The COVID-19 pandemic ended the Sun Belt Conference basketball tournaments before they started, cut the seasons of senior athletes short and forced athletes returning next year to prepare virtually. Outside of the NCAA, however, the pandemic called for immediate cancellation of intramural sports for 3,500 Bobcats.
The program offers six different leagues for students to participate in, including football, volleyball, indoor and outdoor soccer, basketball and softball. The department also hosts other smaller tournaments and activities on the side with sports such as dodgeball and kickball.
For social work freshman Kamry Lott-Echols, a former volleyball, basketball and softball high school athlete, the program gave her an opportunity to stay fit and make friends in her first year at Texas State.
“Through intramurals, I have met some wonderful people who I probably would not have met anywhere else,” Lott-Echols said.
Lott-Echols said she enjoyed her co-ed teams the most because of the competitive environment.
“Most boys are naturally competitive and they kept pushing the girls to come out of their shell to compete which made the experience better,” Lott-Echols said.
Alassani Djaneye, fashion merchandising sophomore, played basketball the majority of his life and was a varsity player at his high school. He said he enjoys the competitive nature of the A-League—the highest of the two divisions in intramurals—and how seriously teams take the games.
“The competition level was very high considering most of the guys had former playing experience in high school and maybe even college ball,” Djaneye said. “In a lot of my situations I played against guys who I knew from outside of intramurals and that just made it that much more fun.”
The intramural program also gave on-campus jobs to students, hiring student referees to help facilitate and enforce the rules of the games prior to the pandemic.
Health sciences junior Johnathan Ashe, a transfer student from Baylor, recently joined the intramural program as a basketball referee and said he decided to join for the opportunity to see new faces and meet new people.
“College is about making new connections, and you never know who you might come across to put you on your next move,” Ashe said.
Intramural sports was a unifying force that allowed diverse groups of people to relieve stress and connect by playing among one another, Ashe said.
“The program here is really diverse,” Ashe said. “You see people of all colors mixed in on the same team interacting and playing with each other.”
While in-person intramurals are canceled due to COVID-19, the program is currently hosting virtual e-sports leagues for those still wanting competitive stress relief during the pandemic.
Visit the Department of Recreation website for more information on working for or participating in intramural sports when play resumes.