Nothing gets the school spirit pumping quite like competitive sports. However, competitive college sports aren’t for everyone, but that doesn’t mean that these more academically inclined students should miss out on the fun of physical activity. Intramural sports were first introduced at colleges in 1913, beginning with Ohio State University and the University of Michigan. These days, pretty much all colleges and universities offer a range of intramural sports. These teams typically don’t require try-outs and if they’re large enough, there will be teams separated out based on player’s skill level. Additionally, these teams don’t require much practice time and the games are played just for fun. Intramural sports can add an extra level of enjoyment to the college experience and offer a great way to keep the freshman fifteen at bay. Here’s what makes an intramural sports program one worth attending a school for.
Most intramural sports run just like competitive sports – during a certain season. Students who use intramural sports as a way to keep in shape or meet new people will want to find a school offering sports all four seasons – and sports specifically that interest them. Popular intramural sports include the regular sports such as basketball (men’s and women’s), baseball, softball, volleyball, swimming, running, gymnastics, and tennis. However, the best programs offer less popular sports such as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, swing dance, ultimate Frisbee, rowing, lacrosse, ice hockey, hurling, fencing, equestrian, and more.
Intramural sports are more fun and run smoothly when someone is in charge – at least to an extent. Thi could include referees at games which keep the play moving fairly, student-picked captains to make sure everyone has the game/practice schedule, and/or coaches. By having some type of formal leadership for the intramural sports teams, there’s a much higher chance that students will stick with their sports and enjoy the experience more.
Sports-centric universities are known for shelling out the big bucks for their competitive athletics – Louisiana State University along shelling out a whopping $102.27 million each year– and this means excellent sports facilities for intramural sports players to enjoy as well.
Below is the ranking of the best colleges for intramural sports. Colleges were vetted based on the number of intramural sports on their roster, the comprehensive qualities of team management and coaching, as well as surveys sent to current students which assessed how enjoyable intramural sports were to play at each school.
The Best Intramural Sports Schools:
Pacific Union College
Pacific Union College is an institution of higher learning that offers students an intramural program that is likely to give them many opportunities to stay active throughout the year. Athletic activities like co-ed softball, baseball, badminton, and others provide students with the opportunity to engage in extracurricular activities while they are attending classes at the college.
Grove City College
Grove City College gives students plenty of choices in terms of indoor and outdoor intramural sports that they can participate in. Past times like flag football, racquetball, basketball, and martial arts are likely to help students stay healthy and active. Other options such as kickball, dodgeball, or ultimate frisbee are likely to be recreational activities that many students might remember playing in high school.
University of Wisconsin – La Crosse
University of Wisconsin – La Crosse students pursuing their degrees can play as participants in intramural sports like badminton, wiffleball, indoor flag football, and other games while they are not in class. Being active in intramural sports at this university offers students the chance to try new things, have new experiences, and meet new people.
Brigham Young University – Idaho
Brigham Young University – Idaho provides students with the chance to participate in numerous coed recreational intramural sports throughout the school year. Intramural options like basketball, softball, tennis, and other games give students the opportunity to stay active and healthy while being competitive when they are not in the classroom.
California Baptist University
California Baptist University students can play coed intramural flag football, volleyball, and dodgeball during the fall semesters. Students interested in staying active during the spring can participate in soccer and basketball games. Activities like table tennis, beach volleyball, and billiards are also available; tournaments offer participants the chance to be competitive.
Anderson University – South Carolina
Anderson University students in South Carolina will find a multitude of different intramural sport options to choose from while they are attending classes at this university. Recreational games like softball, volleyball, basketball, and more all offer students the chance to be competitive and stay active while they are busy pursing their educational goals.
Colorado College gives students attending classes the opportunity to play unique intramural sports like inner tube water polo, futsal, and ice broomball. For those who might be interested in more conventional competitive sports, recreational activities like hockey, basketball, and soccer are available throughout the school year.
Franciscan Steubenville students who participate in intramural sports might not have the chance to play in front of a paying crowd, but they do have plenty of opportunity to spread their Catholic faith. Games like basketball, volleyball, and ultimate frisbee give students the chance to develop their social skills, meet new people, and stay active.
