Viewpoint: Calm down, haters: Co-rec ultimate Frisbee is fantastic

By Travis Taylor

First things first: I love my girlfriend.

But playing intramural ultimate Frisbee with her? I wasn’t totally convinced. In the mad scramble to meet the three-woman requirement for our “Boom Goes Da Dynamite” ultimate team, we found a quidditch player, an intramural referee and, yes, my girlfriend, who has never played ultimate Frisbee in her life.

My fears were soon put to ease.

In our first playoff game, against a very physical and athletic Fiji and Chi-O co-rec team, my girlfriend made a spectacular catch near the end zone, despite running full speed into one of our own players. I had thrown it to her in the first place, and I will admit I had my doubts when I released the disc. Will she catch it? Will she go after it even though there is a guy guarding her? Will she know what to do after she catches it? But when I saw her get up from the ground with the disc still in her hand, despite getting the wind knocked out of her, those doubts were erased.

Before playing our first game, when we learned that we were playing co-rec intramural sports. Before it was two separate leagues. I have to say that the first question I had was, ‘Why?’

Dominque Hill, senior intramural coordinator at Baylor, says it was a change requested by students.

“We ran it on student interest and student feedback,” Hill said, adding that through a town-hall style meeting in the spring, students specifically requested more co-rec intramural sports.

Come game time, I realized just why so many students wanted to bring men’s and women’s leagues together: It simply made the game more enjoyable to play.

In the world of intramural sports before co-rec, games had the problem of having too much: too much seriousness, too many “high school heroes,” too much testosterone.

Don’t get me wrong, I love competition. I play competitive ultimate, and I love to go hard every time I play.

But let’s remember, this is intramurals. This is supposed to be about fun, right?

Co-rec sports definitely offer plenty of the competition that we crave as a competitive team. Boom Goes Da Dynamite got second place in last year’s tournament, and we are looking to make it to the finals again this year. Adding women to the team did nothing to change that, but I will say that I am having way more fun than I did last year.

Ultimate Frisbee is only the beginning of the trend.

“This year, our main theme is the year of co-rec sports,” Hill said.

This year alone, co-rec sports offered by Baylor Intramurals has jumped from two to five with the addition of ultimate, kickball and wallyball. Doubles tennis and sand volleyball were previously the only co-rec sports available.

Will more changes come in the future?

You better believe it.

While the changes will probably not occur this year, Hill said co-rec basketball in addition to men’s and women’s divisions may be on the horizon.

In the end, deciding which sports can be played as co-rec sports is a risk management decision.

“The higher the contact in a sport, the less likely we’ll make it co-rec,” Hill said.

For the meantime, I’m just glad we have more co-rec opportunities.

So as we hit the field on Monday in our quarterfinals match-up against a Kappa and KOT co-rec team, I will be glad to have my girlfriend playing next to me.

Travis Taylor is a junior journalism major from Woodbury, Minn. He is a reporter for the Baylor Lariat.