Game on: Students can play intramural sports



The University Recreation Center. (Heesoo Yang/Staff Photographer)

By Alexandra Preusser

TCU is trying to make this semester as close to normal as possible by offering intramural sports.

Registration for sand volleyball and indoor soccer ended Aug. 25. About 60 teams signed up for sand volleyball and about 25 teams for indoor soccer, said Sheldon Tate, the assistant director of intramural sports.

The University Recreation Center is abiding by all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines as well as federal, state and local regulations to keep participants safe.

Unlike in previous years, players will have to wear masks during games unless they have underlying health conditions that would compromise their health, Tate said. The rec center staff has not received pushback for this rule.

There will be a socially distant check-in process, which includes a verbal checklist to ask participants if they have been experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, Tate said.

“We have revamped our forfeit and default policies. If you are not feeling well, we don’t want you to come in here. We are not going to penalize you for it.”

Sheldon Tate, the assistant director of intramural sports

The rec center staff is being flexible with scheduling and rescheduling games.

Another change is that spectators will not be allowed at indoor events. 

“We are mourning the loss of that temporarily, but we think it is a fair trade because, in order for us to have it, we can only have the people who need to be in the facility in the facility,” he said.

After the games, participants will exit through the Rickel side of the rec center, Tate said.

Indoor soccer games are played all day on Sundays with built-in times for cleaning in between matches, Tate said.

If students do not want to participate in the in-person intramural sports, the rec center has created virtual opportunities, including a fun run and a video game tournament.

Students who participate in the in-person events are taking advantage of the safe on-campus activity and taking notice of the protocols the intramural staff has put in place.

“My friends and I have been really impressed with how clear the new processes have been communicated from the intramural staff, especially because the rec center reservation system adoption has been difficult,” said Jack Sewell, who is playing sand volleyball. “The intramural staff has sent multiple emails guiding participants on where they enter, exit and wait to ensure social distancing in between games.”

For other students, this is an opportunity to play a sport they signed up for in the spring before students were sent home.

“We decided to play intramural sand volleyball because we were really excited about making a team and playing in spring, but then got sent home, so we were really excited to hear they were doing it,” said Sidney Smith, a junior interior design major.

Tate said the rec center is planning on offering intramural sports in the spring. The offerings will depend on how this semester goes and what the health guidelines are at the time.