In an effort to rein in a community of commuter students who want to play intramural sports, Montclair State University held its first commuter sports intramural league this spring semester.
In accordance with the Department of Campus Recreation, the Commuter Student Programs and Services department created an exclusive sports intramural league specifically for commuter students.
“A lot of commuters want to participate in the regular intramurals, but because the days differ [every week] and they might not be on campus that day, it’s hard for them to come onto campus and participate,” said Domenica Ahmuty, a graduate assistant who was in charge of putting together the league.
Sign-ups for regular intramural sports leagues require students to register on IMLeagues, a website used by universities to set up their own intramural leagues. Once registered, they need to create or join a team.
Many of the people on the teams at Montclair State are familiar with one other. However, students who are not on teams are considered free agents and need to be picked up by a team, which can be difficult for commuters who don’t know many people on campus.
“A lot of the commuters don’t have the opportunities to connect with students, so they might not know a team that’s already available,” Ahmuty said. “The commuter intramural league is [where] you [can] show up and you play with whoever else is available, and you can make connections that way.”
There was no need to register on IMLeagues for the commuter intramural league. Students registered at the main office of the Student Recreation Center and paid a $10 registration fee, which is the same amount as the regular intramural league fee. There were no regulations other than having to be a commuter student at Montclair State.
The sporting events for the commuter league took place at the same time on the same day every week for four weeks, from March 24 to April 14, for one hour. A different sport was played every week, and teams were put together on the spot. Potential sports included volleyball, basketball, dodgeball, indoor soccer, bubble soccer, wiffleball and indoor flag football. Students voted at the end of each day to determine which sport would be played the next week.
A survey was sent out through HawkSync asking commuter students what day and time would be best for a commuter-only intramural league. Out of all the options available on the poll, students said Thursdays from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. was the preferred time. Free food, which included spaghetti and meatballs, pizza, salad and sandwiches, among other options, was served to the participants following every game.
According to Ahmuty, there was an initial limit of 40 students allowed into the league. The interest of many commuters surpassed that number. There were 41 people who were registered and many others who were put on a waiting list.
“Everyone is pretty competitive about it,” said senior Yokahayra Germoso. “It’s something that commuters can finally do. In the other intramural league, the time is inconvenient for those of us that drive to school.”
Germoso was one of the most competitive players out there. During a dodgeball match, Germoso had two balls in her hands and was the lone thrower on the attack line, making her vulnerable for a counterattack. As a ball was heading towards her, she did not flinch, but instead caught the ball with two balls already in both hands. With the spectacular trap catch, she eliminated the opposing player and ended up having three balls at the same time.
Germoso, an information technology major, was able to meet and connect with other students she maybe would not have met, such as Andrew Polcaro, who was on her team. Polcaro is a junior transfer student in his first semester at Montclair State and is also an information technology major.
“It was kind of intimidating coming to Montclair State from county college, where it’s a smaller school and a lot of people know each other,” Polcaro said. “It gave me a chance to play in a close environment with students that I probably would have never gotten to meet.”
In the future, many of the students would like to participate again if the commuter intramural league lives on.
“I would do it again,” said junior Justin Rich, whose team lost a close and highly-contested flag football game. “I would just like it to have its own championships and own divisions. It can be every Thursday or Friday, when everyone can come and enjoy themselves.”
As feedback reaches back to those who designed the program, a decision will be made regarding the future of the commuter intramural league.
“We’re definitely going to look to expand it in the future, see if we can look to open it up to more commuters, maybe have more than just one day and also look at the feedback that they give us in ways that we can improve it,” Ahmuty said.