MSUM has never been nervous to be unique. Nothing has proved that more than the different direction of the intramural department this year.
Muggle quidditch, glow-in-the-dark dodgeball, water battleship: No, you are not reading a knock-off “Harry Potter” book. These are some examples of the innovative intramural sports MSUM offers to students looking to stay active in a unique way.
Under new leadership this year Kari Peterson, intramural and club sports director, and her staff have reinvented the face of MSUM intramural sports.
“The cool thing about intramurals is students can connect with other people on campus: it’s a social interaction thing, it’s a health thing. They can be physically active and be part of a team again,” Peterson said. “This is an opportunity to bring out competitiveness or just to try something new.”
The MSUM intramural department is definitely not in short supply of new sports to try. The department is continuously thinking of original and different activities to appeal to a wide spectrum of students.
“Basically, our program has evolved into this. We are always trying to come up with the next coolest event we could do,” Peterson said. “Anything just to give things a different twist.”
Intramural and club sports graduate assistant, Mara Wessel, is also a big reason for the new direction of the department.
“One thing we have learned is that the culture of our campus is so different than (other campuses), so what works somewhere might not work here,” Wessel said. “A lot of times we would try the ‘mainstream’ competition…and students (wouldn’t come), but we offer capture-the-flag and 40 people come. So, we’ve have to tailor our stuff to kind of the not so ‘mainstream’ events, which is actually fun.”
The non-traditional intramural sports that are generating the most interest also take the most creativity to invent. Sometimes it is as easy as taking an event that has already been done and making it glow-in-the-dark, like volleyball.
“Anything glow-in-the-dark is awesome,” said Peterson.
Other times, a bit more inspiration is needed.
“I had to harness my inner child. I thought ‘What did I do when I was a kid?’ Well, let’s do recess games! Things that you say, ‘I did that as a kid,’ actually sparks ‘I want to do that!’ in college students.”
Expected sports like basketball, flag football, soccer and volleyball amongst others are also offered at MSUM. Peterson is currently in the process of contacting North Dakota State’s intramural program to develop an extramural competition in the future.
“A weekend tournament where our intramural teams can play against their intramural teams is just something a little extra and special,” said Peterson. “…that rivalry and tradition is in the works.”
Or if you don’t have a team you can sign up as a free agent on IMLeagues.com and search Minnesota State University Moorhead to start your own.
BY MADALYN LASKE