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A newcomer’s guide to IM sports at CSU

Photo+courtesy+of+Damon+Cook
Photo courtesy of Damon Cook

Intramural Sports are a big part of campus life at Colorado State University. Campus Recreation lists 39 different sports that are typically offered at some point during the year, ranging from five-on-five basketball leagues to things like fantasy football. 

“As a student, intramurals was where I really found a community and a connection to campus, even though I was bad at most sports.” -Kyle Kinney, Intramural Sports assistant director

Jamar Cook, a senior at CSU, has been doing IM leagues since he was a first-year. One of the things he is glad that he did was participating in everything he could. 

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“I came into college not really knowing much about it, not knowing if I’d be willing to try,” Cook said. “Fast forwarding in time, I’m actually just really glad that I did it — like bowling, softball, basketball, flag football — just all these different things that I kind of knew about but never saw myself doing, and I’ve never had more fun in my life in doing all of these different intramurals.”

Cook reiterated the same statement when talking about advice he would give to people looking to get into IM leagues.

“I would just say give it a shot,” Cook said. “Just try a whole bunch of different things out and see what you like, and, you know, there was a few that I didn’t really like as much, but it was still fun to do it because I had fun with friends, and that’s the ultimate goal is just go out and have some fun while you’re in college.”

Friends and community are big themes in the IM space. Kyle Kinney, the assistant director of Intramural Sports, said that was a big part of his experience when he was a student.

“As a student, intramurals was where I really found a community and a connection to campus, even though I was bad at most sports,” Kinney said.

Matthew Rinella, who graduated in December 2022 with a degree in business finance and management, said IMs provided him with a sense of community, including people he may have not otherwise met. 

“I would say it’s people I wouldn’t usually see,” Rinella said. “A lot of these people are excited about IMs. … It really just kind of almost puts you into, like, a different pool of different people.”

Although IMs cater to a large and diverse group of people, they don’t come without challenges. Scheduling can be a conflict, although for the most part, Cook has found it to be accommodating.

“We’d all just come together, bring our schedules together and just kind of decide what day we want to do,” Cook said. “Then the IM league will have their options listed (for game times), and we all just choose one — and then what the IM leagues will do is throw another league in our same division (into that game time), and then that’s kind of just when we have our game days.”

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Scheduling is a big aspect of IMs, including on the operations side. Kinney said one of their biggest challenges was adapting to the ever-changing students and their needs.

“We try really hard to try new sports with different levels of commitment and competition so that intramurals can be as accessible as possible to everyone,” Kinney said. “This year we are offering a one-day tournament every Thursday, with more options for recreational play and students learning new sports.”

This changes by semester and even in the summer, when IMs still run. Rinella, who has participated in both the regular semester IM season and in the summer, said there was a big difference.

“It seems like it’s a lot more relaxed (in the summer),” Rinella said. “There’s less people around, I think they’re pretty casual with what you can do and it seems like it’s a little more fun because everyone’s kind of hanging out a little bit.”

An IM membership is currently $10 a semester. This can be purchased inside the Student Recreation Center with a credit card, debit card or RamCash. Once you purchase that membership, you’re free to partake in as many sports as you want. 

“The pass gets you access to everything offered, so you could hypothetically be playing on two in four weeks at once and a weekly tournament throughout the whole semester,” Kinney said.

Kinney said the IM team is there to serve the CSU community; however, they do enjoy giving the IM teams cool opportunities when they are able to. One of those opportunities was setting up a game between the winner of the five-on-five CSU IM basketball league against the winner of the University of Colorado Boulder IM basketball league. This game took place after a Denver Nuggets game in Ball Arena.

“It’s definitely something we hope to do again,” Kinney said.

Cook was one of the athletes who was able to go and play in Ball Arena.

“I think the most fun that I’ve had was this past season, playing five-on-five basketball, and this is something that intramural league has started this (last) year, and their turnout ended up being a lot better than what they thought,” Cook said. “CSU gets to play the champions on intramural basketball of CU, and we got to play at Ball Arena, which was I think one of the coolest things ever.”

Reach Damon Cook at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @dwcook2001.

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About the Contributor
Damon Cook
Damon Cook, Sports Editor
Damon Cook is the 2023-24 sports editor for the The Collegian and has been at the paper since August 2022. He started doing coverage on volleyball and club sports before moving onto the women's basketball beat. He is in his third year and is completing his degree with a major in journalism and media communication and a minor in sports management. As The Collegian's sports editor, Cook reports on CSU sports and helps manage the sports desk and content throughout the week. After having a year to learn and improve, Cook will now get to be part of a new age under the sports desk. The desk moved on from all but one other person and will now enter into a new era. Damon started school as a construction management major looking to go in a completely different direction than journalism. After taking the year off during the COVID-19 pandemic, he quickly realized that construction wasn't for him. With sports and writing as passions, he finally decided to chase his dreams, with The Collegian helping him achieve that. He is most excited to bring the best and most in-depth sports coverage that The Collegian can provide.

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