Lily Dorstewitz, Staff Photographer

As a result of public health restrictions, intramurals adapted to Yale’s COVID-19 safety precautions. Despite the regulations, the intramural season successfully concluded with Timothy Dwight College as the winner of the Tyng Cup. 

Each year, students across Yale’s 14 residential colleges compete in various intramural sports to earn points for their respective colleges. At the end of the year, the college with the most accumulated points wins the Tyng Cup. This year, despite brief pauses during the fall and implementation of new COVID-19 regulations, the IM season concluded on May 4. 

For the 2020-2021 academic year, IM modifications included mask-wearing, social distancing, frequent sanitation of equipment and the replacement of traditional IM sports, like soccer and football, for sports requiring less physical contact and transportation, such as CupCheck, HORSE, ladderball and cornhole. This fall semester, aside from two brief 13-day and 10-day pauses caused by COVID-19 outbreaks on campus, IMs concluded successfully. In the spring, there were no pauses or additional restrictions, and many games took place outdoors. 

TD concluded the fall season in the lead with 298 points –– a 83-point lead over Saybrook –– who won the 2019-2020 Tyng Cup alongside Grace Hooper.    

“We have a good mix of new and familiar games that I think participants will enjoy,” Rachel Cohen ’21, head IM secretary, told the News. “During this school year, so many parts of student life have been put on hold so I’m really happy that we could adapt IMs to provide a fun, safe way to socialize. I also think IMs are valuable in creating community within residential colleges, especially now that social interaction is more limited.”

During the spring season, sports included badminton, two rounds of knockout, table tennis, pickleball, spikeball and ladderball. According to Cohen, spikeball and ladderball were originally scheduled as the only outdoor activities, but cornhole was later added to the list. This opened up gym space for a second round of knockout, which saw high player turnout in past seasons. 

TD continued its fall season dominance, lifting the Tyng Cup at the end of the spring season with a total of 502 points.  

While spring IMs ran smoothly, player turnout became a problem throughout the semester. Ben Scher ’23, TD IM secretary and a former sports reporter for the News, said that improved weather conditions did not lead to increased participation, especially as the semester neared its conclusion. He personally saw four to five forfeits in the season’s last two weeks. However, Katie Quesada ’22, head Branford IM secretary, said that a flash knockout and cornhole tournament drew more participants at the end of the season. 

TD’s last Tyng Cup victory came in 2015. TD IM secretary Jessica Li ’21 is proud of the victory, especially given the unusual circumstances of the past 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.”

TD’s first victory was during the 1936-1937 season, and since then, they have claimed 14 Tyng Cup titles.

Nicole Rodriguez currently serves a Science and Technology editor for the Yale Daily News. She previously covered the Astronomy Department, intramurals and Crew as a staff reporter. Originally from New York, she is a sophomore in Benjamin Franklin majoring in ethics, politics and economics.