Explore Campus | Health & Wellness
8 Reasons You Should be Playing Intramural Sports
Want to play sports every semester? You can. Just join a UC Berkeley Intramural Sports team. You don’t even need to be recruited.
Intramural Sports is a program through the Recreational Sports department, here on campus. Offering fifteen sports, three league types and three levels of competitiveness, IM Sports is available for all Rec Sports members, including any UC Berkeley student.
But why would want to add yet another thing to your busy schedule? We’ll break it down for you.
1. Schedule exercise (duh)
Okay, stating the obvious, but exercise is an important aspect of any college experience…just ask our friends over at University Health Services (UHS). By joining a team, you’re committing to working out a few hours a week — and racking up some other benefits in the meantime (read on).
2. Have fun (duh 2.0)
An obvious reason to play is that IMs are a lot of fun! Friendly competition, friends, and taking a break from school is the perfect combination for fun. Games are played in the evenings every semester (spring, summer, and fall) and there are always a myriad of games, cheering, rivalry, and energy going on late into the night. (Literally, some games start at 11 p.m….we know you don’t have class then.)
“When I went to serve, I was so nervous I served the ball under the net, but then I just burst out laughing, realized I was fine and that I really didn’t have anything to worry about.” – Shannon Choi, spring 2019 Intramural Sports volleyball player
3. The Season Pass is everything
One of the coolest aspects about IM sports is the IM Season Pass, which lets you plan unlimited number sports (with a few rules and exceptions). With your trusty pass, you can pick up a new sport and continue playing something you already know. And with fifteen sports to play, your options are mega. Try your hand (or foot) at basketball (5-on-5 and 3-on-3), dodgeball, flag football, esports (League of Legends, Overwatch and Fortnite) soccer (11s and Speed), softball, tennis (singles and doubles), ultimate, and volleyball.
4. Relieve stress (healthy version)
We all can agree that being a UC Berkeley student sometimes seems overwhelming, and finding ways to relieve stress is critical to your success here. Playing an intramural sport can help relieve some of the stress and anxiety brought on by school. When you exercise you release endorphins (a.k.a. your brain’s feel-good chemicals), decreasing your stress. (We like the sound of this!) And, as we all know, exercising and playing sports are meditative and can improve your overall mood.
“For us personally, IM sports serves as a way to take our minds off of academics, even if it is for an hour or two a week. IMs gives us the opportunity to meet up at least once a week to catch up and just have a good time, which is amazing.” – Louis M, Banana Bandanas, fall 2019 Basketball Competitive Open Champions
5. You can never have enough friends
Most of the Intramural Sports offered are team sports (except for tennis singles — but even then you’ll probably become friends with your opponent), so, whatever team you’re on, you’re bound to make new friends. IMs offer free-agent teams too, so even if you don’t have friends to join with (yet), you can still sign up!
“Los Guapitos is a team made up of very distinct individuals who belong to many different organizations on campus, but during the past semester this group came together once a week and everyone can actually say that the person playing alongside him was truly his friend if not his brother.” – Mateo T., Los Guapitos, fall 2019 Speed Soccer Competitive Open Champions
6. You can play (nice) with your cohort
Trying to connect with others in your major or college? Some teams are made up primarily of a specific cohort of students.
“The Rotating Discs are a group of graduate and undergraduate students from a variety of STEM fields who enjoy taking breaks from lab to play ultimate. A consistent fixture in the IM Ultimate leagues, the Rotating Discs have fielded a team in each of the last seven years.” – Ben H., Rotating Discs, fall 2019 Ultimate Open champions
7. Those leadership skills…
If you’re only adding resume building activities to your schedule, every IM team still needs a captain to organize schedules, start group texts, communicate with Rec Sports, and help design team shirts (if that’s your style).
8. Get a sweet champion t-shirt (if you win your league)
While there are three levels of competitive leagues (Premier/Advanced, Competitive, and Recreational), one of the perks of winning your league is getting a one-of-kind champion t-shirt.
Getting excited? Great! Team sign ups generally take place the first few weeks of every semester and individuals can sign up throughout the semester if there is space for you on the team. Hope we see you soon, making goals or sinking baskets!