Getting into this school is not easy, and many figure they’ll have to hang up their skates and lock themselves in the library for good once they get here just to stay afloat in McGill’s intense academic environment. Committing to a varsity team is a valuable and life-changing experience, but for students who want to maintain high GPAs, make it to Café Campus on Tuesdays, and lack any semblance of athleticism, it may not be the best (or most feasible) option. If those sound like your priorities, then look no further than the intramural program offered by McGill Athletics.
The program is open to all full-time McGill students, and you can register online through McGillAthletics.ca before the start of each semester. During the regular season, games take place during the week after 5 p.m. and on weekends beginning at 9 a.m. Since playoffs usually coincide with the lead-up to each semester’s Final Exams, game times are flexible and league organizers will coordinate schedules with each team.
When you register, you have the option to either enroll a private team with a bunch of friends, or go solo to meet new people across campus. To join as a single player, head to one of the free agent meetings held in Tomlinson Hall (2nd floor of the Fieldhouse) at 5 p.m. to get connected with captains of existing teams that need players. Depending on the sport, these meetings are held on Sept. 8 (soccer, flag football, ultimate, hockey) or 10 (badminton, ball hockey, basketball, volleyball, dodgeball) for the Fall semester. Fees for a semester come in at around $25, with the exception of hockey ($50).
The majority of sports are divided into three categories: Open, women’s, and co-recreational. Then there are generally four divisions of play: Competitive, intermediate, beginner, and recreational. In all but the recreational divisions, fierce competition is guaranteed as your team competes for the prized, glass McGill intramural mug awarded to all eligible members of the championship team. This mug cannot be bought with money, and is the perfect weight for drinking mead or ale at a party while your opponents cast their eyes down in defeat.
In the Winter, make sure to register early before all the spots are taken for inner tube water polo. The wildly popular sport (on college campuses) is a variation of traditional water polo with all the players—excluding the goalie—floating in inner tubes. At the recreational level, it’s like a lazy river with teamwork and fancy caps. At the competitive level, it’s a gruelling full-body workout with complete with flipped tubes and dirty underwater tactics. If you’re already a seasoned intramural veteran, here are some pro tips.
If you’re in the heat of a post-season push and want to squeeze that extra two per cent out of your squad, dive into your team’s statistics at GOLNetwork.com. If you want to take your involvement to the next level, consider applying to become an intramural referee and make extra money on the side. With options for every level of skill and interest, intramurals can be a fun and relaxed way to stay active during the semester or a great outlet for your competitive side.
This article is a part of our McGill 101 issue, which aims to ease your transition and answer questions you have about McGill and Montreal.