Students at the University of Rhode Island have the opportunity to play futsal, basketball,  soccer, volleyball, and hockey as intramural sports resume this semester.

Futsal, also known as indoor soccer, is played with a ball that is smaller and less bouncy than a normal soccer ball in an effort to have the ball stay on the ground while playing on a hard surface. The University has men’s, women’s, and co-ed leagues that they offer for this sport.

A sport that has shown a considerable increase in student involvement is basketball, which is home to various men’s leagues and co-ed leagues. According to Intramural Sports Director Sean Butler, last year there were a record 60 total teams for both leagues, and for this upcoming session that number was raised to 62 teams, due to the addition of a co-ed league.

“Our co-ed league in basketball in particular has kind of taken off,” Butler said. “When I started it was not offered, which was about two years ago. The first time we offered it we got four teams, last year we were up to 10, and this year we are up to 14 teams so it is definitely nice to see the growth.”

As for the other sports offered on campus, volleyball is strictly a co-ed league where three men and three women have to be on the court for each side at all times. Hockey is unique in that while it is a co-ed league, there are no set rules on who has to be on the ice. “There are no gender restrictions when it comes to that (hockey) so you could have a team of all girls play a team of all guys,” Butler said. “It doesn’t matter.”

Intramural sports have such a draw on campus due to not only the chance to stay active, but also the relaxed nature of it. The games across all sports are only an hour long, but they offer a chance for students to destress in a relaxing environment. As freshmen George Oliarnyk, who is playing volleyball this session, says, “It is a fun time. You get to meet new people and you get to stay active. It’s an overall fun time with friends.”

Butler echoed similar sentiments. “I think it creates community and the sense of belonging on the campus and exposes college students that they may otherwise not naturally associate with,” he said. “You can have a fraternity team play an international team and just because of the nature of sport you’re able to both interact and have that different experience that you may not have in other realms.”

While team registration is now closed off for all sports, students still have the chance to join a team through free agency. They have to register on imleagues.com where they would be added to the active roster via the captain of that team. For direct contact to the intramural sports department at URI, you can call the office phone line at (401) 874-5872 or email at imsports@etal.uri.edu.