There may not be Harding sports to go out and support, but students still have the opportunity to participate in or watch intramural and club sports. With the addition of a few new rules, Harding will keep their recreational sports safe and active during this time. Fall intramurals will include soccer, softball and coed sand volleyball, as well as a variety of tournaments each weekend.
Following the government’s safety guidelines, the most notable difference between previous years is masks, as they are required for any participant not actively involved in a game. Players on the sidelines, as well as audience members, must wear a mask. Another difference will be location: every sport will take place outside, and for sports like volleyball, this transition has reduced the amount of playable courts down to two. Additionally, spectators have been asked to socially distance to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Tom Ritchie, assistant kinesiology professor and director of recreation programs, oversees club sports and will be doing his best to enforce the new guidelines.
“We have asked the club’s [athletic directors] and their officers to take care of [rule enforcement],” Ritchie said. “But we have also asked our staff, our referees, to enforce that.”
For athletes, it is very uncommon for them to participate in intramural sports, but senior wide receiver Micheal Cendrick is hoping that he will be allowed to participate in intramural sports this off-season.
“I think the coaches are a little hesitant to give us the green light,” Cendrick said. “I know the guys want to be active and stay active, and I think that will be something if they give us a green light.” Though he may remain active in his training and regimen, Cendrick said he has longed for the competition of sports. Cendrick said he was excited about the opportunity of the football team playing intramural or club sports like softball or basketball.
“None of us are any good, but it’s just the competition aspect that we aren’t going to have this fall playing football,” Cendrick said.
For social clubs, participating in club sports is an opportunity to bond with fellow club members. Allison Jenkins, athletic director of women’s social club Ju Go Ju, said she sees club sports as a time to come together and unite.
“To Ju Go Ju, it’s a good, unifying activity that we do,” Jenkins said. “Also, a lot of girls have played high school sports in the past, so I think it’s a really good outlet for a lot of people and it is a good way to express your club pride and unify as a club.”