Cairn University offers students plenty of coed intramural sport options to choose from, and new games are often added to the list if enough students are interested in them. Recreational activities like flag football, billiards, and basketball provide students with plenty of opportunity to get out and stay active while furthering their educational goals at the university.
Miami University is one of the earliest institutions of higher learning to provide students with the opportunity to play intramural sports, and student who currently attend Miami University have plenty of opportunities to be active. Soccer, sand volleyball, and ultimate frisbee offer students with plenty of chances to get out from behind classroom desks and have new experiences.
Rice University provides students with the chance to join up to 462 intramural sports teams, and students who have an interest in staying active while pursuing their degrees with find plenty of choices. Competitive recreational sports like tennis, swimming, and floor hockey give students plenty of chances to try new things, meet new people, and pursue a healthy lifestyle.
Carleton College intramural sports give students numerous different opportunities to remain active throughout the academic year while pursuing their degrees. Joining teams and participating in recreational activities like basketball, sand volleyball, and soccer offers students the chance to find release from the academic pressures of the classroom.
Mount Vernon Nazarene University
Mount Vernon Nazarene University doesn’t allow varsity athletes to play the same intramural sports that they play on university teams, but ordinary undergraduates have plenty of choices. Playing active sports like softball, flag football, and volleyball while enrolled in classes offers students the chance to have new experiences and avoid stress. Students are likely to find numerous opportunities to stay active while enrolled in classes.
Sam Houston State University
Sam Houston State University divides intramural sports teams based on the skill levels of the players, and basketball, soccer, and flag football are a few of the options that are available to students pursuing degrees. Undergraduates participating in competitive recreational team sports are likely to be evenly matched with their opponents.
Whitman College intramural sports offer undergraduate students the opportunity to play games with other fraternity and sorority members as well as other students attending the college. Games like dodgeball, basketball, and putt putt golf provide students with an opportunity to relieve the stress of life in the classroom as well as a chance to stay physically active.
SUNY Cortland students are able to play competitive intramural sports as well as purely recreational intramural sports. Games like arena football, broomball, and flag football give students the chance to stay competitive. Tournaments that last for only one day that involve games like badminton, table tennis, or bowling typically allow everyone to have a chance to participate.
James Madison University
James Madison University provides students with access to individual intramural sports as well as team intramural sports. Students pursuing their degrees have the opportunity to participate in athletic activities like volleybalall. Students have the opportunity to play competitively against their classmates while they engage in athletic activities that are a part of a healthy lifestyle.
Anderson University – Indiana
Anderson University – Indiana offers students their choice of up to eleven intramural athletic activities. Games like softball, tennis, and volleyball give students the chance to have new experiences while learning about competition and fair play.
Biola University intramural athletic activities provide students with the ideal opportunity to meet new people and participate in healthy activities inside a safe, campus environment. Sports like basketball, soccer, and sand volleyball are available throughout the academic year.
University of Wisconsin – River Falls
Wisconsin – River Falls intramural sports like broomball, basketball, and coed sand volleyball allow students the opportunity to find release from the stress of academic life. Undergraduates can play against their classmates and have new experiences.
MIT intramural athletic activities offer students the chance to experience sports and games that offer a level of stimulation equal to the challenges of the classroom. Students who have access to games like indoor soccer, water polo, and team tennis can play competitively against their classmates.
Angelo State University
Angelo State University students have access to a variety of different intramural sports throughout the academic year. Games like badminton, flag football, and soccer allow students to relieve the pressures and monotony of life in the classroom while developing relationships with other students.
University of California – Davis
University of California – Davis offers students with the opportunity to play more than 27 intramural sports. Traditional competitive games like basketball and soccer are complimented by newer alternatives like inner tube water polo and ultimate frisbee. For students who want to stay active, this intramural program offers a variety of options.
Bob Jones University
Bob Jones University intramural sports like tennis, basketball, and sand volleyball are the ideal opportunity for students to take a break from the academic pressures of college life. Playing games with classmates offers students with opportunities to engage in social networking and develop relationships.
University of Evansville
University of Evansville intramural athletic activities provide students with plenty of opportunity to be physically active throughout the academic year. Sports like outdoor soccer, floor hockey, and softball often give students the chance to try new activities and develop healthy habits.