Intramurals: A Sports Lover's Best Friend
For many Yeshiva University students, the busy dual curriculum schedule can mean a lot of stress and very little free time. Some students opt to spend nights learning in night seder or exercising in the workout room. A large number of students, however, have taken up intramural sports as a fun way to engage in athletics without dealing with the rigors of an NCAA team schedule. YU currently offers intramurals in basketball, roller hockey, floor hockey, soccer, and ultimate Frisbee while flag football has been offered in previous years. Many students even take up positions of leadership in their respective leagues, acting as team captains or even league commissioners. Avi Margulies, a sophomore from West Hempstead, New York, for instance, is captain of a team in the roller hockey league. “As captain,” Margulies explains, “it’s my responsibility to inform my team when we are playing and to make sure we have enough players. Additionally, throughout the semester we monitor the games to make sure the teams are split up evenly.” Margulies also felt the atmosphere of the roller hockey intramural league was appropriate for the players. “The roller hockey league takes place on Monday and Wednesday nights. The league is just serious enough to create competition but not so serious to get too heated.”
Intramural basketball is known to be one of the most popular intramural sports in Yeshiva University, consisting of two separate leagues, one taking place on Tuesday nights and another happening on Wednesday nights. Sophomore David Moskovich, like Margulies, is familiar with the benefits of leading an intramural team, albeit in basketball. “I happen to really like intramurals, and I think it’s good YU has them. When you have shiur in the morning, night seder at night, on top of homework and studying, there’s no set time to exercise and blow off some steam...Basketball has to be part of my agenda. It’s competitive, the players respect each other, and everyone’s there for that same reason.”
However, Moskovich felt some areas of the league could be improved. “For teams where players don’t show up, it [can] get frustrating. Also, I would like some kind of selection process for players in either the Tuesday or Wednesday night leagues, which cater to two different levels of intensity. The process would help differentiate between exactly what players are looking for, that being either highly intense or more pickup-style basketball.”
Another popular intramural sport on the YU campus is soccer. Taking place on Monday nights, soccer intramurals are especially popular among foreign-born YU students, especially the Europeans and South Americans. Despite being more of a pickup-style than an actual league, soccer intramurals feature a variety of players and an intense level of play.
In spite of the popularity of the intramurals, many question how YU can maintain so many recreational opportunities, especially considering the University’s many well-documented financial troubles. Despite the University’s fiscal problems, the Athletic Department still finds intramural sports to be a vital part of student life at YU.
Specifically, Athletic Director Joe Bednarsh was adamant about the importance of intramurals for YU students. “It’s expensive to maintain all of these sports leagues, including uniforms, officials, and other necessary costs. I want to be able to provide opportunities to the members of the student body who aren’t part of the athletic teams, so that they have a chance to play organized sports, and therefore that’s not something I’m not willing to sacrifice in terms of budget.”
The prioritization of recreational activities for YU students is certainly admirable, and hopefully they will not be sacrificed if YU’s financial troubles continue. Without question, many students consider intramurals to be highly beneficial area of their YU experience, so the continued presence of intramural sports on campus should definitely be highlighted.