RecSports sign-ups begin for fall semester

Flag football and indoor volleyball are the first two of four RecSports offered this fall.
Ana Stock / Graphic Designer

Students looking to participate in intramural sports can play flag football, indoor volleyball, soccer or basketball through the Student Recreation Center RecSports leagues.

Flag football and indoor volleyball seasons will be held earlier in the semester than soccer and basketball, so only one indoor and one outdoor league will play at once.

“The outdoor sports use the same fields, and we don’t want to take up all the courts inside,” RecSports Coordinator Joe Sloan said.

RecSports typically offers five sports each semester, but will not offer sand volleyball due to construction around its courts. The sport, which had its number of participants triple in spring 2011, will likely be offered again in summer 2012.

Although sand volleyball is the fastest-growing sport, soccer is consistently the most popular recreational sport with a couple hundred teams participating each season. RecSports lead Stanley Ruchalski attributes part of its popularity to MU's diverse student body.

“MU has a lot of students from abroad,” he said. “Soccer’s much bigger overseas, and many international students bring the game with them as part of their culture.”

He said the recent success of the women’s national team and the upcoming 2012 Summer Olympics have brought the sport into the spotlight.

Other than soccer, the basketball and flag football leagues have the most RecSports teams. Sloan suggests the volleyball league has fewer teams because of less exposure.

“Smaller schools don’t have men’s volleyball teams, so they don’t have experience,” he said. “Many continue to play what they played throughout their high school careers.”

Groups all throughout campus make up the Men’s Open, Women’s Open, and Co-Recreational Open divisions of each sport. Beta Upsilon Chi and the MU School of Law, among others, consistently enter teams. Each organization can have a maximum of two teams in each division for each sport, Sloan said.

Residence hall teams competed in a separate division in past seasons. This year, they will compete with other organizations in the open division.

Fraternities and sororities participate in Men’s Greek and Women’s Greek divisions. Unlike open divisions, chapters compete for points in playoff rounds. More sororities than fraternities participate in volleyball, though not all sororities enter teams. About fifty teams from the Greek Life community compete in flag football, soccer and basketball.

Because so many fraternity teams participate, each of the three sports has three subdivisions within the Men’s Greek division. The houses with the most points in each division move up, and the houses with the fewest points move down the next season. Although teams currently receive points for their wins, Sloan said RecSports is working on getting trophies for future division winners.

“The Greek league is more competitive,” Delta Tau Delta player Ben Courtois said. “People take a lot of pride in their fraternities, so it gets more heated on the field.”

Courtois, who plays indoor and sand volleyball, soccer and basketball for his chapter, considers RecSports an important part of Greek Life.

“It helps you get to know other guys, and it’s a good way to have a healthy competition after high school," Courtois said.

Ruchalski encourages both competitive and less competitive players to join a team.

“It’s definitely a great way to stay active and have fun with your friends,” he said.

Flag football registration started Aug. 23 and will continue on Aug. 25, 29 and 30. Indoor volleyball sign-ups begin Aug. 30 and will continue on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 and 6.

Soccer and basketball registrations will be held in early October.

All registrations will take place in the RecSports office, located next to Court 4 in the rec center. Office hours are from 6 to 10 p.m. except the last day of each registration, when it will be open from noon to 10 p.m.

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