In addition to UAA’s successful division I and II sports, the university also implements and promotes a successful program of intramural sports. Since many students like having opportunities to stay active and be social outside of class, there are many sports that are offered and many ways to join and stay active.
The sports range from flag football, basketball, volleyball, indoor soccer, broomball, hockey, inner tube water polo to special events that take place randomly throughout the school year. All of these sports are coed, which many of the participants enjoy because it gives the games a more competitive appeal.
Participants such as Eric Barragan, a sophomore in biological science at UAA, who competed in intramural soccer, enjoys the fact that all the sports incorporate a standard minimum of how many males and females can be on one team. Basketball specifically requires that each team must have six members overall, but there must be a minimum ratio of three males to one female.
Other sports that implement that same policy include basketball and volleyball, whereas the other sports require more than one female on the starting line up.
The intramural sports at UAA and most other public universities instill similar gender equality policies such as the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The NCAA requires an equal number of female and male teams in each division at each university, similar to that, UAA requires each intramural team to have general equality rules to make sure everything stays fair.
Other students enjoy the coed aspect as well, such as Michael Giles, a culinary arts major at UAA. Giles plays on the “Aurora” team in basketball.
“It definitely makes [the game] more fun and more exciting,” he said.
Giles’ team is a mix of five males and three females. However, players such as Giles and many others don’t just play in intramurals to have fun but also to help stay active during the long Alaska winters. He admitted that there is always the option to work out individually, but the intramurals at UAA provide a good outlet for many students.
“This is my third-semester doing intramurals and the reason I got into it was to stay in shape while in college because I was no longer doing school related sports competitively. UAA definitely does provide a good intramural program, but like any program, it’s not perfect and has its flaws, but I think they do a good job and it’s a successful program,” Giles said.
As far as flaws in the program, other athletes find that the facilities for specific sports aren’t ideal. Barragan, from indoor soccer, voiced that it would be more enjoyable if the games would have available turf to play on rather than the gym floors.
“Playing soccer on the gym floors definitely isn’t the best, but I don’t see how or where there would be any turf to play on. Also, the referees aren’t the best [which makes it difficult to play], but it’s still worth it,” Barragan said.
Barragan isn’t the first to notice that some of the referees aren’t the best option for some sports, but it has never been a large problem in the UAA intramural program.
Regardless of any differences or flaws that the program has, intramural sports is a healthy way to get out and stay active while also being social and staying involved on campus.