Students have been frustrated by the logistical inconveniences caused by the construction at the McCann Recreation Center. While the obvious issue is lack of facility availability, one of the more understated issues with this construction has been its displacement of intramural sports.
Recently, a large number of intramural sports which were previously played inside McCann have been moved outside due to the renovations being performed on the building. The purpose of intramural sports is to provide students the opportunity to participate in sports, but the construction at McCann is sadly inhibiting this opportunity. Despite the promising improvements the renovation ultimately offers, the construction is currently slowing the progress that many Marist students want to make to improve intramural sports.
Marist students who cannot participate at the Division I level look to intramurals for the chance to continue to play the sports they love. However, the construction taking place at the McCann Center has hurt not only the morale of intramurals, but has also created an impediment for scheduling within the leagues.
This construction has presented frequent scheduling problems for intramural leagues because of the unpredictability of the weather. When an intramural was held inside of McCann, it was very unlikely that cancellations would occur.
Frequent cancellations of games have resulted in scheduling issues regarding organization of future games and frustration from participants involved. This frustration has been the most present in the intramural basketball league, which has already cancelled three games. In this league, games are limited to once a week over the course of the semester. As of today, there are no plans to make up the games that have been cancelled, which means that nearly three weeks have taken place when the intramural basketball league could not operate.
“With games only once a week, it gets hard to stay motivated to play through cancellations,” said Peter Rickenbach, captain of outdoor basketball team Ice. “It’s also hard to follow when we have games.”
Despite the schedule being available on the IMleagues website, there are no set reminders for intramural players that let them know when their team is playing. Due to some of the unorthodox times these events have been held, another side effect of the renovation on intramurals arises: lack of participation.
“Once cancellations occur, it throws off people’s desire to play basketball,” Rickenbach said. Player morale has been down in all leagues. While attendance and participation in these leagues does fluctuate year to year, there has been a noticeable decline in participants since the sports began this fall. Rosters in the intramural basketball league have an average of 8 players, but only 4-5 players typically appear for games.
While sports like basketball deal with their own issues, the McCann renovations have resulted in the removal of some sports entirely. Sports that cannot be set up outside are simply no longer offered to Marist students. Two intramurals that were hit hard by this change are the badminton and floor hockey teams, which are no longer offered to students due to the construction.
“Volleyball and dodgeball are being moved inside, where weather isn’t a factor,” said referee Jack Liggett. “However, both badminton and floor hockey are no longer going to be offered.”
“I really liked playing intramural floor hockey, and I’m hoping that returns next semester,” said former player Seamus O’Rourke.
Intramural teams have since brainstormed solutions to the issues standing in their way. However, with the McCann Center set to be under construction until late 2019, even the most passionate participants have struggled to find a way around these cancellations. In the meantime, the best that students can do is attempt to maintain their desire to compete despite the logistical issues.
Although intramurals may not receive the publicity or popularity that Division I teams hold, they are an integral part of the Marist community. That is why, despite these issues, Marist students remain dedicated and vigilant to make intramurals the most enjoyable experience they can be.
Edited by Matt Rzodkiewicz & Meaghan Roche