SAU Intramurals set to continue into the fall semester with updated guidelines

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Southern’s intramurals website was updated on Tuesday Aug. 11 to confirm that intramurals will still be running throughout the Fall 2020 semester. While there will be new guidelines in place to help minimize contact and large crowds, the sports set to take place this fall include softball, tennis doubles, futsal, flag football, 3-on-3 basketball tournaments and floor hockey.
Director of Intramurals Troy Walker said although the complete schedule has yet to be published, the running dates for each sport’s season can be found on the website.According to the Fall 2020 Intramurals sports plan that Walker created, all new guidelines are based on current CDC, state and county recommendations and are subject to change as new information is released. The plan contains basic guidelines for both indoor and outdoor sports, as well as new protocols for each specific sport. “I have a set of guidelines that was approved by the University Cabinet that will function as our main resource of how intramurals will run,” Walker said. “It’s going to be mostly normal, with some minor adjustments.”
As stated in the plan, both outdoor and indoor sports will have a 30 minute buffer between games in an effort to allow groups to leave before others enter. This time frame will also give intramural staff the adequate time to clean and disinfect any playing equipment that will be used for the next game. Players will also be asked to wait outside of the field or gym for the start of their games and to refrain from any type of physical acts of sportsmanship such as high fives, fist bumps and hugs.
Specific to indoor sports, the amount of fans and spectators allowed inside the gym while games are going on will be limited, and those who are on a team will only be allowed in the gym while their team is actively playing. Additionally, spectators will be expected to social distance whether they are sitting or standing, and must wear face coverings at all times while inside the gym.
“The number of people in the gym including players, officials and fans will be limited to 50 percent of the overall gym capacity,” Walker wrote in his plan. “Only players involved in the current game will be allowed in the gym during game times. Rosters will be given to desk workers who will screen players to ensure they are on the roster before entering the gym.”
In an Instagram poll conducted by the Accent, the newspaper asked students if they plan to participate in intramural sports during the fall semester—out of 221 voters, 105 said they plan to participate while 116 said they will not. Students were also given the opportunity to share their personal opinions on why they believe intramurals should or should not occur.
Sophomore social work major Morgan Garcia said that due to the nature of being on a college campus where students are living together and eating in communal locations, she believes that there is a very present risk of COVID-19 spreading.
“If intramurals are held, the risk is even greater,” Garcia said. “Not only because of the nature of sports and exercise, but because it is just another thing to add to the list of exposure and contact to others. This in turn affects those who are not even participating in sports.”
On the contrary, junior education major Misael Polanco said intramurals should continue despite the concerns because he believes that sports can help students relieve stress and create a place where they can feel like they’re a part of something and have fun.
“Not many people attend a university just to study and get a degree, even if that’s the ultimate goal,” Polanco said. “Many want to get that full college experience, whether that’s worshipping together, joining clubs or playing sports. I think that if we figured out a way to return to face-to-face learning and worshipping together, we should be able to have a way to play intramural sports.”
According to Walker, students can go to www.IMLeagues.com/southern and www.southern.edu/intramurals for the complete schedule and more information. Guidelines for specific sports will be released as the scheduled start dates for the intramurals approach.

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