Timothy Dwight College wins 2021 Tyng Cup
Despite low player turnout this spring, intramurals culminated successfully on Tuesday with the final round of knockout. After finishing the fall season with a 83-point lead and the spring season with a 95-point lead over Saybrook College, Timothy Dwight College won the 2020-2021 Tyng Cup, six years after their last victory.
Asha Prihar, Contributing Photographer
This semester, IMs continued without pause, and as the weather warmed, the majority of games transitioned outdoors, with the exception of knockout, which continued indoors in Payne Whitney Gymnasium. According to Rachel Cohen ’21, head IM secretary, spikeball and ladderball were originally scheduled as the only two spring outdoor events, but cornhole was later added to this list of outdoor games. This opened up space in the gym schedule for another season of knockout, which saw high levels of participation in past seasons.
“I would say [IMs] stayed the same,” Ben Scher ’23, TD IM secretary and a former sports reporter for the News, said. “I enjoyed competitions more [this spring]. It was definitely more enjoyable to go outside, experience good weather and meet and interact with people during the time in which we have good weather, but unfortunately I don’t believe it incentivized more people to show up to IMs.”
Scher told the News that he saw four or five forfeits in the past two weeks, which varied depending on the sport and residential college. He said that some colleges were forfeiting more regularly for knockout and ladderball. Aside from his role as IM secretary, Scher also captained TD’s knockout and spikeball teams this semester.
Fellow TD IM secretary Jessica Li ’22 added that player turnout for this semester’s sports was not especially high considering the reduced number of students enrolled in residence as well as the fact that the games chosen for this year required fewer players. However, she said that they had a consistent team of dedicated players.
“The indoor games/sports actually had greater player turnout, but that’s likely because they were more traditional sports (ping pong, badminton, knockout) and required greater numbers,” Li wrote in an email to the News.
Player turnout increasingly became a problem as the semester ended, according to Scher, who told the News that TD forfeited two of its playoff games last week. He explained that at the end of the semester, as the Tyng Cup standings are finalized and as course workload increases for most students, it is harder to motivate players to continue competing.
However, a flash knockout and cornhole tournament at the end of the season brought out more players.
“Even though it’s difficult to get people to show up in the end, with all the midterms and finals, people showed up,” Katie Quesada ’22, head Branford IM secretary, said. “We had a strong group of people who might not have come out for other games, come out for cornhole, and I am hoping that’s one of the sports they continue on [in IMs].”
TD, Saybrook and Grace Hopper began the semester in the lead, but Davenport, which finished the fall season in eighth place, replaced Hopper to finish third.
In an email obtained by the News sent to students in TD, Head of College Mary Lui congratulated all students, with special attention to first years, who “handed us a gift of a 100 point lead at the end of the fall semester.”
Lui outlined celebratory plans that will take place on Friday, May 7. To celebrate their Tyng Cup victory and the end of classes, TD will offer pizza from the Big Green Pizza truck to students enrolled in the college and off campus.
Cohen told the News that the Tyng Cup has yet to be engraved and delivered to TD. The cup, along with championship t-shirts, will be available by Friday, Cohen said.
It has been six years since TD’s last victory in 2015, and IM secretaries and Lui are proud of the recent victory, especially amidst such a difficult year.
“This has truly been a group effort, with the first years who started us off with a bang and gave us a 100 pt lead at the end of the fall semester, and the sophomores who gave it their all to keep us consistently in the lead, even if they were never here at the same time,” Li wrote. “This victory shows that TD’s community remains strong, spirited and adaptable, bridging physical and mental distance. I’m also really happy for the seniors, some of whom were the most dedicated people to IM’s I’ve known, and they truly deserve to round out the college years with a Tyng cup win.”
In an email to the News, Lui shared Li’s sentiments and added that, at the beginning of the year, she was worried TD would not be victorious. Last semester, one of the four TD IM secretaries chose to take a leave of absence, and two other sophomore secretaries were not allowed on campus due to their class year status. Additionally, a previous secretary, Angel Mora ’21, had retired from his position to take on a new role as a first-year counselor, leaving Li shouldering the team alone. Thankfully, Mora accepted Lui’s request to help Li during the fall, and their efforts were “crucial for rallying so many of [TD’s] first years.”
With this victory, TD claims its 14th Tyng Cup title. Last year, Saybrook and Grace Hopper shared the Tyng Cup as co-champions.