Intramurals During COVID-19

by Nick Ratliff

Intramurals play a big part of Cedarville’s campus throughout the semesters. Because of COVID-19, Cedarville has basketball, soccer, flag football and indoor volleyball all cancelled or moved to the spring semester. 

Fall Intramurals Moved to the Spring

Mark Matthews, director of campus recreation, gives insight into the plan for the spring and how Cedarville determined which sports could be played and which ones had to be moved to the second half of the spring semester. The spring semester will start off with some individual sports or doubles sports. 

“Our plan is to start off the spring semester by offering 4v4 indoor men’s and women’s volleyball, along with several individual and dual sports: doubles pickleball, singles table tennis, doubles badminton and our winter marksman contest (disc golf putting league),” Matthews said. 

Basketball and other contact sports are being moved to the second half of the spring semester because of the concerns of spreading COVID-19. Because of the cold weather during the spring soccer, sand volleyball, and ultimate frisbee are also scheduled for the second half of the spring semester. 

New Intramural Ideas

COVID could provide the opportunity for new intramurals to be offered. Spikeball has been offered in the past, and Matthews suggested he might add this to the list of sports in the spring. He is open to suggestions for new intramurals. He said students can contact him and his office with new suggestions any time. 

Challenges of Intramurals

As the director of campus recreation, Matthews experiences many challenges trying to put intramurals together. The first challenge is to figure out what sports to offer and how many should be offered.

Our campus offers around 28 to 30 intramural sports per year.

Matthews said, “So normally when we want to add a major sport, we need to delete a current sport. And we do this each year as we evaluate which sports are growing and which sports are falling off.”

COVID changed the discussion that the campus recreation department had coming into the year. Matthews wants to be cautious when it comes to COVID. He does not want to encourage students to be involved in events that can spread the virus. This is the reason fall intramurals that are more physical were moved to the spring. He mentions that he did not like to have to make the decision to scale back the intramural program. 

“But, if it helps mitigate the virus and helps keep us on campus throughout the year, it will be worth the sacrifice [for me and the students,]” he said. 

Another challenge is the task of finding referees and officials for the intramurals to be played. 

Matthews said, “The quality of game officials makes a huge difference in the level of enjoyment by participants.” 

Matthews is looking for hard-working people that enjoy taking on responsibility while knowing the game they are officiating. 

Becoming an Official/Referee 

Andrew Stein has officiated many intramural games, including basketball and soccer. Stein explained that the process to become an official begins when Matthews sends out emails when meetings are to become one. The meeting will go through a PowerPoint and rule sheets. 

“We pretty much accept everyone that comes to the meeting and training day, unless there is some obvious reason that we shouldn’t hire you,” Stein said. “Reffing is not necessarily difficult if you know the rules and are able to make quick, confident decisions.”

 If there is a disagreement with the referee, the campus recreation staff has the referee’s back. Matthews said that if you are a referee for a sport, you can still play that sport. 

Forming an Intramural Team

To form an intramural team, simply go online and sign up. Matthews sends emails to the student body before the intramurals begin. In the email, he directs the students how to sign a team up. There is also an individual’s team for those who do not have a team. The way to check intramural leagues is to go online to “”. This is where all intramural scores are recorded and where to sign up for teams. 

Nick Ratliff is a sophomore business management major. He enjoys playing volleyball, basketball and video games. 

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