Intramural sports pushes for in-person return

Tucker Grinnan, Sports Reporter

Due to Whitman’s recent loosening of the schoolwide COVID-19 regulations, in-person intramural sports may be making a return to campus.

Opportunities have opened up for more groups, clubs and facilities to offer in-person activities around campus, including the opening of the Baker Ferguson Fitness Center, climbing wall and outdoor tennis courts for recreational student use last week.

Whitman’s Intramural Sports Committee is trying to take advantage of the changing tides on campus to push for a return to in-person competition. The committee is currently considering advocating for socially distanced sports such as tennis and cornhole however, as of now, they are not exactly sure what said competition might need to look like in order to be in adherence with the current COVID-19 protocol.

Sherwin Amsbaugh, a senior and current head of the IM sports committee, explained the sort of predicaments they were encountering when compiling activity proposals to send to the administration.

“We want to do tennis, but what does tennis look like, can you do doubles, or is it going to be singles? Do players have to bring their own tennis balls? Are we going to be buying tennis balls? How is the disinfection process going to work?” Amsbaugh said. “All that kind of stuff is getting figured out within the next week or two.”

Although the committee is not completely sure of what activities they might put on yet, they are sure of their priorities in doing so.

“Being safe is priority number one, but priority two is feeling safe,” Amsbaugh said. “It’s about making sure people feel safe and want to be out there as well.”

Siri Lindstrum, a sophomore and fellow committee member, echoed Amsbaugh’s sentiment regarding the uncertainty around the nature of IM sports this semester. However, she also emphasized the importance of outreach in the meantime.

Illustration by Kiara Paninos.

“Everything is still in the works, nothing is finalized yet,” Lindstrum said. “Right now, since we aren’t doing anything physically, we are really making sure that everyone at least knows about us, knows what’s going on, and knows that we’re still working on [making in-person activities possible], even though nothing is physically happening.”

Part of the committee’s outreach effort included sending out an invitation to join the intramural sports listserv earlier last week. Scott Macdonald, a sophomore economics-math major, was one of many who signed up to receive updates via the listserv.

Macdonald is weary of the role COVID-19 related restrictions might play in determining the fate of intramural sports this semester but remains hopeful that opportunities will arise to compete for blue shirts.

“I feel confident in how the college has handled COVID so far and especially hearing that we had zero cases this week was super exciting,” Macdonald said. “I would love to participate in IM sports this year if I can.”

Information about Whitman’s intramural sports can be found on the Whitman website.