A post from a recent MAPH grad on the joys of graduate school intramural sports!
Hello new MAPHers. As an alumnus of the MAPH soccer team, I have been asked to provide you with some information about playing intramural sports in the coming year. In the first couple of weeks you may be wondering how anybody could find the time to play sports, let alone compete in a league. I can tell you that I would never have made it through the year if it weren’t for intramurals. Let’s face it, you’re going to waste hours every day watching TV, playing video games, and stalking “friends” on Facebook. While these are undoubtedly noble endeavors, they do not allow you to strike Freud and Lacan from your mind and burn off some of that energy and stress you’ve been building up. The fitness center obviously offers a chance to forget about those awful Core papers and give your body a workout, but nothing is better for off-setting the stresses of MAPH than intramural sports. It’s a great way to make friends fast and spend a few hours a week completely forgetting about the mountain of photocopies and books piling up on your desk. You will also find that you use your time much more productively when you are physically active, and sometimes the gym is just too boring to be a viable option.
With this in mind, I encourage anybody who is interested in any sport to get started right away. Send an email through the MAPH listserve to find fellow MAPHletes and start organizing pick-up games on the Midway, or Washington Park, or the Henry Crown Fieldhouse. Soccer doesn’t start until Winter term, but by September last year we were already playing two or three times a week, and we had a team set by October. Also, registration for fall sports such as kickball, racquetball, and dodgeball are coming up soon, so you’ll want to find out who’s interested in playing right away. All it takes is one person who is willing to take the initiative and organize a team.
You can find all the intramural information you need at http://athletics.uchicago.edu/campus/campus.htm, or by following the link to “Athletics” under the “Student” section of the UChicago website. Brian Bock, the intramural coordinator, is also incredibly helpful and would be happy to answer any questions you have. He can be reached at email@example.com or (773) 702-4658. If you can’t find enough people for a team, you can sign up as a free agent. Also, check the schedule for the courts at the Henry Crown Fieldhouse. Basketball, lacrosse, rugby, indoor soccer, volleyball, badminton, and ping-pong all have designated hours for pick-up games and practices. Playing pick-up can get you in contact with players from other programs that you can team up with when intramural season comes around.
On a personal note, I have two favors to ask of the incoming MAPH class. First, it should be known that MAPH currently holds the championship title for indoor co-ed soccer. It is on you to retain this title. Also, a shocking and heartbreaking last-second loss in the Kickball finals robbed MAPH of a second title. As graduates, we do not have the opportunity to seek our own vengeance, and again, the duty falls to you. Someone please step up and win these league titles in memory of MAPHers past. Aside from these two specific requests, I encourage you to get involved in intramurals in some way this year. If conventional sports don’t interest you, check out dodgeball, broomball (on the ice skating rink), walleyball, wiffleball, or bowling. And if you don’t like team sports, UChicago offers intramural archery, billiards, croquet, bocceball, ping-pong, and badminton. If you don’t want to play sports at all, not to worry—you can even play intramural chess, euchre, or foosball. They truly have something for everyone. And there’s no overestimating the power of that elusive intramural championship t-shirt to see you through even the worst periods of frustration and doubt that will do their best to destroy you in the coming year…Have fun!