Give us intramurals

Countless students are unable to participate in the athletic programs at Harvard-Westlake for various reasons. Some students have other extracurricular obligations, whether it be Chamber Singers, Jazz Explorers or Model United Nations. Others have chosen to focus on one sport rather than spread themselves out over all three athletic trimesters.

But wouldn’t it be nice for an actor to be able to play soccer intramurally rather than devote several hours each week to practices and games in addition to his or her commitment to acting?
Wouldn’t it be nice for an athlete to be able to play a sport that he or she has been unable to play during its season?

Not only would intramural sports be a fun outlet for students to exercise and compete in sports they may normally not get a chance to play, but they would also bring the student body together by having seniors, juniors and sophomores competing together and against each other.

“I think that one of the things that make our school great is that we’re able to change and adapt to the needs of our ever-changing student body,” Head of Athletics Audrius Barzdukas said. “That’s what keeps the place great, being able to change and adapt to circumstances. So, if there’s a good proposal out there for an intramural program, we want to hear it.”

Barzdukas said that despite his support of an intramural program, space is hard to come by.

“If you come down after school, you’ll see that our whole complex is like a salmon run,” he said. “There are just bodies all over the place, and finding space for an intramurals program after school is a challenge.”

However, with only seven months left in my Harvard-Westlake career, I’d love to try and initiate such a program. With the support of the Athletic Department and the Fanatics, I believe that such a program could exist this year and continue to exist in years to come.

Students could come Saturday or Sunday mornings and compete intramurally in various sports, using Taper Gym, Hamilton Gym and the field as arenas for competition.

The season could last a few weeks and conclude with playoffs similar to the tournament run by Alex Smith ’07 and John Howe ’07 last May, which could be played during activities periods so students could watch. 

This could also work with soccer or flag football. By dividing the field into five 20-yard strips (width-wise), students could play up to five games of either sport at a time.

Ideally, enough students would embrace the program to have three flights, one for each grade. If not, then the students could form their own teams of three or four and compete against one another independent of grade level. However, there is a hitch.

Unfortunately, students cannot be completely independent in their endeavors. Barzdukas and the school require that a teacher be either involved or supervising to avoid liability. So, if you have an idea of a teacher who would be interested in participating or supervising, please let me or Mr. Barzdukas know.

We should have an intramural program at Harvard-Westlake; it would help bring the students together and give many students a way to play a sport they otherwise can’t competitively.