As the fall season of intramural sports begins, the roster has more participants than ever. The Intramural sports program serves to offer students of all grades, including graduate students and even faculty members the opportunity to participate in sports such as Basketball, Flag Football, Volleyball, Soccer and Badminton. Within these options, participants are able to choose from a variety of skill levels that best fit their abilities.
Ethan Godfrey, the program coordinator of competitive sports in the Department of Recreation, provided information regarding the structure and scheduling of the program this year and the adjustments made due to the participant increase. Godfrey is entering his sixth year of running intramurals at Fairfield. Within the program itself, there has been a 21% increase this fall in the total number of student participants signed up for an intramural sport, defined as “unique participants.”
Within the participant numbers, Godfrey explains that it is important to note the difference between participants and unique participants.
Unlike unique participants, participants are the total number of individuals signed up for each sport. He explains this difference through a scenario, saying, “if John Smith signed up for Flag Football, Soccer and Softball, he would count three times as a participant, however, he would count once as a unique participant.”
This concept is considered while collecting the participation numbers within the general program, as well as each individual sport.
Godfrey claims that the “total participants, unique participants, male participants, female participants, sophomore participants, junior participants, senior participants, grad student and faculty/staff participants and teams have increased tremendously.” Unfortunately, the involvement of first-year student participants this year has decreased by 24%, however, he explains that “it is early in the year and we are working on ways to engage this class.”
As of this fall, 3v3 Basketball which includes an A League, B League and Co-Rec & Women’s League has 435 total current participants, increasing last year’s participation number by 16%. This number has increased 260% since the Fall of 2018 when this event was created, as it began with 129 participants. Due to basketball’s continuous popularity, Godfrey explains that “since we have the court space for the fall, we have decided to run basketball in both the Fall and Winter (5v5 in winter).”
Within basketball participation specifically, Godfrey claims that the women’s league “currently has four teams signed up, which is lower than expected, based on the year-end Intramural Survey.”
Another activity offered to intramural participants is flag football. This specific activity is an “open league,” meaning anyone can play. This is ultimately split up into an A-League, being more competitive and challenging, and B-League which is recreational and aimed toward first-time players. Participation in this event has increased by 14% from last year, with 410 participants in 2021. Godfrey claims the number of participants is “the most I’ve ever had here in my five years of running intramurals.”
The biggest participation jump across all Fall sports events occurred in Volleyball this year. The total number of participants increased by 43% from last year. Godfrey claims “we have seen a great increase in female participation, a 28% increase from 2021. We also saw a huge increase in the total number of teams.” The 44 total teams created last year jumped to 70 this year, and additionally, a Co-Rec league was created.
Another sport that has seen a participation increase is soccer. Going from 49 to 115 participants, there was a 28% increase from last year, with a particular increase in senior participation of 135%. Due to this increase, some teams begin their games as late as 10 p.m.
Club soccer participant Chris Pozzuto ‘25 describes his experience with this event over the last two years, saying “I recommended it to first-year students as a leader in campus ministry, as I’ve noticed this year there’s a significant amount of teams which allows for connections to grow just like mine have.”
As for his experience with the later game times, Pozzuto explains, “Late night games are rough especially when they’re at Rafferty Stadium for soccer. It’s hard because I come back at around 11 p.m. from the 10 p.m. soccer games and I try not to wake up my roommates who have early classes.” Pozzuto adds, “I wish they’d start games earlier, but with the growing amount of players and teams, I understand they have to rotate the later times.”
Godfrey explains the changes made to the program as a result of the participant increase over the years, saying that in order to adapt to these circumstances, the program coordinators have “hired a larger staff of Intramural referees, scorekeepers and supervisors.”
Specifically for flag football and soccer, Godfrey explains that a cap was put on these teams due to the spacing on the outdoor field, Rafferty Stadium. These specific sports are given 15 to 18 hours a week, whereas indoors, Godfrey explains, “basketball gets over 30 hours due to having more court space and the court being split.”
The program coordinators focus on making sure the number of games each team has is as equal and fair as possible, even factoring in circumstances such as “weather cancellations, varsity or Fairfield Prep games and any unforeseeable circumstances.”
The game scheduling process is open for students to choose the best working time in their schedule, which Skye Deraffele ‘25 claims is convenient “so we don’t get stuck with late games where we’re not available,” as she claims that “last year we missed a lot of games because they didn’t work with our schedule.”
Over the years, intramurals have only become more popular among students. Lauren Martland ‘25 says, “It’s given me a chance to hang out with my friends outside of an academic setting and meet tons of new people!”