By, Anna Woods, Managing Editor
After a two-year hiatus, intramural basketball is well underway. Intramural basketball ended in March 2020 only weeks before the pandemic began. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, indoor sports had not been an option for the intramural program. Now in 2022, students are able to get back on the court.
“We have well over 1000 students that participate,” Deanna Hewlett, recreation coordinator, and director of the intramural program said. “Our students live on campus, and we have a lot of commuter students as well that stay around to participate,” Hewlett said.
John Bennett, executive director of the Office of Student Engagement, explained the impact the program has on the community of the school.
“[Intramural sports] are such a fantastic way to get students involved and meet new friends,” Bennett said. “It’s really great in [student engagement’s] eyes, to connect students to get them out there. Within the [office of student engagement] we wish every administrator saw intramural events at night because it’s such a different world on campus.”
The office of recreation employs students through work-study to serve as officials and supervisors of the games. Hewlett shared that many of the office’s previous employees have graduated or moved on to supervisory positions within the office allowing a group of new students to work as officials.
“I’m dealing with pretty much a completely new, different set of staff. So you know, that’s re-training, that’s them getting readjusted. Some of them don’t have prior experience officiating. So it’s just getting them comfortable with officiating and everything,” Hewlett said.
She also shared that their staff is smaller than normal.
“We are servicing over 1000 students, between a staff of 20 now, right, you know, and out of those 20 only have, 12 that actually officiate out of those 20,” Helwett said. “So trying to get those 12 students, spreading them across … four days of games … can become difficult. But I think we’re doing a good job of managing it.”
Officials are trained before the season begins and meet weekly to discuss the games of the work.
“So we have a meeting every Tuesday … with the officials and supervisors as well … I’m always asking, like, ‘what did you guys notice? You know, what do you think we did good? What can we do to get better with that? This is the opportunity for them to ask questions and things like that,” Hewlett said.
Hewlett understands the difficulty that the position brings.
“During our weekly meetings, I just want them to get better. I know it’s hard officiating,” said Hewlett. “Recreation is like one of the best jobs you’ll have, you get to have fun, love sports, you get to be around sports, but at the same time, it is a job so there’s a great level of difficulty to it … I know that officiating will never be perfect. There’s no perfect, you know, world when it comes to sports.”
Basketball notoriously is one of the more excitable sports within the program often leading to disagreements between players and officials. However, the program has clear sportsmanship rules and regulations for players to abide by while playing. Additionally, officials are trained to handle disagreements that may occur.
“Anytime you’re at a school-sanctioned event, the school’s Code of Conduct goes into play,” Hewlett said. “We also have a basketball manual …they’re students, you know, so I expect my officials to conduct themselves professionally. But I also expect the students that are participating to be respectful as well and conduct themselves a certain type of way.”
According to Hewlett, the basketball manual includes all of the information that officials and participants need to know. Despite the tensions that may arise during the games, Hewlett feels that students behave well.
“I think we the students do a pretty good job of respecting doesn’t the games can get heated, you know, and even students that I’ve spoken with outside of the games, you know, they’ll say, you know, I was just heated in the moment,” Hewlett said. “And I get that, you know, I have played sports my whole life. And I understand when you’re competitive, and you’re trying to win, like it can get heated. But there are rules in place,”
Junior Ali James is a public health major with a concentration in healthcare administration and management minor. Intramural basketball has played a significant role in her life at Manhattan College. James wrote an email to The Quadrangle sharing her experience in the program.
“I used to play basketball in high school, and it’s one of my favorite things to do. Intramural basketball is like my escape from all the other more serious things that I do at school,” James wrote. “I started playing my freshman year as a way to make new friends, and two years later I’m still playing with some of the same people. I think intramurals are a great way to bring different members of the Manhattan College community together, especially after the pandemic. It’s great to be able to see different types of people doing something that they love on campus.”
James shared that intramurals can have moments of tension but it is all about the mindset.
“I definitely think in the heat of the moment, tensions can run a bit high, especially if the game is close,” James wrote. “That being said I don’t think any of the players ever intend to be malicious or disrespectful.”
Hewlett believes in her staff and feels that they are exceeding at their positions given their new roles.
“I think that they’re doing an awesome job because officiating is not easy. Being a referee is not easy on any count, but especially when you’re refereeing your peers, the same people that you have to sit beside in class and in the cafeteria… But I think they’re doing as well as they can do for a new core group. And I think each sport each week, that as the sports go on, they get better and better,” Hewlett said.Intramural volleyball will begin soon after the basketball season is over. If you are interested in joining, visit the office of recreation website.