In the midst of midterm season, the hardwood courts at Yates echo with the bouncing of basketballs and the chirping of fans. In the frozen tundra of post-winter break blues, Cooper Field at 9 p.m. on any given Wednesday night comes alive with the ripple of the soccer net.
It is not the prettiest of sights. It is not the most graceful of displays. And it certainly is not the highest level of competition. But, it is arguably the most fun.
Intramural sports at Georgetown represent more than just the four games that teams play against any given group of kids: groups and clubs like The Hoya, The Voice, Students of Georgetown, Inc. The Corp, Georgetown University College Republicans/Democrats, Hoya Blue, the International Relations Club — the list goes on. Whether it’s flag football and volleyball in the fall, basketball in the winter or soccer in the spring, intramural sports offer something that has been an integral part of a good number of people’s lives prior to Georgetown.
While I don’t have exact numbers, I would venture to say that the majority of Georgetown students played at least some level of sports at any point in their lives, if not at some competitive level in high school. Intramurals here offer some level of competition, and not just for people at the highest levels of skill for their respective sport. Anyone can play, and it is more fun when they do. Various kinds of leagues give students endless opportunities to relive their athletic glory days.
But it is also more than that. We often forget that athletes here at Georgetown are solely committed to one sport, and intramurals here are a way for them to play sports at which they may have also excelled in high school.
In all honesty, there are few things more exciting than watching Division I football players take the intramural basketball court and break out into what is effectively a dunk contest mid-game. I mean, maybe it’s just me, but I often forget that people who are 6-foot-6 and can jump to catch a pigskin can also usually dunk a basketball. I think most people do as well. But intramural sports are not all about those kinds of players or teams. They also are not all about just having a good time. They are a bit of everything.
Georgetown is a high-stress school, and earlier this year, I wrote a column about the stress culture around campus potentially impacting the decreased attendance at basketball games. And that is OK: Not everyone has the three or four hours out of their day or night to go to a Georgetown basketball game against, for example, Maryland Eastern Shore.
But sports are unequivocally a stress release. Nothing beats getting beat. Or beating another team. When we are with our friends and having a blast, it takes our minds away from school and honestly, how important are 45 minutes out of our days?
Sports here are often seen as a culture that people do not have time for, between everyone’s 15 club meetings, five 11-page papers, and three Superdays or summer internship interviews that somehow all fall on the same evening.
The thing about intramurals is that they are what you make of them. Take intramural sports as seriously as you want. There is a league for that. Take them as lightheartedlu as you want. There is a league for that as well.
There aren’t too many things about college in general that can be made into the experience you want, especially here at Georgetown. Not that it is a bad thing, but sometimes, it does not hurt to remember that there’s more to life than applications and interviews.
Isn’t college supposed to be a time to try new things and step out of your comfort zone? Maybe it is just me — and I am undoubtedly biased — but intramural sports can be exactly that; just remember to write the game times down in your agenda.
Paolo Santamaria is a sophomore in the College. This is the final appearance of Saxa Synergy this semester.
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