Intramurals and RSOP offer big fun on campus

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Each year, UMD students make their way back to campus for another year of classes and a lot of learning. While that might not be everyone’s favorite aspect of school, there are plenty of other reasons to get excited about fall semester. It’s one of the best times of year to get out and get active while the weather's still warm. Playing intramurals are a great way to get back that competitive edge, and the RSOP department carries the torch for anything and everything outdoors.

“What I like to see students taking away from [intramurals] is learning how to compete in a recreational atmosphere,” said Assistant Director of Intramurals Joel Sanderson

Other than managing the nearly 30 intramural sports on campus, Joel also oversees an entire staff of dedicated referees, as well as organizing teams and ever-changing schedules. He sees everything that runs through the intramural department, and keeps a keen eye on what activities are becoming popular with students.

“Right now, soccer is trending up,” Joel said. “And there’s been years where volleyball has been our biggest sport.”

Although hockey has been the consistently dominant sport in terms of student sign-ups, it’s clear that there is still a sizeable outreach for the rest of the intramural sports lineup. According to Joel, curling, kickball and inter-tube dodgeball are activities that fly under the student radar. Year in and year out, intramurals continue to be some of the most popular extracurricular activities among students.

“I like that [intramurals] can be both fun and competitive,” said UMD soccer goalie Jack Forciea. “That’s the best part.”

If the outdoors is more your style, the Recreational Sports Outdoor Program (RSOP) desk is the place to go. Virtually anything one could ever want or use for an outdoor adventure can be found here. Backpacks are available for rent for students interested in hiking. Ever thought about cooking shore lunch? They have cooking kits and stoves ready to go at a moment’s notice. Kayaks, canoes and bikes are available for those who really want to get exploratory.

Whether it’s a love for the outdoors, or if  you just wanted to see if you still “got it” from back in your high school football days, the RSOP department can hook you up. Sign up for an intramural team by downloading the IM Leagues app on your phone, and make sure to head over to the RSOP desk and grab some gear before you embark on your next Duluth voyage.

SportsAndrew Becker