Friday, August 14th, 2015
Dixie State University’s intramural program was recently ranked as one of the top 50 in the nation by BestColleges.com.
In an effort to identify the best collegiate intramural programs in the country, BestColleges.com looked at factors such as efficient team/activity organization, appropriate sports facilities and the number and frequency of programs offered. It just so happens that Dixie State also places an importance on these aspects of the intramural program.
“We’re really organized. We advertise the activities, get students registered, make schedules for the entire season, and hire students to officiate the games,” David Howell, assistant director of intramurals at DSU, said. “Our operation is pretty formal; it’s not just open gym time. Events start at 6 p.m. and run until midnight, Monday through Thursday, but preparation starts at 8 a.m.”
These necessary preparations are made by the dedicated employees in Dixie State’s Campus Recreation department, headed up by Director Christian Hildebrandt. The 40 to 50 student-employees who help with the intramural program each year are key to the program’s success and play a big role in why BestColleges.com included DSU in the top 50 listing, Howell said.
Dixie State’s intramural program offers 40 events every year, including individual activities like free-throw competitions, one-on-one matchups like Ping Pong and billiards, and team sports such as volleyball, flag football and basketball. The team sports are among the most popular offerings, as students often participate in intramurals as a way to spend time with friends and meet new ones.
“A big portion of what we do is focusing on the social aspect,” Howell said. “We are a bridge between high school and college athletics. Not everyone goes on to be a collegiate athlete, but intramurals gives students the opportunity to be on a team, something a lot of students enjoy.”
With as many as 25 teams competing in one season in some of the more popular events, Howell said, it’s natural to see some teams be competitive and others participate just for fun. As a result, there are two different brackets for end-of-season tournaments. In both the championship and consolation brackets, teams are matched up with competitors with similar records. At the end of each tournament, the winners receive Intramural Champion T-shirts and, perhaps more importantly, bragging rights.
“People love winning those shirts,” Howell said. “They like wearing them to class and rubbing it in to their buddies that they won.”
Typically offering co-ed competition in each activity and often including separate men’s and women’s teams, the program serves 2,500 students each year. Students compete about twice a week, so they still have time to participate in other Dixie State activities and have well-rounded college experiences.
“We strive to keep students physically active. When they have an outlet, they tend to produce better in the classroom and get better grades,” Howell said. “Not everyone likes running on a treadmill, so intramurals gives them another opportunity to recreate.”
For more information about Dixie State University’s intramural activities, visit www.dixie.edu/intramurals.