The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, January 25, 1979, Image 19

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large and important part of many
students’ lives here at Texas
A&M. Above, an infielder charges
hard for the ball during softball
competition, the most popular of
all intramural sports. Below, three
cyclists take a sharp corner dur
ing the bicycle racing competi
Anyone can be an athlete
By Rhonda Watters
Battalion Reporter
How many times have you sat in front of the televi
sion watching your favorite team play, and though
how great it would be to be out there playing instead
of just watching? Well, not everyone can be profes
sional or college athletes, but if you really like the
sport, there is another way you can play and have
just as much fun. It’s called intramural sports.
Jim Jeter, associate director of intramural sports at
Texas A&M University, said that because of the in
crease in American leisure time, recreation has be
come the biggest business in America, and as a
result, intramural sports programs are growing all
over the nation. In the seven years he has been at
Texas A&M, he has seen the intramural program
budget grow to be the largest on campus, being
allocated $290,000 last year. According to Jeter,
Texas A&M “probably has the largest intramural
program in the country” among major universities. In
a survey conducted two years ago among 50 major
universities, the Texas A&M program ranked sixth in
size, and since then Jeter said it has more than
Jeter-said the intramural program offers about 48
different sports each year that students and faculty
members can participate in. He said the sport with
the most teams participating is slow pitch softball. He
said that last year 620 teams entered the competi
tion. Other sports in the program range from the
traditional sports such as football and basketball to
individual competition in frisbee throwing and bil
liards to a type of water polo in played in innertubes.
To enter, Jeter said, one just has to sign up. All
entries are free, since most of the program’s budget
comes from student service fees. He added that
often the participants can come to the intramural
office in DeWare Field House and sign up for the
times most convenient for them to play.
Different sports are offered at different times dur
ing the year, and each sport has a deadline for sign
ing up. Usually a sport is offered only during one
Several levels of competition are offered. There
are usually three classes of skill in each sport, rang
ing from highly skilled participants to those that just
play for fun. Some sports are offered with separate
divisions for men and women, and others have divi
sions where they play on the same team.
For those who like sports but do not want to par
ticipate in set competition, there are other oppor
tunities to play. The intramural program operates
numerous facilities such as raquetball and tennis
courts that can be reserved for personal use. All
courts must be reserved for one hour at least 24
hours in advance by calling the intramural office.
Facilities are an important part of any sports prog
ram, and Jeter said that Texas A&M is in the process
of improving theirs. He said that two years ago Texas
A&M ranked 38th among major universities in
facilities, but since then has improved.
“You have to have a program before you can get
better facilities,” he said. Jeter said that future im
provements for the intramural program will include a
space in the Kyle Field expansion, and also six new
basketball courts, 14 handball courts and some new
dressing rooms. He added that recently a one-mile
all-weather jogging trail with six different exercise
stations had been built. He also said bids have been
awarded to move the lights from Kyle Field to the
intramural field where people will be able to play till
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Sunday, February 11, General Admission 6.00
G. Rollie White Coliseum tickets s info . 8 , 5 .2 91( ;