Intramurals encourage sportsmanship

With a new season comes new sports, and John Brown University offers intramural sports for those not involved in University athletics.

As the intramural program has been created for a fun outlet to participate in sports, some students have had issues with intramurals being too competitive, or not competitive enough.

This year the program has enacted a sportsmanship rating system from 0-4. After each game every team gets rated for their sportsmanship, 4 being good sportsmanship and 0 being poor. Each team must have an average rating of 3 or below to compete in the playoffs.

Senior Nate Mace plays on a flag football team that is on their way to the playoffs this week. Mace commented on the intensity he has experienced during his participation in intramurals.

“I believe the sportsmanship rating system was created because, apparently in the past people have gotten too intense by swearing and starting fights,” Mace said.

“Last year there was almost a fist fight between two guys over an intramural basketball game,” Mace said. “This year on my team we have some competitive people on our team, but I think the system has tapered the tempers, because we have to get to the playoffs.”

Mace said the system is necessary for people taking the game too seriously, and he is happy for the opportunity to play football.

Julianna Shedd, junior family and human services major, is currently the team captain for her intramural flag football team and has experienced the intensity and competitiveness.

“I didn’t think I was a competitive person, until I started playing intramurals,” Shedd said. “When I know our team has a chance to win I get really competitive. Sometimes it gets too intense for me. People forget it’s just a game and that we are playing for fun.”

“Whenever people get upset on the field, I take it as a grain of salt, and I know that it’s easy to let peoples competiveness get to you,” Shedd said, “People get rough on the field, and I don’t think it’s necessary. I try my best to be competitive, but not lose my cool and remain happy.”

“There have been times refs have had to stop the games, when players need to cool down, but I try to keep our team in line,” Shedd said.

Growing up, Shedd attended a school that didn’t have sports, yet she played on YMCA soccer team. Since her arrival at John Brown, she has participated in every intramural sport that the University has to offer, with the exception of dodgeball and softball.

Shedd has played indoor soccer, outdoor soccer, flag football, basketball and volleyball. Her goal is to play every intramural sport.

“It’s a lot of fun, since that is the purpose of intramurals, and I get to play with my best friends,” Shedd said.

Freshman Anna MacLachlan joined an intramural flag football team with her friends and injured her back in the process.

“At first I wasn’t excited to play football, but once I got into it, it was awesome and we were able to play our hearts out,” MacLachlan said.

MacLachlan has played sports since ninth grade, including basketball, soccer and volleyball. She was captain of her volleyball team and was really excited to play sports at JBU.

“One girl smashed into me during a game, and I thought, ‘this isn’t tackle football,’” MacLachlan said. “But once people got physical we responded the same way. We’ve seen a girl get a bloody nose.”

“Even if you are just playing on the quad, people are going to get hurt, so I don’t think it is usually malicious when there are injuries,” MacLachlan said.