Intramural Sports Program Strives For Inclusivity and Variety of Offerings

By Katy Shenk

Student Life Editor

New Director of Campus Recreation Steve Kaneshiki believes that intramural sports can truly be for everyone, and he is looking to incorporate student feedback to make that notion a reality at Washington College.

According to Kaneshiki, a difficulty of adjusting to his new position involves first discovering what changes students want to see to the program.

“I’m just going to try to give more opportunities out — I’m going to try to think outside the box. I want to create more opportunities for every type of person to participate and to make it attractive to participate,” he said.

Although he is adamant about relying on student feedback and has been focused on facilitating fall club sports, Kaneshiki has already began the process of making intramural sports more inclusive by adding “open” and “female” leagues for some fall offerings.

Last year, all intramural sports were “co-rec,” meaning that there was a mandatory minimum for male and female participants on each team.

According to Kaneshiki, this became a problem when team members with prior commitments were absent from games, causing their team to forfeit because they no longer met the minimum requirement.

By making the league “open-rec” teams can be all men, all women, or co-ed with any combination of both genders.

Additionally, some female players expressed dissatisfaction with playing high contact sports, such as flag football and basketball, against their male peers.

“Some of the females felt that they loved playing football, but maybe some of the teams were a bit too aggressive for their liking,” Kaneshiki said.

To resolve this, Kaneshiki hopes to have a women’s only league for such contact sports. He noted that women who enjoy competing with male teams could still do so by registering for the co-rec division.

“I’m trying to give options where everybody would be comfortable playing. [Females] can compete every bit with males. It’s just, do they want to or not?” he said.

There is also the possibility to create separate recreational and competitive divisions for sports such as badminton for students seeking more relaxed play.

In addition to making current offerings more accessible, Kaneshiki also wants to incorporate sports outside of traditional intramural leagues, such as ping-pong, pool, e-sports, and possibly video games.

He hopes to host three weekends of one-day tournaments, likely on Sundays, to attract a wider audience and minimize time commitment.

“A lot of people have seemed very interested in those; not just students, but staff [as well],” he said.

“WC’s ping-pong community has been fragmented by the deconstruction of the Goose Nest last semester and the lack of resources, namely available ping pong balls, and I think it would thrive with a little bit of structured support,” said sophomore Jimmy Looper in response to Kaneshiki’s one-day ping-pong tournament idea.

“I would absolutely be interested in participating and I think plenty of others would be as well,” Looper said.

To determine which tournament activities and new sports to offer, Kaneshiki plans to establish a presence on campus by running a table in Hodson Hall and connecting with pre-established groups, such as Resident Assistants, Greek Life, and clubs.

“I would like to see changes in the variety of IM sports offered at Washington College. I had personally been talking to Nick Moon about adding floor hockey before he left the school so that is definitely one sport I would like to see added,” said junior and intramural soccer captain Patrick Berry.

Kaneshiki said he has attempted to be as visible as possible to facilitate student feedback in regard to the new changes and potential offerings.

“I can’t do every idea that everybody has, but I need to hear every idea that somebody has, because two ideas can make one project come to life. Or it might be something that I can work on for future years,” he said.

This semester, intramural soccer began on Oct. 3, Ultimate Frisbee is expected to begin on Oct. 22, and flag football will kick off in early November. All team registration is run through, with a link on the Johnson Fitness Center website.

Intramural sports also require student officials to act as referees and man scoreboards during games. In addition to facilitating sports of their choice, officials attend meetings to establish game rules and regulations. Both a Federal Work Study and Non-Federal Work Study job application can be found on JobX.

Reflecting on the purpose of intramural sports, Kaneshiki said that, “If we do [intramurals] the right way, and offer different competition levels and leagues, it can be for everybody and it can bring the school closer together.”

Have an opinion or idea about intramural sports offerings? Contact Steve Kaneshiki at or by visiting his office on the first floor of the Cain Gymnasium.

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