The Student Recreation and Wellness Center’s registration period is underway for Long Beach State students, faculty and alumni looking to participate in intramural sports.
Up until the week of Sept. 16, those interested in soccer, softball, volleyball, basketball or flag football action at the recreational level can pay the one-time SRWC $20 fee and get involved.
With the number of around 300-400 students who participated last fall being on the decline, fourth-year communications studies major and rec sports student co-lead Isabella Jimenez is looking to increase involvement in intramural leagues this semester.
“[Students] don’t know each other at the beginning of the league,” Jimenez said. “But towards the end, they start to grow closer as a team and work together and collaborate with one another.”
Aside from handling the scheduling, overseeing the league supervisors and doing inventory since taking over as the intramural lead in June, Jimenez said she’s seen some special moments take place at the SRWC since she started getting involved in recreational sports as a freshman. Her most rewarding part of the job — seeing those who’ve signed up individually as free agents have a fun time with their teams nearing the end of the season.
As one of the largest, if not the largest sport in the world, soccer is unsurprisingly the most popular intramural sport at the SRWC. Jimenez said that international students drive the indoor, open and coed soccer leagues, helping to bring those new to America together at the Beach.
While open leagues allow teams to consist of any combination of male or female participants, coed leagues require teams to have at least one female participant on the roster and on the court at all times.
Fourth-year sociology major Malik Pittman is entering his seventh season on the MAC gym hardwood, playing in open basketball since he was a freshman. As someone who grew up playing the sport, Pittman says he wants those who’re concerned about joining because of their skill level to know that all SRWC intramural sports leagues offer the same fun, organized environment for all players.
“Usually I hear a lot of new players who want to join intramurals say they want to play coed because they think open is too competitive,” Pittman said. “I guess they think everybody just competes and it’s like … it’s a hit-and-miss with both. There’s not one league that’s less competitive than the other and whatnot, it’s just depending on what teams you have, and depending on the type of atmosphere of the game.”
As a two-time coed volleyball champion, fourth-year kinesiology major Shaine Anolin started playing in intramurals during her sophomore year. After playing volleyball throughout high school and at the club level at CSULB, Anolin recommends joining intramurals because of the ability to make new friends without dedicating too much time to the activity.
“If you have classes the days you have games, you could put in a note saying, ‘Hey, I can’t play seven o’clock games,’” Anolin said. “‘Our team can’t play because someone has work, someone has classes,’ and they’ll for sure accommodate the schedule for you. It’s a very good way to balance your school and work life.”
Coming to CSULB from Long Beach’s Cabrillo High School, first-year mechanical engineering major John Sucro and first-year psychology major Fili Maulupe plan to form their own intramural volleyball team with other players from their local alma mater.
“[Playing volleyball together is] something we liked doing, so it’s something we wanted to continue going into college,” Maulupe said.
Although they both had plenty of varsity volleyball experience in high school, Sucro and Maulupe are cautiously excited to go up against some of the Beach’s best at the recreational level.
“We can’t underestimate the people we play against and I feel like they’re going to be great players too,” Sucro said.