of student-athletes enjoy this level of fame and appreciation. However, for the rest of us whose D1 dreams died years ago, there is still a chance for recognition: intramurals.
CU offers the opportunity to play a wide variety of intramural sports, from basketball to broomball and everything in between. Beyond bragging rights and the respect received from winning, playing intramurals opens the door to a new community.
“Our main focus is to provide a fun and safe atmosphere for both participants and staff to interact,” said Assistant Director of Team Sports Danielle Mutz. “We give individuals the opportunity to be a part of a positive experience that not only provides them with an enjoyable physical outlet but also gives them a space to meet and interact with other students and build relationships.”
Freshman Maddie Wallace and her friends joined a coed intramural basketball team during their first semester at CU. Wallace called the experience memorable, making the transition to college fun and smooth.
“Joining the intramural basketball team totally changed my freshman year experience,” Wallace said. “I met so many amazing people through it, some of my best friends to this day. … It was just a really incredible opportunity to gain a sense of community here at CU.”
The relaxed environment of intramurals lets players focus on enjoying themselves. Unlike club sports, the commitment level is low, allowing games and practices to be fun activities rather than taxing time commitments.
“It was honestly just a fun, wholesome way to spend time with new people playing the sport you love,” Wallace said. “Even though our team never won a single game the entire season, it was more about the camaraderie and good times than the actual winning.”
Students have the option to create their own team or to join existing teams. CU provides assistance for finding people to form intramural teams.
“If you don’t necessarily have enough people to make a team nor know anyone with a current team, it can be a little more challenging,” Mutz said. “We try to assist with this by offering the CU Intramural Free Agents Facebook page which is actually very active and helpful at connecting individuals desiring to play intramurals.”
Intramurals at CU go beyond your typical high school sports such as basketball and volleyball. For those looking to try something new, the school offers a range of tournaments in less mainstream sports.
Mutz said that past tournaments have included bowling, wiffle ball, glow-in-the-dark ultimate frisbee, goalball, spikeball and backyard games.
Intramural sports also offer students the ability to combine their love for athletics and the need for a job, as intramurals are one of the largest employers of students on campus. Students can get involved with this side of the CU community through coaching, playing or officiating.
“Everyone’s a winner in intramural sports,” Wallace said.
Students can register an intramural team online or sign up at the intramural desk in the Rec.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Ellie Jeffries at firstname.lastname@example.org.