While not all students play varsity sports for Seton Hall, they can remain active and represent Seton Hall in competition at the intramural level.
Kathy Matta, the senior associate athletics director for recreational services, oversees all intramural programs.
“We run our intramural programs throughout the year,” Matta said. “First semester [has] flag football, Madden football, 5K run, co-recreational volleyball and dodgeball. Second semester [has] basketball, NBA2k, indoor soccer, FIFA and dodgeball.”
Matta said that about 1,500 individuals participate in intramural programs with many choosing to join several programs. She estimates about 10% of those athletes are graduate students.
Flag football and basketball bring in the most participants. Matta said these teams can draw between 45 to 60 people. She said how the purpose of intramurals is to include students at every level.
“Lower levels are more social and low key, while the higher levels cater to the more competitive students that crave the competition they enjoyed in high school,” Matta said.
The variety of sports is what appealed to Cameron Sippel, a senior finance major who participates in multiple programs. “If you walk into the fieldhouse each day, the only sport you will see being played recreationally is basketball,” Sippel said. “You won’t find students creating pick-up games of volleyball or football.”
He found that being able to compete in official competitions rather than casual games is the best thing about the program.
As an out-of-state student, Sippel believes intramurals reduced his homesickness.
“I’ve found that adding as much stuff as you can to your weekly calendar takes your mind off some of those negative emotions that come with being far from home,” Sippel said. “It’s a great way to make new friends, simply meet new people and get a little exercise. All three of those things make you feel better in this new, scary environment.”
Intramural is one of two levels below the teams that represent Seton Hall. The three divisions within it are based on the level of skill and competition that participants desire. Sippel participates in volleyball on both levels.
“I play merely to have more volleyball in my life,” Sippel said. The program also includes sports that are not offered at the club level. He has picked up dodgeball and football as a result of intramurals being the only option.
Francis Robles, a junior biology major, plays volleyball to continue a sport he loves in his college experience.
“My favorite part about intramurals is that I am able to hang out with my friends and play our favorite sport at the same time,” Robles said. “Intramural sports allow us to have another shot at playing a sport.”
Robles, who played club volleyball for two years, chose to pursue the intramural level simply because of the time that club requires.
Ashley Reyes, a junior social and behavioral science major, has been involved in almost every sport since her freshman year. To her, the availability of programs despite skill level is a great reason to join intramurals.
“Although I didn’t play all of those sports in high school, I find that they are fairly easy to pick up,” Reyes said. “It makes it even easier to play because there is less stress about being good and more of an open and fun atmosphere.”
Catherine San can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.