RECREATION: Students can continue athletic careers through rec sports

More than 5,000 BSU students take part in intramural sports

Kristine Couch has played volleyball since she was 8 years old and didn't want to quit the sport when she started college.

Last spring, Couch, a junior at Ball State, and a friend started an intramural volleyball team.

Couch said participating on an intramural team helped her meet more people, become closer to existing friends and enjoy healthy competition.

"We had some really close matches where we took the other team to a third game," Couch said. "Those are always intense because both teams want to win."

Couch is one of more than 5,000 students on campus who participate in intramural sports, a number that is expected to increase greatly because of the new Student Recreation and Wellness Facility. With options including football, dodgeball, darts and soccer, there is likely something for everyone among the 35 intramural sports being offered this year.

Students can play against one another in intramural leagues or competition from other schools on sports clubs. Ball State is expected to have 28 sports clubs this school year, including soccer, baseball, water skiing and judo, according to Ball State's Recreation Services website.

Couch didn't participate in intramural sports until her sophomore year, she said, because she didn't know how to join. Intramural and club sports graduate assistant Nicholas Gonzalez said he hopes a newly renovated recreational center on campus will make intramural sports participation easier.

Students, faculty and alumni with a valid Ball State ID are eligible to participate in intramural sports. Gonzalez said he encourages all students to compete in intramural sports because they are an inexpensive and fun hobby.

"You can stay active in the sports that you played in high school or while you were a child," he said. "And you can try new sports for a minimal amount of money."

One example is basketball. If 10 people join a team, each player needs to pay $5 to participate. Some events, such as fantasy football, are free.

To join or start your own intramural team, Gonzalez suggests signing up at the new Ball State Recreation Center website (bsu.edu/recreation). For students new to campus or those who don't have enough people to start a team, Gonzalez recommended signing up to be drafted onto an existing team.

Students with questions can find answers at the Recreation Center, located next to Worthen Arena on the corner of Neely and McKinley avenues. Registration began Wednesday.

While sports such as football and basketball are the most popular on campus, Gonzalez said, lesser-known sports are gaining popularity.

"We're trying to do more to get people involved in our tournament sports, such as cornhole and sand volleyball," he said.


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