Bridgewater College’s Intramural Sports Struggling to Find Participants as More Students Move to Remote Learning

Intramural Coordinator Initiating Creative Program

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  • Blake Shields keeps a positive mindset for the intramurals sports on campus despite the impact of COVID-19. The future for intramural sports is uncertain due to the lack of students on campus to participate and having to follow guidelines to keep everyone healthy and safe.

  • Sophomore Ben Riddle winds up to throw the disc to one of the longest holes on the course. To be a successful disc golfer the ability to keep the disc going straight is a priority, and Ripple controlled his throws throughout all nine holes.

  • Sophomore Ben Riddle throws the disc hoping to land it in the cage. Ripple was the lone participant in Sunday’s disc golf event.

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Zachary Gray, Staff Writer

Bridgewater, Va. – Friday, Sept. 11, was the last day for students to opt out of residing on campus to receive a full residential refund, and the intramural sports department noticed the impact of this over the weekend. On Saturday, Sept. 12, they only had three participants show up for the life-sized foosball event and only one disc golfer showed up for Sunday’s event. 

“Only three people showed up in the last 15 minutes of the foosball event on Saturday,” said Blake Shields, the intramural coordinator in Student Life.

Sophomore Ben Riddle was the only participant to show up for the disc golf event on Sunday.

“I was really looking forward to playing ultimate frisbee as well this fall, but of course we can’t play because social distancing wouldn’t be possible with a close contact sport like that,” Riddle said. 

Riddle being the only participant, they continued on with the event; he did well at each hole and won a disc golf tee shirt. 

Speculating as to why there were few participants in the weekend’s events, Shields considered the number of students who go home on weekends which leaves few on campus and the possibility that the events are not interesting enough to bring in students to participate. 

COVID-19 is also making an impact. Intramurals is following the same guidelines as the college including requiring the wearing of masks and maintaining the six-feet social distancing.

There is also no overall schedule but instead day-by-day planning. As a result, Shields said that no one is aware of what and when the department is hosting events, that the only way to spread the news is by word of mouth, and if everyone is socially distancing and avoiding large gatherings, it’s hard to stay updated on the intramural sports. 

“The only thing we can do is host the events and hope people show up to them,” said Shields. “We had a decent turnout for a home run derby we held a few weeks ago so we’re planning on hosting events that students prefer to hopefully bring in more participants.” 

To stay informed on events, visit BC Campus Recreation on Facebook or email Shields at [email protected].