Intramurals adapt based on COVID-19 restrictions

Intramural sports will continue this semester following COVID-19 guidelines previously set. The photo above was taken before the COVID-19 outbreak. Photo courtesy of Baylor Tri Delta

By Marquis Cooley | Reporter

Despite many Baylor University in-person events being canceled last semester due to COVID-19, intramural sports were able to continue being a place “where character meets competition.”

Donovan Hailey, the intramural sports coordinator, said he looked at last semester as an opportunity rather than a challenge.

“It was an opportunity to learn,” Hailey said. “I will say, if I did anything last semester, what I did was learn new policies, new procedures, new ways to interact.”

One of the new procedures implemented last semester was the switch from regular whistles to electric whistles that could be used with the press of a button.

Intramural sports supervisor Trevor Van Hoosier said he prefers the old whistles, but the new ones made the job a little easier.

“It was just another way so that we didn’t have to take down our masks to blow with the regular whistles,” Van Hoosier said. “I feel like it was a little quicker. In terms of being able to blow the whistle just by pressing the button rather than having to bring it from where it is on around your neck up to your mouth in order to blow. So, made it easier in some aspects, especially for flag football.”

While using the whistles wasn’t much of an issue, the intramural staff said they still had other problems to deal with.

Although fans are welcomed and greatly encouraged to come to the intramural games, Van Hoosier said that at times it could be difficult getting them to follow the guidelines.

“Honestly, there were times where the fans were more of a problem than the players themselves,” Van Hoosier said. “There were even times in the middle of a game while a play was running, I would have to turn to the side and yell, ‘Put your mask on!’”

However, Van Hoosier said that whenever problems occurred, team captains were a great help in getting their fans to follow the rules.

While intramurals may have looked and operated a bit differently last semester due to COVID-19, Cypress junior Dallas Caldwell said it was just as enjoyable.

“It was fun, and I was so happy. I was really happy that they continued doing intramural sports,” Caldwell said. “It gives people a chance to work out and still hone their athletic abilities and still be able to do school without having to be full time as an athlete.”

As Hailey and the intramural staff prepare for the upcoming spring sports, they will take what they learned from handling the outdoor sports in the fall, such as cleaning the equipment, into the indoor sports that will be taking place this spring.

“Everything that I learned last semester I’m thinking of a better way to do it this semester,” Hailey said. “I need to be proactive and thinking, ‘OK, we kept them safe in outdoor areas. Now how can we do the same and enhance it to be better in indoor areas as well?’”

Hailey said he’s excited to see what opportunities this semester brings, and to continue working for a university and a community he loves.

“Everyone is so uplifting and so positive in a time where, you know, the world is really going through some adversities,” Hailey said. “We found ways here and around Waco to keep each other uplifted. And so I’m most excited to fellowship, to take advantage of every opportunity we have to compete and just to love one another.”