Intramurals: Ready, set, throw

Alex Halsted

As fall classes continue on, students at Iowa State are just beginning their season on the intramural fields.

On Monday, intramural flag football, run by ISU Recreation Services, kicked off with 253 teams signed up. Each team consists of at least seven players and most have several extras. With those numbers, the intramural department expects more than 2,800 students to compete on the fields this fall.

Funded by student fees, intramural football carries no additional costs, allowing many students to participate. There are three different skill levels offered by Rec Services including competitive, intermediate and recreational, meaning students can take part with or without prior experience.

“We believe everybody should have the chance to play regardless of skill level,” said Nathan Pick, intramural coordinator. “Whether they played a lot in high school or whether they’ve never played at all, we want to get everybody involved if they want to play.”

Both men and women have the opportunity to take part in flag football in a variety of different leagues. In all, there are four different divisions including one for women, fraternities, resident halls and an independent league for teams outside of those groups.

Pick said there are a variety of reasons that students choose to play, and added that the competitiveness of both teams and players varies in each skill level.

“I think people that sign up for the A and B [leagues] take it more serious and are more competitive about it, and people that sign up for the C and D divisions are probably there more to have fun, get out there and play and meet new people,” Pick said.

For Carla Tessmer, junior in event management, the decision to start a team with her friends was about getting involved in something new.

“We put a team together because it sounded like fun and we wanted to get involved and meet more people,” Tessmer said. “It’s just a good way to get out of the study mode, meet new people and have fun while you’re doing it.”

Others, including David Parkinson, junior in history, do it to remain competitive in a sport they love.

“A lot of us played college sports and then we transferred into Iowa State, and we just kind of miss football,” Parkinson said.

All teams are guaranteed of playing at least three games during the flag football season. The season begins with each team playing two preliminary games and at least one game in the single-elimination tournament.

As teams advance through the tournament — where they can reach a total of eight games on the season by arriving in the championship — one referee said they tend to come closer.

“As the season and tournaments go on, they get closer friendships and they definitely work together as a team,” said referee Andrew Giesemann, senior in agricultural business. “It’s kind of cool to see.”

Preliminary games will run through September, and on Oct. 3 tournaments will begin, allowing many students to earn an honor of their own.

While students play for different reasons, many agreed that the ultimate goal is to receive one of the rare and highly coveted intramural champion T-shirts.

“That’s the Cy-Hawk trophy out here for us,” Parkinson said. “That’s the big deal.”

Those shirts will arrive on the backs of intramural champions later this fall.