USD’s intramural teams are more than just an activity. For some students, it’s a unique way to bond through recreational and athletic competition.
Students have the opportunity to sign up and create a team for any of the 35 intramural sports USD offers with classmates and friends through ImLeagues.com.
Kyle Ochsner, a senior psychology major and intramural supervisor, said he prepares for each intramural season by focusing on properly training referees through a detailed process.
“Starting with basketball, we have a mandatory training night for everyone who officiates prior to the start of the season,” Ochsner said.
Ochsner said it’s important for incoming officials to get hands-on experience refereeing by simulating real game scenarios.
“On the last night of training we’ll walk through situations and have volunteers play a real semi-competitive game, but we’ll stop the game at certain times to talk about specific officiating details,” Ochsner said. “We try to get as in-depth as possible to create the best officials we can.”
Reed Overweg, a first-year criminal justice major and intramural basketball player, said intramural sports help unify and develop close friendships on campus.
“It’s a good way to grow with your friends and classmates by competing with each other, while enjoying the sports you like to play at the same time,” Overweg said. “It creates a tight bond with your friends and classmates as well.”
Connor Singhisen, assistant director of intramurals and sports clubs, said intramurals serve as an outlet for students to gain a sense of community within the campus and make lifelong friendships.
“They have the opportunity to put off homework for an hour and go do something active with their friends, make new friends, and maintain a level of physical activity that is important to establish as an adult, since they don’t have athletics to keep them active and in shape,” Singhisen said.
Singhisen said playing intramurals can improve academic success as well.
“Numerous studies have been done on the impact of recreation and how it affects students, and they have found that students who participate in recreation facilities on campus have higher GPAs,” he said.
USD students who played high school athletics don’t always have opportunities to play at the collegiate level.
While there are many different reasons students don’t play collegiate athletics, Ochsner said intramurals can fill a void for those who love the sports they competed in during high school.
“Some students who loved the sports they played in high school may not have been skilled enough to play at the collegiate level, so I think intramurals absolutely fills a void by allowing them to play in a structured and competitive sport,” Ochsner said.
Ochsner said USD intramurals offers varied competition levels, giving students the opportunity to choose which leagues they want to play in.
“There can be super competitive leagues where players get intense and our officials have to step in to enforce technical fouls, then there’s leagues where teams are just out there to have fun,” Ochsner said. “Regardless of the intensity level, the athletes are going to laugh and shake hands at the end of the game.”
Overweg enjoyed a successful football and track and field career in high school, but he said he feels the competition isn’t that far off of emulating what high school sports offered.
“Although it’s not the full-on experience of playing college athletics, the competition is good and most of all it’s fun to come out here and play with your college friends,” Overweg said.