Intramural competitive leagues not for the faint of heart: Hidden gem for those daring enough

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Alyssa Synakowski, Sports Features Editor, @synakowsk

First published in print August 18, 2014

Intramurals at Utah Valley University might be the best-kept secret on campus for former athletes. The competitive leagues feature physicality, a need for toughness, and of course prizes for the team that comes out on top after the tournament.

To win the coveted t-shirt or gift card that is offered to the champion, one needs to play in and win one of the five leagues: basketball, volleyball, indoor soccer, outdoor soccer, and flag football.

There are games offered such as wallyball and laser tag that fall under the “free play” title for those who do not have the time commitment for a league.

But the most popular sport award on campus goes to basketball and flag football in a two-way tie.

“Last fall we had probably 40 football teams and 30 basketball teams,” said Dustin LaMont, assistant intramurals coordinator.

Teams have a regular season where they play each other once or twice, depending on how many teams have signed up, before the playoff.

Brandon Reeves, a staple in UVU intramurals, has seen his share of games after playing in one flag-football league and winning one of three basketball leagues.

“Intramurals was just the only way for me to play real sports every week,” Reeves said. “I would say football was my favorite. It had the most consistent competition.”

All intramural officials are students at the university. The new hires are cross trained in multiple sports before each semester. They go over the rules, watch videos and then field train to learn the locations they need to be in during an actual game.

“For intense situations, we try to have (refs) manage the game more than be on top of the rules entirely, so that they can diffuse intense situations,” LaMont said. “Luckily, this last semester was fairly good. The fall we had a few issues, but this past spring was pretty good.”

Sports tend to bring out the worst in people. Players will get pushy and chippy as they lose themselves in their emotions trying to win a game.

“The problem with intramural sports is not how it’s set up or ran but the players themselves,” said Dallin Ott, a frequent team member on Reeves’ team. “There are too many guys that think they are the next LeBron James and take it way too seriously!”

Reeves’ and Ott’s basketball team had a fight with another team in the Fall 2014 semester.

A fellow teammate, trying to get possession of a loose ball, wound up in a scuffle with the opponent after they got tangled up. The refs broke them apart and both players walked away grumbling.

Ott’s team was then on offense and his teammate drove the basketball into the lane, only to get tangled up with that same opponent he encountered moments ago.

The two were given technical fouls and tossed out of the game after punches were thrown.

For every competitive league, there is also a recreational league counterpart that is not as physical or popular, but the intramurals office tries to find ways for all students on campus to be an athlete.

Participation in intramurals is open to all full-fee paying students, faculty and staff of UVU. Those who do not fall under those three categories can purchase a guest pass from the Intramurals Office for $20.

Leagues will begin again at the beginning of the upcoming fall semester. For steps to sign up, visit