Intramural Sports: A Culture of Competition

Are you mildly athletic? Did you peak in high school? Do you enjoy wearing white tube socks, sweatbands, and running shorts? If you can answer ‘yes’ to any of these questions, maybe you should be playing intramural sports at Colorado College. This athletic atmosphere offers a low-stress juxtaposition of the competitive and laid-back environment at CC. We work hard, but we play harder. CC offers a total of 14 intramural sports: soccer, indoor volleyball, flag football, dodgeball, ice hockey, basketball, broomball, racquetball, indoor futsal, squash, ping pong, inner tube water polo, ultimate frisbee, and softball.

The recent futsal champions pose for a photo. Courtesy of Chris Starr

Chris Starr, the Recreation and Fitness Center Director, identified outdoor soccer as, by numbers, CC’s most popular intramural sport. “You see the most skill in outdoor soccer,” she said. Starr highlighted how most students involved in intramurals play multiple sports. She has witnessed students running from one gym finishing futsal into the next to play basketball. “It is a well-run program with strong student supervisors,” Starr continued. “But really, it’s a reflection of you all as students.”

After asking around about the competitive environment of intramural sports at Colorado College, Starr agreed with Melanie Alexander, Assistant Director of Recreation and Fitness Center. “[Everyone] want[s] to be number one: the t-shirt, get their picture on the wall, in it to win it,” said Alexander. After being involved in IM programs from three big Division I schools, Alexander agrees that the “competitiveness is there. Everyone wants to win.” She continued to discuss how being at a smaller institution has felt “more organic,” and she appreciates the atmosphere created by students who truly want to play and be there. The Princeton Review has ranked Colorado College fourth on their annual “Everyone Plays Intramural Sports” list; a list where CC places annually. “There’s a comradery,” said Alexander. “I think it’s because everyone knows everyone here.” This smaller institution allows for students to enjoy competing against peers and creating friendships in the rink, arena, pool, or field, while staying competitive.

This year’s volleyball victors. Courtesy of Chris Starr

“It’s an environment where I can be competitive in the sport I love with little to no external pressure to succeed or perform,” said senior Lousia Mackenzie, who played on the intramural basketball team that won the 2015-2016 championship. Mackenzie previously played basketball competitively and currently plays on the varsity soccer team at CC. Intramural sports offer a chance for high school athletes to continue to compete in sports in which they succeeded (or did not succeed in) in high school. Grace Cooke, a sophomore, plays multiple intramural sports at CC. She was the captain of ‘Boomtown,’ the 2016-2017 IM volleyball champions. “I played IM volleyball this year because it has always been an important sport in my life,” said Cooke. “The IM environment here at CC is super fun, competitive, and a great way to meet and bond with new people.”

Competition takes on many forms. Whether you’re throwing on a speedo for inner tube water polo or strapping on (very clean and not stinky at all) ice hockey padding, the nature of IM sports at Colorado College is welcoming and offers an outlet for students to stay active, learn about a new sport, continue playing an old sport, or just dress up in flare. Plus, it keeps us on that Princeton Review list.

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