Kalamazoo College’s intramural sports have been giving K students the opportunity to enjoy playing their favorite sport(s) without being selected for varsity teams, but the program faces new challenges this Winter Quarter.
Out of three IM sports planned to be offered in the winter, only IM Basketball has been ongoing this quarter. “There are no time blocks available [in the gymnasium]”, said Coach Lumumba Shabazz, Director of IM, when asked for the reason. “We had no choice.”
“We have more [intercollegiate] sports…that need space inside [the gymnasium], and all of them have precedence over IM,” explained Shabazz. Previously, Women’s Lacrosse and Men’s Baseball did not need gym time within Anderson Athletic Center. “From 6 pm to midnight, the gym is pretty packed.”
The recent extension of open gym-time hours did not benefit the IM efforts. “IM depends on core constituency of students being available to play at around the same time,” said Shabazz. “What [we] look for is a consistent time block where [we] can get the vast majority of students committed to playing.”
“Men’s basketball is the most popular IM sport in K,” confessed Shabazz, “[drawing] more students than volleyball and soccer.” IM forfeits are least in IM basketball. The IM basketball final is set for March 9th.
Many students were planning on participating in the IM volleyball tournament, and some expressed sorrow for the lost opportunity.
“If presented with the opportunity, I would love to play volleyball on an IM team,” said Edward Taylor ’13.
“I understood [why it was canceled], but I was still very upset because I definitely wanted to [play] IM volleyball,” said Aaron McKay ’13, who is also participating in IM basketball, when asked about the cancelation of IM volleyball.
“I have been enjoying [IM] basketball a lot,” said McKay. “Two things have been affecting IM basketball…the usage of the courts, and [the fact that] we can only play on Sundays around midnight.”
“We are going to experiment with having one or two more sports offerings, but within a shorter time period,” said Shabazz. Sand volleyball, the campus’ fastest man and woman, soccer and a campus 20v20 short cricket tournaments are some of the possibilities for future events.
Student initiatives to organize IM sports have been nonexistent, but Shabazz expressed his openness for suggestions. “We really want to see an interest be generated from [IMs],” he said.