Step onto the court and, as teams hurl rubber projectiles at each other, it’s pretty clear that quick reflexes are essential for both watching and playing this playground sport. As teams like Buster McThunderstick or Hooligans try to channel moves from Vince Vaughn or Ben Stiller, players try their best to dodge the balls that eventually slam into nearby walls.
Dodgeball is just one of 19 sports offered by the intramural program at Missouri S&T (and maybe the only one that was once reserved for elementary P.E. class). Former high school athletes who opt not to pursue a spot on a varsity-level team have plenty of traditional sports to choose from in the program, including softball, golf, cross country, swimming, volleyball, soccer, tennis, bowling, basketball and even track and field. But there are plenty of non-traditional sports to consider too, like washers, ultimate Frisbee, table tennis and darts.
The diverse program gives students a wide selection of options to stay active. Nearly 70 teams were represented during 2009-10, with a composite number of 6,365 participants. Flag football, softball, soccer, volleyball and basketball round out the program’s most popular sports.
“Our goal is to provide participants with a comprehensive array of activities, a friendly and knowledgeable staff and a safe playing environment,” says Sarah Moore, assistant director of athletics and intramural director. “All activities are social, competitive and sporting in nature and encourage and promote the value of fair play and a healthy lifestyle.”
In addition to the intramural program, S&T offers nine non-varsity sports clubs, such as fencing and rugby, with a roster of nearly 250 members.
“Students choose to participate in sports clubs for various reasons, although a common denominator is often a recreational love of the sport or activity,” says Angela Perkins, director of student life.
Competition with these traveling teams can be fierce and physical, especially against old rivals. Success becomes even sweeter when S&T is the underdog, like when S&T’s Division II in-line roller hockey team walked away with a 5-3 win against the University of Missouri-Columbia’s D-I team last October.
“Going in against Mizzou, nobody expected us to beat them except ourselves,” says Bryce Vandas, a team captain and senior in mechanical engineering. “The official score keeper even came to our locker room afterward to ask if the final score was correct because he didn’t believe it. It was a great game. We finally got our payback.”