Intramural sports adapts with the pandemic
by Colin Monahan
In this new and unique time of COVID-19, finding time to stay active, social and relax has only gotten more difficult. Adapting to these newfound difficulties and having to follow various COVID-19 guidelines, Rider Recreation Programs looks to offer new and interesting ways to hit those criteria through their Intramurals or IMLeagues programs.
To join is simple. Students can sign up with their Rider email address at IMLeagues.com to create an account, then click register. Here, the website will provide you with the entire list of programs offered. From there, a person can pick an activity and join a team or create their own.
With the onset of COVID-19, almost all but professional sports ceased. Given the guidelines that have been put in place by New Jersey, Rider University and the United States, the program has started to push for alternative programming.
Instead of large team or contact sports that the program has offered in the past like flag football, basketball and floor hockey, they are now focused on one vs. one sports such as cornhole, tennis, badminton, KanJam and a softball home run derby. All of these sports can be socially distant and spaced out but still get people active and having fun.
“I think that as of right now they are implementing all of the activities that they are able to, given the current campus guidelines,” said junior business analytics major Kevin Buckland.
In addition to these physical sports, since the start of the pandemic, the program started offering various video game leagues including Madden, NBA 2K, Rocket League, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and FIFA, all often offering gift cards for winners.
Due to the online nature of these games, even those not on campus or in the state are welcome to participate as long as they have a copy of the intended game and an internet connection.
Junior accounting major Cory Mayo has taken part in many of the sports offered through the program such as cornhole, badminton, KanJam and NBA 2K League.
For him, intramural sports offered through IMLeagues are “a great way to let loose and not have to worry about the stress of school” and “hang out with friends and meet new people.”
For Buckland, it’s a similar situation. During the semester he has participated in the badminton and cornhole tournaments, with cornhole being his favorite.
“I think that it is a fun break from the stresses of the semester and it has been an even more welcome break this semester,” Buckland said.
With a lot of programs forced to move online or change how they approach them back in March, IMLeagues was very quick to jump onto the virtual leagues game. It began doing trials of Jackbox Game Nights, Bronc Trivia and other video game leagues.
Even with all the programs being offered at this time, many are hoping for the eventual return to standard sporting affairs.
“I was really looking forward to playing softball last spring and I hope they can bring that back. I know Theta Chi Fraternity was looking forward to going for the three peat in softball,” Mayo said.
He hopes the program can also offer handball again soon as well.