Cal Lutheran Intramural Sports Return for Fall Season

Isaiah Volk, Reporter

On Tuesday, Oct. 1, California Lutheran University kicked off the fall season of intramural sports in the Soiland Recreation Center, with a variety of students competing in soccer and basketball.

Intramural soccer is hosted on Tuesday and basketball on Wednesday from 7-11 p.m. every week.

“I think it’s one of the most popular programs at CLU. If you look at the number of unique students engaged every week, I don’t think any other program engages 200 plus students every week at Cal Lu,” Coordinator of Recreational Sports Ryan Kolter said.

In fall, Cal Lutheran offers basketball and indoor soccer as well as tournaments for flag football and cosmic dodgeball. In spring, outdoor soccer, basketball and volleyball are offered.

Even though competition is a primary focus of intramural sports, its unique purpose goes deeper than that, Kolter said.

“It’s really sort of our driving mission of intramurals… to engage students to basically reduce barriers to play, and create more opportunities for as many students as possible to engage and connect,” Kolter said.

A new feature brought to intramural sports this fall is collaboration with student clubs across campus. Morgan Salzwedel, intramural sports intern for Student Affairs, thought of this collaboration as a way of furthering intramurals’ connection with the Cal Lutheran community and strengthening the bond with other clubs and organizations around campus.

“I reached out to our clubs and organizations on campus, basically offering a chance to collaborate with other clubs on campus. They’d come out and have a table at one of our nights and basically sponsor an intramural night, whether its soccer or basketball,” Salzwedel said. “They can basically make it their own night. We can have it themed. We can play their music. We can do whatever they want as them being the sponsor.”

Not only is the intramural staff excited for the fall opening of the season, the players are eager to start competing with their teams as well. Junior Sam Balentine is ready to start his second season of intramural basketball.

“I’ve got my teammates from last year, so I decided to get back with it and have some fun. It’s always well organized, and I am looking forward to just getting out there and playing with everybody,” Balentine said.

A new shift in policies this fall in intramural sports includes refined referee training and a sportsmanship policy update that implements a point system, Kolter said.

“We sort of reformed that [sportsmanship] policy to basically incentivize positive behavior. The norm is somewhere in the middle now. If you go out of your way to give high fives, help out the other teams, support them, be nice, you’re now incentivized with extra points for things like that just to make sure the program stays positive,” Kolter said.

This year, in basketball alone over 200 competitors are signed up to play. Kolter said he wants to continue building these relationships and allow college students to learn how to work together.

“Yeah sure, everyone loves basketball and everyone loves soccer and they like to play the game, but what it really is about is getting students to bond and create relationships,” Kolter said. “To be able to celebrate those shared victories, all of that is going to continue to engage students and help them feel more connected to the school. That’s really what it’s all about.”