Students, faculty and alumni compete in intramural sports

There’s no truth to the rumor that there’s nothing to do on the Northern Kentucky University campus, at least according to Dan Henry.

“One of my biggest pet peeves is when students complain there is nothing to do,” said Henry, program manager for campus recreation and also in charge of intramural sports on campus. “We offer an intramural activity every night, besides Friday and Saturday.”

Students can participate in flag football, softball, soccer, volleyball, basketball and even inner-tube water polo. Flag football, softball and soccer have already started.

Students, faculty, staff and alumni have the opportunity to play, either on men’s, women’s or co-rec (men and women) teams.

NKU is one of the few universities in the country that offers alumni leagues in intramural sports.

“It’s a great way to keep communication open,” Henry said. “It’s more than just a membership to the university gym or access to individual activities.”

Most alumni that come back participated in intramurals as students.

Flag football is one of the more popular sports offered. This year, there are 49 flag football teams. Teams are gearing up to start championship play.

Teams are divided into divisions by ability for every sport. They play each other in league games for five weeks, and then have playoff games. Division champions win T-shirts.

Although women’s teams are offered in almost every sport, Henry has a hard time getting women involved. Flag football doesn’t have any women teams because of lack of interest.

“I need co-rec teams to get female participation,” Henry said.

“I try to target female students that come in the gym to participate, but the interest just isn’t there.”

Senior Danyelle Richardson said she doesn’t understand the lack of interest either.

“I asked around for girls to play, but they are either busy or just don’t want to,” Richardson said.

Richardson has been playing intramural sports for four years. She currently plays on a co-rec flag football team and a women’s basketball team.

Most of the women on her basketball team played basketball in high school.

The co-rec teams are a popular alternative to women’s teams. Co-rec has different rules so everyone gets a fair opportunity to play. For example, in flag football men can’t pass the ball two plays in a row. Touchdowns made by women are worth nine points, and touchdowns made by men are worth six points.

Unlike high school gym class, there normally isn’t any tension among the men and women. Jeff Iker has been playing intramural sports for one year.

“The rules help keep girls involved in the game,” he said. “Nobody would want to play co-rec if everybody didn’t get involved in the game.”

Senior Stephen Howard agrees with him.

“Pretty much everyone in co-rec games is there to play to have fun,” Howard said. “I think the rules of the game are evenly distributed.”

Former high school athletes, sorority and fraternity members as well as commuters and campus residents are all involved in intramural activities.

“Most people that play intramurals, men and women, played sports in high school and either didn’t want to commit or don’t have the talent to play collegiate sports,” Henry said.

There are many benefits of getting involved with intramural sports.

“Camaraderie is the biggest advantage of playing,” Henry said. “Students come back because playing intramurals gives them a sense of belonging.”

Howard, who has been playing for five years, is one of those students.

“I love to play sports and it keeps me active,” he said.

Anyone interested in playing intramural sports can contact Dan Henry at (859) 572-5728.

Team roster forms are available in the campus recreation office in the Albright Health Center, room 104.