The life of a Fresno State student can sometimes get dull, especially with all the stress school and exams can bring. However, there are many ways to combat that stress on campus, especially if you enjoy playing sports, by joining an intramural sports team.
The Fresno State Student Recreation Center offers several activities for students to take part in during the semester, but one in particular allows students to play competitive sports against each other.
Intramural sports are team-based sports in which Fresno State students, faculty and staff may participate. Intramural consists of men’s, women’s, co-rec and open divisions.
Participants can create their own teams for each sport, sign up to a specific roster or enter as “free agents,” where they will be placed on a team according to their ability or will be drafted to a team.
Each sport plays in a championship-style season, in which every team has a chance to get to the championship game at the end of the season.
Craig Parichan, the intramural sports coordinator, said the sports are the competitive side of the recreation center.
The intramural sports are funded in part by the students’ health and wellness fees and by Associated Students, Inc., which adds funds to the intramural budget.
There are also fees each team has to pay for each season they play. But for students to play intramural sports, there are no fees.
More than just team sports are offered during the semester. There are also several tournaments, such as badminton, billiards and pingpong, among others.
However, the major sports that get the most participation are flag football, basketball, softball, indoor and outdoor soccer and volleyball.
Intramural also has different divisions of competitiveness, with the rec-league division being a league in which both men and women play on the same teams.
Division three, two and one are all based on the level of competitiveness in which participants want to play, with one being the highest level and three being the lowest.
Parichan said that there has been an increase in participation from students, especially the freshmen and sophomores who are participating.
“With this new system we have implemented, we can track the number [of participants] in a live spreadsheet, and we can see the trajectory going up,” Parichan said. “Hopefully, we can continue this pattern with the new sports and tournaments we are adding.”
According to Parichan, one of the most popular intramural sports that gets the most participants is basketball and the newly created Friday Night Volleyball League.
Students also have the opportunity to be hired as officials and court supervisors for each game and even get the chance to be trained by professional college-level officials, according to Parichan.
Parichan said that one of the biggest problems intramural sports faces is student engagement and getting the word out about the sports that are being played.
“We try and work around [student’s] schedules, but most of the time we really can’t,” Parichan said. “We try to gear [the program’s] attention toward the students so that they can come out here and play.”
More information about intramural sports can be found at the Student Recreation Center’s front desk or website.