To engage with more students on campus, University of North Florida (UNF) RecWell is adding new, unique intramurals in the form of a billiards league and innertube water league this semester.
Nikki Mejido, the Intramural and Sport coordinator, said in her search for new options, she started looking at other universities around the country to see if their department could also run similar sports.
For innertube water polo, the department began working with pool managers to see if the league could be a possibility since a campus pool was just 50 feet from their Field House.
“They were very excited about the opportunity to bring more students into the Competition Pool Complex for innertube water polo,” said Mejido. “For billiards, I started looking around campus where we could hold a league. Some of the housing complex’s do have pool tables, but I wanted something more central in the university where students can hang out. Our Boat House Bar & Grill was the perfect location.”
Mejido said the times when the leagues are offered is ultimately up to Dining Services and the officials at the Competition Pool Complex. “Since it is their space, I always want to be respectful of their facility times,” said Mejido. “We feel like it was important to forge partnerships on campus to bring awareness to their facility and programs and ours.”
The Boat House Bar & Grill will host the billiards league on Thursdays from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. to allow for a maximum of registrations, there will be a limit of 12 teams with two players each since there are two tables that four teams can play at one time.
At the time of registration, players can choose the top three times that work best for their team. Mejido said since the number of registrations was lower than expected, they decided to go from 30-minute matches one-hour best two out of three matches. The standard rules of billiards apply to the league.
Innertube water polo is played with 12-player rosters including a goalie. Mejido said since this is their first innertube season, they decided to just have co-rec leagues.
“There would be no more than four of a gender in the pool at one time,” said Mejido. “With the three time slots we have, we can have six teams in each time slot. We can have up to 216 players in the league.”
Games are 30 minutes split into two 15-minute halves with a three-minute halftime. Teams are identified by the color tubes they sit in. Every player must always remain in their tube including the goalie. The team without the ball is allowed to knock the opponent off their tube if that player has the ball. Goals are worth one point for everyone. For safety, there will be lifeguards on duty and games will be played in the shallow end.
Each league has a four-week regular season and one week of playoffs. Playoff teams and seeding will be determined by the number of registered teams.
Benefits of Unique Intramurals
Mejido said these new sports will not only bring in students who normally wouldn’t come out for traditional intramurals, but they can interact with clubs on campus like the water polo club and swim team.
“Students are very excited,” said Mejido. “At the beginning of the semester I input all the leagues we would be offering during the whole semester, and I have gotten quite a few emails about registration opening early so they have their spot with these unique intramurals. At our captains’ meeting for flag football and volleyball we mentioned the upcoming sports, and many were intrigued and asked many questions about how they are played.”
On UNF RecWell’s intramural Instagram’s page @ospreyintramurals Kite said they run polls for students to vote on when deciding different sports, leagues and more.
“I have asked if any would participate in a tournament or league,” said Mejido. “Depending on the answers, I’m willing to try it. I have a question in my end-of-season survey asking what sport they would like to participate in and leave it open-ended so they can type whatever offering they would like. There is no harm for campus rec departments to try out new and unique intramurals from time to time.”
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