Iowa State offers many sports through intramurals and clubs

Image courtesy of the Sports Club Directory 

Brian Mozey

Whether it’s a national championship, a trophy or a prominent t-shirt, Iowa State Recreational Services has a team for every student at the university.

The department splits its services into two groups: club sports and intramurals. These two departments have become a popular place for students to join and become part of a team for an opportunity to win a championship.

Club sports are teams that are usually year-long commitments and will typically have one season of the year that’s the heart of their sport. For example, soccer has its season in the fall, while baseball is in the spring, but both teams still practice and scrimmage during their offseasons.

Intramurals are sports that range from basketball to curling to cards and are usually done within a matter of a couple of weeks. There are different levels of intramurals depending on how long a player has played the sport in the past and how much competition an individual wants to face.

“Club sports and intramurals might be different in certain aspects, but they both have the goal to introduce you to new people and make new friends,” sports clubs coordinator Landon Wolfe said. “Our overall goal with these programs is for you to have fun and enjoy the sport you’re participating in.”

Club sports are targeted to students that might have played the sport in high school or have a deep passion for the sport. The student is willing to spend all school year focused on that sport, but also compete at a high level.

Wolfe said many club sports teams are competing for national titles on a yearly basis, and that’s the expectation. Bobby Thompson, president of the Iowa State baseball club, expects his club to make the Club Baseball World Series each year, including this May.

Thompson has been part of the baseball club for three years and has loved every second of it. He has made trips to Florida for spring training, to road games all across the Midwest and to North Carolina for the World Series.

“This club has helped me meet people I would consider my best friends now,” Thompson said. “The nice part about clubs is you can combine both clubs and intramurals if you really want to.”

Thompson has participated in intramurals such as flag football, basketball, volleyball and soccer while playing on the baseball club team. It’s possible to do both, and he encourages it with his team.

Nathan Pick, the intramurals coordinator, said intramurals are a great way for new students to get together with their dorm floor and develop a friendship during their first couple of weeks of school.

Possibly the biggest reason why intramurals are so popular? The coveted t-shirt.

These t-shirts are given out only to intramural champions, and they are bragging rights while walking on campus. Along with traditions such as kissing under the Campanile and stepping around the Zodiac, winning an intramural t-shirt is also on the top of many students’ lists.

“We like to brag that we offer something for everybody,” Pick said. “We offer over 40 or so sports of different varieties and different skill levels. … It’s a great way to get to know more people and understand the great things about Iowa State University.”