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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Intramural basketball is back and better than ever

Patrick Johnson of the FNAF Fanboys looks to make a pass. The FNAF Fanboys defeated the Melon Ballers 74-42 to advance to the championship. PHOTO: KELLY SHANNON ’24/THE HAWK

St. Joe’s intramural (IM) basketball is back this year for the first time since spring 2020, and given the large number of students involved, they seem to have missed it.

The league has the highest number of participants since 2015, according to Daniel Yen, Campus Recreation specialist.

“In total we have 48 teams, which is the third highest we’ve had since tracking this information on IM leagues,” Yen said.

There are 420 players involved in the league, Yen said, which kicked off in early February. There are 398 men spread across the men’s and co-ed leagues and 22 women in the co-ed league. There is no women’s only league this season. 

“My understanding is that from the student makeup and participation, we rarely are able to fill four women’s leagues,” Yen said. “If we don’t fill the women’s league, the men’s league turns into an open league, meaning any man or woman can participate on any team in the open league without any roster restrictions.”

When the university announced at the beginning of the spring semester that the basketball courts in O’Pake Recreation Center would be temporarily closed, the league seemed to be in doubt. A follow-up announcement on Jan. 28 declared the courts open, though it stipulated that masks were to be worn at all times.

“We haven’t had a single problem with anything related to covid, which is a great milestone,” said Patrick Polizzi ’22, an intramural sports advisor. 

After the university lifted its mask mandate on March 3, students playing intramural sports in O’Pake are no longer required to wear a mask. 

“At this point there are no covid rules or restrictions in intramurals,” Yen wrote in response to written questions from The Hawk. “However if the university does reinstate any covid [policies] we will likely follow suit.”

Yen said he thinks one of the reasons so many people signed up for the IM basketball league this spring is because they missed the social and physical benefits of participating in team sports.

“IM sports is an organized league where you’re able to participate with your friends but also other students on campus, getting that camaraderie and that social experience,” Yen said. “It’s my personal theory that because of a lack of activities from that year, everyone wants to get involved in something.”

William Einstein ’22 is the captain of a co-ed IM basketball team. Although Einstein’s team went 0-5 and lost in the first round of playoffs, he said he still enjoys the connection that IM basketball offers.

“Playing allows me to communicate and connect with more people playing,” Einstein said. “I think it gives me a good bit of exercise during the day if my schedule is too busy to exercise otherwise.”

Yen said Campus Recreation will also offer intramural softball and seven-on-seven flag football in the spring semester, starting at the end of March. 

In previous years, Campus Recreation also offered other sports like indoor soccer and kickball. Yen said he hopes to add more sports next year. This past year, both the pandemic and staff turnover limited options, Yen said

“Looking ahead, I would like to run four leagues per semester, likely bringing back soccer as well as maybe including dodgeball,” Yen said.

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