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Intramurals to return for another socially distant semester




A week after the college-wide quarantine ends, inpatient students return for another semester of social distance, with less exercise to accommodate public health restrictions and colder weather.

Thanks to Ellie Jose

After their first socially distant semester in the fall, Yale intramurals will return this semester on Feb. 22, with a few tweaks to meet public health and weather restrictions.

Last semester, IMs adapted to Yales COVID-19 restrictions, and, except for a 10-day break, IM secretaries and players were able to conduct intramural finals for all fall matches. Restrictions included mandatory masks, limits on the number of players in the room, and physical distance. Last fall, typical IM activities, including high-contact field sports such as soccer and football, were replaced with limited contact sports, including pickleball and table tennis. Only students in residence and juniors and seniors could participate.

The last semester restrictions will continue this semester with intramural classes in the spring. But due to the cold weather, all sports will have to be moved indoors, requiring further precautions and allowing fewer athletes to participate.

Because we’re only playing indoors for now, fewer sports are being offered, IM chief secretary Rachel Cohen 21 wrote to the news. Most of our usual winter sports (such as broomball or futsal) don’t adhere to the covid safety rules, so we’ve replaced them with remote sports that require fewer participants. Outdoor sports were very popular in the fall and we expect them to be well attended this spring too.

Cohen expects high participation in IMs this semester. She said that while many of the usual sports had to be replaced by others this year due to distance requirements, all new sports were well received by players.

For now, the IMs planned for the spring semester are badminton, knockout, table tennis, cornhole, pickleball, spikeball, and ladderball. Badminton, Knockout and Ladderball are planned to replace fall activities such as KanJam, HORSE, Bocce and CupCheck. Programs and rankings can be found hereCohen told the news that the outdoor ladder and spike ball will hopefully start in March, once the weather conditions improve.

Pauli Murray IM Secretary Severyn Kushmeliuk 21 echoed Cohens’ feelings. He noted that while they can prepare for the season as best they can, the intermunicipal teams are always subject to change.

It’s a bit of a wait and see, said Kushmeliuk. That has pretty much always been the case, in the pandemic and before the pandemic.

Even with another physically distant season, both Cohen and Kushmeliuk are looking forward to what this semester will bring.

According to Kushmeliuk, cross-cultural mediators have always been a great way to connect students with other colleges. Even with limitations, he believes these connections can still be formed. Cohen agreed, telling the News that many areas of student life have been put on hold this year, so she is happy that the IMs can be adapted to provide students with a safe way to socialize.

Given that sophomores were not allowed to return to campus last semester, with a few exceptions, this will be the first time sophomores have been able to participate in socially detached IMs.

One of those sophomores, JR Stauff 23, expressed his enthusiasm about the upcoming IM season.

It’s absolutely super weird not to just go to the gym and play basketball, Stauff said. Last year my friends and I did that most evenings, so it’s definitely exciting for that [intramurals] to come back, even if it’s not exactly the same.

As a first year, Stauff played football, volleyball and basketball on IM flag. While those specific sports aren’t offered this semester, he’s looking forward to playing again. He said he is especially excited about knockout and cornhole.

But for remotely enrolled students, this will be another semester without IM.

I feel like I’ve been cut off a bit, which I can fully understand, Aidan Cabral said 23. But I still feel a disconnect.

Last year, Cabral was an avid IM player, participating in flag soccer, volleyball, basketball, and soccer. For him, IMs have always been a fun way to get away from school work and socializing, and it was disappointing that he couldn’t participate in them for a year.

While the Ivy League has canceled most of the spring competitions for varsity, IM players and secretaries are hoping for another successful semester for intramural sports.

Timothy Dwight is currently in the lead for IMs, with a total of 282 points.

Nicole Rodriguez [email protected]

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