Iowa State intramural and club sports moving forward in the fall

Intramural basketball teams play each other on Oct. 8, 2014, at Lied Recreation Athletic Center for a tournament.

Megan Teske

As COVID-19 continues to ravage the country and leave question marks for colleges everywhere, the question of what will become of intramural and club sports at Iowa State remains up in the air.

At this point, both Iowa State intramurals and Iowa State sport clubs plan to have the normal full slate of sports in the upcoming school year, albeit with a few tweaks and changes here and there.

“We are moving forward with … everything that we normally would,” said Russell Jones, assistant director of intramurals with Recreation Services. “However, obviously all that could change depending on the COVID virus and things of that nature.”

Jones said they already canceled the 10 intramural sports planned for the summer due to no students being on campus.

Iowa State sport clubs also have a question mark on how the upcoming season will look, however, unlike intramurals, club sports at Iowa State also have a national governing body for each league similar to the NCAA that could also possibly be making the decisions for each club.

“There will be some things that will definitely come from Iowa State because we want to keep our students safe,” said Landon Wolfe, coordinator of sport clubs at Iowa State. “The national bodies, you could have the men’s and women’s volleyball clubs association have a different stance or policy on competitions and how they want competitions done in comparison to say the rugby clubs.”

The main concern for intramural sports and sport clubs is making sure students stay safe, and both organizations are still in the process of ensuring that happens while being able to move forward with games and competitions.

Jones said they plan on having hand sanitizer available in multiple locations as well as having new jerseys for each game and gloves for supervisors and referees. Jones also said they will watch to see what high schools and the NCAA are doing in the coming months to make more decisions.

One club on campus, Boxing Club, requires members to use multiple pieces of equipment such as headgear, wraps and gloves, and while Boxing Club Director Dean Kirkman said they encourage members to use their own equipment, sometimes members have to borrow equipment.

“In the past, we have a lot of gloves we hand out to boxers to use during the day, so we had them use hand sanitizer,” Kirkman said. “So we’re definitely going to look to use more sanitation with any equipment that gets handed out … definitely going to be on top of what we give to who and make sure it gets cleaned before it gets dispersed again.”

On Wednesday, Iowa State President Wendy Wintersteen sent out an email announcing the plan for a shorter semester that would begin a week earlier than anticipated and end the day before Thanksgiving.

A shorter semester could have many different effects on both intramural and club sports.

Jones said one intramural sport, the foosball tournament, will have to be canceled or pushed back. There is also the idea of moving some fall intramural sports back to spring, since typically the fall semester has more intramural sports than the spring semester.

Wolfe is also thinking about the possibility of shortening sport clubs’ schedules and how a shortened semester changes things.

“I could see the sport clubs’ seasons getting shortened as well this fall and ending sooner with national tournaments,” Wolfe said. “One that comes to mind is the men’s and women’s soccer clubs. Their season is usually from right when we get back, usually August through early November, and then their national tournament usually takes place in the middle of November down somewhere in the South… I could see them moving the entire season up a little bit or shortening the season.”

One club that doesn’t have to worry about the shortened semester is Boxing Club, since their national competition isn’t until March. Kirkman said during the fall semester, they usually only do in-house sparring and sometimes random travel trips.

While most questions regarding club and intramural sports still remain to be fully answered, there is no question as to whether the desire to have them is there.

“I know the students of Iowa State are fantastic and we love intramural sports, which I think is great,” Jones said. “There are about a third, so we’re talking about 15,000 students participating in intramurals throughout the year… but I do hope everybody is patient and willing to make some sacrifices to get us through this.”