Let's kick it! Your Unofficial Guide to Intramural Sports
I’ll be honest with everyone, I’m not a competitive person and I’m also surprisingly unathletic. So why am I writing a blog about intramural sports? Because I believe that they are a great way to connect with your friends, they keep you healthy and active, and they support our local parks. All of these things are very important to me and as a former intramural kickball athlete (or at least an attempt at being one) I’ve got the hands on experience of what it’s like to get my hands dirty on the field.
The City of Reno and City of Sparks both have extensive community athletic programs offering everything from traditional sports like softball and basketball, to adult versions of your favorite kids games like kickball and ultimate frisbee. The City of Reno also has a competitive cornhole league for those of us who want to live out tailgate glory outside of football season. The variety of intramural sports available truly makes sure that there is something for everyone at all levels of ability.
Speaking of ability, one thing that always worried me when I thought about playing intramural sports was absolutely getting destroyed by other players. Both City of Reno and City of Sparks leagues get around this problem by offering varying levels of competition in several sports. Softball offers three levels of play from novice to advanced, and basketball offers two levels of competition as well. As for kickball I can tell you from experience that anyone can play, even those who are blessed with the grace of a newborn giraffe like myself.
Intramural sports also let you explore some of the parks and open spaces around town. There are some truly great facilities between Reno and Sparks that are used for bringing the community together around these sports. When I played kickball we played at the sports complex inside of Golden Eagle Park, which was incredibly well maintained and provided a great atmosphere for kickball games. Other places where games are played include the Reno Sports Complex, by the Evans Canyon trailhead; Plumas Gym inside of Plumas Park; and at Idlewild Park, which is of course home to one of our offices.
The Mayo Clinic recommends getting at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week. Playing in an intramural sport definitely helps you hit those recommendations. Sports like basketball and volleyball keep you moving the entire time you are playing. It’s hard to end either of those games not drenched in sweat. Slower paced games like kickball and softball also give plenty of opportunities to raise your heart rate and meet your fitness goals. The mental rush of scoring a point or the bonding feeling with your teammates after a loss are also great for your mental health.
So no matter what your experience level intramural sports are a great way to get active, see your community and support your local parks. I’ll see you on the field!
About the Author: Matt DeBray is the Communications Manager for Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation. As an AmeriCorps Alum he enjoys working with current members and highlighting all the amazing things they do during their service term. He also enjoys being in the water because it's the only time he doesn't move like a baby giraffe.