Though intramurals at Seton Hall are intended to be all fun and games, the majority of participating students take them very seriously. Those who have been fortunate enough to win a championship t-shirt know that with that prize comes a sense of pride and elation that seems almost unmatchable.
When I first visited the campus as a prospective student, I remember the tour guide emphasizing that while the games are meant to be mere enjoyment, people tend to act as if they were playing in the pros. I myself have since participated in a number of intramural sports, and for the most part, have had a great experience.
There is nothing wrong with showing passion and enthusiasm when playing, especially because the games will often get extremely intense. Rivalries can develop in an instant and many teams of upperclassmen have stuck together since their freshman year. That being said, sportsmanship needs to be a higher priority to students.
During flag football playoffs, I watched one of my friend’s games in complete aggravation, and not because her team lost. The opposing team spent the duration of the game yelling in intentionally obnoxious voices as a distraction effort. To me, their incessant squawking only presented them in a foolish light and surely also eliminated the “friendly competition” factor for everyone else.
Students need to be aware of how they act on the playing field. The use of foul language is another issue I have seen arise many times. Granted, when people get frustrated, some bad words might slip out here and there.
What some students don’t realize until it is too late, is that the refs have grounds to kick a player out of the game if they deem it necessary. Just as professional athletes can be penalized for disorderly conduct, so can a Seton Hall intramurals participant. This will do no more than make your teammates angry as they now have to play a man down.
Try not to lose your cool with those on your team, even if they mess up. It’s typically a quick instinct to place the blame on someone else, but doing so won’t make a situation any better. To avoid hostility among your teammates, simply try to communicate better and devise a game plan to prevent it from happening again.
Win or lose, don’t forget the handshake with the opponents at the end. It’s not easy to accept a loss, but swallow your pride and congratulate the other team on their victory. Even if they were taunting you during the game, be the bigger person and show that you didn’t let it affect you. Intramurals are supposed to be fun, so those involved need to do more to ensure that it stays that way.
Gabrielle Kiger is a senior journalism major from Vero Beach, Fl. She can be reached at email@example.com.