Intramurals offer year-round competition: ‘… a stress reliever,’ says J.R. Norman, ‘You build relationships…’ says Lamara Keys

Team Bulls plays Team Free Agents at Carter Fitness Center on the Washington Street Campus.
Photo by EDUARDO OLMOS Team Bulls plays Team Free Agents at Carter Fitness Center on the Washington Street Campus.
Photo by EDUARDO OLMOSTeam Bulls plays Team Free Agents at Carter Fitness Center on the Washington Street Campus.

Intramural sports at Amarillo College offer students a chance to exercise year-round. AC’s recreational sports activity program is for students who want to have something to do while in school. Students compete against each other and take part in tournaments, but it’s not the only reason to join, said J.R. Norman, an intramurals specialist.

“I call it a stress reliever,” he said. “They have fun, they get games, they get teams and they compete.”

Intramural participation is listed on students’ transcripts, which may benefit them when they apply or transfer to another school, Norman said.

“You build relationships, and it’s a good way to keep in shape,” said Lamara Keys, a respiratory therapist major.

Keys said she is one of two student workers who handle recruitment and schedules.

Intramural participants also have the opportunity to compete at the regional level and then compete in national tournaments organized by the National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA).

“Every Thursday is our league play,” Norman said.

He said leagues average about four weeks, depending on the sport.

“We put fliers out, put it on our Facebook page, send out information to all students to let them know about events that take place,” Norman said. “They can come up here, sign up and put their team rosters down.”

The fall semester usually includes flag football and basketball, with spring consisting of softball, dodgeball and soccer, he said. This spring, however, softball was replaced by flag football because there was more interest in it, Norman said.

There are no fees to create a team or play against other teams during the fall or spring semesters. Participants must be enrolled students, however.

Norman said that during the summer, there will be a 5-on-5 basketball tournament in June and a 3-on-3 basketball tournament in July.

Although those tournaments require a fee, teams also can include non-students for another small fee.

Current intramural athletes began a 3-on-3 tournament April 25. It will last through the end of the semester.

Basketball games are played on the Washington Street Campus, Norman said. Softball games take place at John Stiff Park or Martin Road Park. Flag football is played by the tennis courts at Memorial Park, south of the Carter Fitness Center. Most other games are played inside the fitness center.

Depending on the tournament or sport, team categories include men’s, women’s and coed.

This year marked the beginning of an annual men’s and women’s championship basketball tournament between AC and West Texas A&M, Norman said.

He said the AC teams compete against each other first; the winner goes on to compete against WT.

WT won both games initially, Norman said.

The games, hosted by WT during the first tournament, will be hosted by AC during the next round.

“We’ll have home court advantage, so hopefully we’ll be ready to go,” Norman said.

Intramural participants also assist with AC and community sports-related activities. They include Badgerama and Spring Fling. Students partner with Kids Inc. to set up events and referee games.

Athletes also work with local elementary schools to conduct after-school tournaments. This month, members of the intramurals program have organized a soccer tournament at Whittier Elementary School for fourth through sixth graders, Norman said.

Volunteers are welcome to help at the events, he said.

Anyone interested can call Norman at 806-371-5382 or check the AC Intramurals Facebook page.

To see a list of 40 AC clubs and organizations, click here. Most are designed with specific majors or interests in mind, and some are active only during either the fall or spring semesters.

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