IM bowling discontinued, committee struggles with scheduling

Andrew Hawkins

Credit: Molly Johanson

Intramural (IM) sports have struggled this year more than in the past. On the broader level, the IM Committee had trouble finding adequate field space and organizing events. IM bowling was canceled due to scheduling issues arising from inappropriate, drunken behavior.

“[Last year there was] lots of excessive drinking, rowdiness,” said IM Committee President Chris Barton. “To be honest, [the bowling alley this year] just didn’t seem want our business.”
Many students are upset because of the cancellation. While some blame the students, others are upset at the IM Committee for not finding another solution. They feel that the IM Committee should have cracked down sooner, or found a way to stop the students’ inappropriate behavior. Ultimately, those interested this year regret the lost opportunity.
“It sounds really fun and there was so much hype around it,” said first-year Dan Ellis.
“I like bowling and it was fun to compete, even if it wasn’t very seriously,” said junior Alyssa Nevell.
Bowling stood apart from most IM sports by its being characterized by heavy intoxication and obnoxious behavior. “What? No more IM bowling?  How else am I supposed to drink on a Tuesday and not feel like an alcoholic or a deadbeat?” said senior Will Ethier Colón, his voice laden with sarcasm. “I honestly don’t know why anyone would be surprised by this. I mean, we kind of deserve it.”
“I don’t even like bowling. I just liked to go out and drink with my friends,” said senior Ryan Piela.
The issues surrounding IM bowling represents one of the more detrimental challenges that the IM Committee faced this semester. Yet, the committee’s disorganized game scheduling irked other people who do care about the other IM sports they play.
“It’s not like anyone gets competitive about IM bowling. I don’t think a lot of people take it very seriously; I know I didn’t,” said junior Adam Bronstein. “However, I’ve found it close to impossible to reschedule anything for IM Frisbee.”
“I’ve been really frustrated by the IM Committee’s lack of organization [this year]. I get that it’s hard to organize everything but that’s their job. Dodgeball was terrible this year,” said junior Dylan Wenzlau. “It was so bad I e-mailed the IM Committee and asked for my money back. They scheduled a ton of games at the same time and in the racquetball courts, there weren’t enough balls, and those racquetball courts were awful. [The courts] were really loud, cramped, it was hard to tell if people were in or not.”

The IM Committee is well aware of this criticism. “We have had a lot of issues with scheduling. We are at the bottom of the totem pole. I think sixty or seventy percent of Whitman students participate in IM sports … [but] we have to schedule around everyone else,” said Barton. “Club sports and varsity sports both have priority. The real issue is with field space.”

Better communication would make it easier for the committee to fit around the varsity and club athletes’ necessary practices and playing time. “Communication is hard because every field is run by different people,” said Barton. “And sometimes it’s hard to know who or how to get in contact with them. We’re going to update the web site, put forms and schedules online, so that everyone can use them. Hopefully, that will help with the organization and make this process smoother.”