Out of all the negativity that COVID-19 has brought students on campus, there are a few good things that have come out of it as well.
One of these good things is an entire semester packed full of sports for students to take part in or just be part of an enthusiastic crowd. With mostly all competitive sports playing this semester, there will be enough sports for every student who is not an athlete to watch. But, watching is not the only option a student has here at Hardin-Simmons University.
Intramural opportunities on campus allow for any student to take part in athletic events ranging from four on four basketball to “Can Jam.” Planning intramurals during a regular semester is already hard enough, but during a semester that is bound by COVID guidelines can get even more strenuous.
This is a challenge that Chet Griffith is willing to take on. Griffith is Hardin-Simmons University’s Intramural and Recreational Sports Coordinator. He is from Washington, Ill., and mastered in sports management with an emphasis in finance from Western Illinois University.
“The biggest struggle of COVID right now is NIRSA (National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association) has labeled basketball, football and soccer as sports they deem too risky for the spread of COVID,” Griffith said. “Luckily, we have made changes to soccer so that we have minimum face to face contact and limit the amount of players in a single area. Masks WILL be required for this event...”
There are many more events planned for students that will be fun and safe to attend and play. The two categories of events are major and minor events which Griffith gave more information about. Major events for the semester include 4v4 Volleyball, 4v4 indoor soccer, 7v7 ultimate frisbee, and the usual spring softball tournament. Minor events include less traditional sporting events, such as 4v4 archery tag, a Super Smash Bros. tournament, and Can Jam.
“Can Jam is a yard game similar to cornhole where it is 2v2 and you try to hit your frisbee into your can...,” Griffith explained. “Archery Tag will be a one day event on the IM Fields where we will have inflatable barriers and soft tipped bow and arrows to play “dodgeball” with the arrows. Masks, bows, and arrows will all be provided.
Also, yes, you read that right . . . there will be a Super Smash Bros. Tournament. It will be an event taking place over one to two days with the goal of reaching a larger base of the HSU student body.
“This event will hopefully encourage people to sign up for Intramurals when they usually wouldn’t,” Griffith said. “One of the biggest parts of Intramurals is the social aspect, and video games is a great way to bring kids in this generation together. This event will be held in Ferguson Lobby.”
By adding the Super Smash Bros. Tournament to this year’s intramural lineup, Griffith is aiming to achieve the broader goals that he has for the semester.
“My biggest goal for this semester is to introduce more students to Intramurals,” Griffith said. “I don’t think students realize that many schools have shut down or cut Intramurals due to COVID, but with our awesome policies here at HSU, we are allowed to play. Even better is that it is FREE.
Other schools charge teams $40-60 just to sign up for a League and $10-20 for a one day event. Here at HSU we hope to give everyone an equal opportunity to have their full college experience and we do not want to put more financial barriers on an opportunity that SHOULD be free at a university.”
One of the aims of college is to help build a community within its students. One of the best ways of doing that is by hosting events that encourage sportsmanship, team building skills and comradery. Thankfully, we still have intramurals to allow students to gain these skills, build new friendships and make memories during a time where it is hard to even attend in-person class.