Intramurals return after 10-day hiatus
For the second time this semester, Yale intramural competition is set to resume after a temporary pause because of a return to Phase 0 for all athletic activity.
Lily Dorstewitz, Contributing Photographer
After a 10-day hiatus, Yale intramurals have resumed and will be played until the end of this week, intramural secretaries confirmed with the News.
The news comes after Yale IMs were paused indefinitely on Nov. 6 due to a cluster of 20 positive COVID-19 cases among students in Davenport, Grace Hopper and Saybrook colleges, which reverted Yale’s varsity teams to Phase 0 and moved Yale’s COVID-19 alert level from yellow to orange. The pause suspended all intramural play, including games like spikeball and cornhole, which were deep into their playoff schedules. Now, with Yale Athletics returning to Phase I, intramural sports have been given permission to start up again.
“The Athletics Department gave Intramurals permission to play this week,” Head IM Secretary Rachel Cohen ’21 told the News. “We are complying with all safety protocols, as we have been doing throughout the semester. We provide a safe and approved form of recreation for students. Though not all sports will finish their seasons, we hope to reschedule those games next semester.”
According to the current schedule, sports that were planning to finish before Thanksgiving break — CupCheck, spikeball, pickleball and cornhole — will play their final games by Wednesday of this week. Sports that started their seasons later in the fall, such as KanJam, bocce and table tennis, will start play on Tuesday afternoon and play until Thursday evening.
Sports that had already begun their playoffs plan to finish their seasons this week. The spikeball championship game between Morse and Branford occurred on Monday afternoon, with Branford winning 2–1. CupCheck finals between Morse and Saybrook will take place Tuesday afternoon, while pickleball finals between Saybrook and Timothy Dwight will happen Tuesday evening. Cornhole playoffs will begin Tuesday afternoon with Trumbull and Timothy Dwight playing their quarterfinals match. The winner of that game will play Branford immediately afterwards in the semifinals, and the winner of that match will play Pauli Murray on Wednesday afternoon. The full schedule can be found here.
Secretaries said a sudden return to play during this final week of residential life in New Haven was unexpected, but not unwelcome. Pauli Murray IM Secretary Severyn Kushmeliuk ’21 expressed excitement about the return in an email to the News.
“This is a surprise to be sure, but a welcome one,” said Kushmeliuk. “We were all under the impression that we would not be able to go back based on prior updates, so knowing that we can safely restart the fall season is very exciting! I have had multiple members of the Yale community reach out to me and all of them are also very excited, especially those who will not be on campus next semester (and will not be able to participate in IMs until next fall).”
The return of IMs comes at a good time for teams in pursuit of this year’s Tyng Cup. The standings currently have Timothy Dwight leading with 236 points and Saybrook in second with 174 points. With the return of IMs, With the return of IMs, these two colleges now have the chance to expand their leads by winning sports that were originally canceled, such as pickleball, CupCheck and cornhole.
Pierson first year Liam Richardson ’24 stressed the importance of IMs for students on campus this semester, aside from the bragging rights.
“IMs have been a central part of my non-academic life at Yale this year,” Richardson said. “I wanted a community outside of my classes. IMs have provided exactly that. Competing in IMs with them was always some of the happiest moments in my week, and a fun distraction from my schoolwork. I’m happy to hear IMs are returning.”
Like Richardson suggested, IMs have served a very different role this year than in the past. With most clubs and events moved online, meeting in person for competition has been a staple of social life on campus this semester.
But for first years, the return of IMs means more than just points toward the Tyng. This represents their last chance to play IMs until next fall semester. For Morse’s Jamarc Simon ’24, the return signifies his last chance to enjoy the intangible qualities of IMs.
“I look forward to a time of camaraderie,” Simon said in a video sent to the News. “It’s a time for me to meet new people and get closer to other people in my residential college. Especially with a lot of the clubs and extracurriculars not meeting in person, [intramurals] are one of the events I look forward to.”
Simon did suggest that there is a slight concern about IMs and the role they could play in the transmission of COVID-19.
“With departure imminent, it is a little scary,” Simon noted, when asked about how the return of IMs so close to the student departure date makes him feel. “However, I think we should be safe. I trust that the intramurals team has it all under control.”
Yale intramurals last stopped play on Nov. 6.
Jordan Davidsen | email@example.com