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Campus life: UNLV Intramural Sports Program

By Jessica Sagawa
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UNLV’s intramural sports offer a wide variety of sports and leagues throughout the year.

As the number of participants’ changes each semester, there were 17 sports offered and 50 leagues within the sports offered the past academic year.

“Major sports like basketball and flag football can see 30-40 teams while more minor sports like racquetball and kickball typically see 10-15,” said Steven Kinsey, program coordinator for intramural sports, special events and sport clubs.

Popular sports like basketball, flag football and soccer accumulated 2,177 participants this academic year.

“While it is always beneficial to have more students participate, our participation numbers have been on the rise for the current academic year,” said Kinsey. “We have seen an increase in the number of teams as well as the number of unique participants.”

Each sport typically runs three leagues. Men’s, co-recreational and women’s are offered. A few sports have an open league where teams can be comprised of any ratio. Some teams are Greek affiliated and residence halls, where participants can compete against like-minded teams.

UNLV intramural sports also offer individual sports, where participants can challenge and compete in racquetball, badminton and Kan-Jam. Individual sports are held both fall and spring semesters.

Sports clubs are also available at UNLV. There’s bowling club, men’s lacrosse club, rugby, roller hockey, men’s volleyball, etc. The first difference between intramurals and sports clubs is the level of competition.

“While intramurals focuses on competing with one’s peers at the university, sport clubs compete against peers from other institutions across the region and even the nation,” said Kinsey.

These clubs may not be NCAA affiliated but, it provides a well-rounded education through social, physical and leadership development.

“The second difference is in time commitment to the sports,” said Kinsey. “While intramural events and seasons last between one day and five weeks, joining a sport club is a yearlong commitment.”

Another addition UNLV intramurals offers is team sports. Depending on attendance and participation, these events vary. It’s scheduled over a period of weeks with a round robin format and a tournament at the end. Leagues include men’s, women’s or co-rec.

Lastly, the program hosts special events, Rebel Cup and Team of the Year. Some special intramurals and recreation events compete with other schools locally or regionally. These events are held on and off campus.

“The largest event coordinated by the intramural coordinator is Ooze ball, UNLV’s oldest standing tradition,” said Kinsey. “This one day mud volleyball tournament is always a highly anticipated event and brings out a number of student groups.”

The entire above are only opened to UNLV students, staff and faculty. The Rebel Cup or Campus cup is a yearlong point’s competition. Groups of student gauge for the most successful across the complete Intramural Sports calendar in each sub-league, whether it’s open or Greek.

“Common participants are Greek organizations, RSO’s, UNLV departments and academic schools,” said Kinsey. “In addition to this event, intramurals offers various one day events such as World Cup soccer, billiards and a study week Dodge ball Tournament.”

According to UNLV Intramural Sports, each Rebel Cup group/organization is also included in the Team of the Year competition, which crowns the most successful group/organization in each league (Men’s, Women’s, Co-Rec).

“UNLV crowns an intramural champion for every league in every sport that is offered,” said, Kinsey. “Winners receive an Intramural Champion T-shirt as well as having their team picture put up on our Wall of Champions and posted to Rebel Rec Social Media.”

Kinsey enjoys working with all participants and thinks there’s no better pursuit than helping the development of the students at UNLV.

I like the camaraderie and being able to do something at the convenience of your own school, playing a sport you like when it’s not offered… It’s an extension of what I played in high school,” said senior Kevin Ipac, “It’s like a team building experience. You get to make new friends.”

Ipac plays on “Scared Hitless” flag football team. The team won five games and they’re currently in the playoffs.

There is room to grow as the intramural sports move toward new campus initiatives. The program works to provide the best for the students through officials’ training and intentional outreach.  

“Going out and seeing games serves as a reminder that all the hard work is worthwhile and that we are truly making a difference in the students’ experience,” said Kinsey.

“Some people are really good sports and I give them props to one another when they do a good play,” said senior Jocelyn Luna. “Even if they’re on opposing teams and others get really upset and sometimes forget it is just a game. Either way it’s entertaining.”

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