After four weeks of competitive regular season play, the intramural playoffs have come and gone, bringing an end to season one of AUIMs.
“It was a huge success,” said Trent Palmer, director of student engagement.
A successful first season was hardly a sure thing. There was a great deal of anxiety surrounding this season coming in. After much of last year’s staff were unable to return for a variety of reasons, five new staff members were hired, a much greater deal of turnover than was previously anticipated.
Cam Etzler, Jeremy Davis, Walker Spahr, Hannah Ader and Jenny Bustos were the new hires. Palmer was intentional in hiring sports & recreational leadership majors, as well as established leaders on campus and former intramural referees.
The new staff has done a tremendous job of getting acclimated to their new roles.
“From a staff perspective, we haven’t missed a beat,” said Palmer.
Etzler, a full-time IM referee of two years, echoed Palmer’s sentiments.
“Having refereed the previous two years allowed me to feel comfortable coming into this role,” he said. “I knew the ropes.”
While moving from an official to a full-time staff member has been an adjustment of sorts, it has been worth it for Etzler.
“It’s been really good to be able to connect with new people.”
The seamless transition of the staff, along with their strong leadership qualities, enabled season one to run smoothly.
In addition to the change of staff, AUIMs underwent another massive transition—the paper trail has been eliminated and has been replaced by an online platform, IMLeagues.
“Anytime a business can eliminate paper costs in the digital age, it’s a win,” said Intramural Coordinator Rudy Lyon. “Removing the paper trail has been a success.”
In the past, team registration was done by filling out a form and returning a cash payment to the office. Hard copies of the team schedules were also distributed. Through the new IMLeagues app, participants can create or join a team, complete fill out their injury waiver and pay a one-time fee of $10 via debit card or PayPal.
The removal of paper has cut back on headaches for the staff, but the new app has some bugs. Thankfully, the staff has been able to work through those bugs, streamlining payments, team registration and season scheduling.
“IMLeagues has been a great platform for us,” said Ader. “Season one went well, but season two is even more demanding. I’m looking forward to seeing how much IMLeagues will enable operations to continue to run smoothly.”
The spotlight will shine even brighter during season two. Season two draws a higher number of participants than season one, and a staple IM sport has been replaced.
Handball had a loyal following, but did not draw a big enough crowd, landing it on the chopping block. After the success of Ice Cube’s “Big 3” League and the addition of 3-on-3 basketball as an Olympic sport, a great deal of attention has been paid to 3-on-3 basketball. It was only fitting that AUIMs look to capitalize off of the success and draw more participants.
“I’m curious to see how much interest there will be,” said Lyon. “It seems to be an up-and-coming sport. We will see if that sentiment applies to our central Indiana campus.”
New sports, new technology, same renowned intramural program.
Sign-ups to participate in season two are due Oct. 24.