Western is known for being a university with one of the best student experiences in the country. There’s something for every student, and it’s easy to stay busy during the school year. One of the best ways to get involved is to embark on a quest to win a coveted purple shirt by joining an intramural sport team. Western offers many recreational and competitive leagues, which can make it hard to choose which sport you want to sign up for. Here’s our list of the top five intramural sports to make your decision easier when it comes time to register.

#5 – Quidditch

Although Western didn’t have a quidditch team last year, there have been teams in the past, which is enough to earn the sport a place on this list. A relatively new sport born out of the beloved Harry Potter franchise, quidditch is a great co-ed intramural sport. For people who are looking to try something new, quidditch is perfect, as almost everyone goes into the sport with no prior experience, putting everyone on an even level. There are a minimum six players per team: three chasers, two beaters and one keeper.

It starts at the beginning of the fall semester in September, so if you’re in your first year and looking to meet new people within the first week, quidditch is perfect for you. With opportunities to compete at the annual quidditch World Cup, quidditch is a great sport to be involved in.

#4 –Inner Tube Water Polo

The little brother to water polo, inner tube allows you to play a great game from the comfort of a personal floatation device. If you’re looking to try something out of your comfort zone, this is a great sport to try for the first time. Most people don’t have too much water polo experience, so everyone is starting from scratch together. It’s a fun way to vie for the purple shirt in a fun but competitive league.

It’s a great intramural sport to enter a team made up from your residence floor or to join with some friends. However, if you aren’t comfortable with swimming, this may not be the sport for you. It’s recommended that athletes be able to swim for 50m and tread water for one minute comfortably.

#3 – Ultimate Frisbee

Another relatively new sport, ultimate frisbee at Western has enjoyed a lot of success over the last few years, with an ultimate varsity team joining the ranks of Western’s elite athletes. Offered in the fall semester, it’s a great co-ed team sport that’s all about fitness and disc skills. Sportsmanship is emphasized, as there are no officials and players call their own fouls.

The sport is all about respect for players and respect for the rules, but mainly it is about playing for the joy of it. Teams are made up of different skill levels, and there’s a spot for everyone in the Ultimate Frisbee league, making it a great sport to try for the first time.

#2 – Hockey

Canada’s winter sport and national pastime, hockey is easily the most popular sport on this list. Its popularity means that it has well developed intramural leagues and plenty of teams, which makes it a fun, competitive intramural choice. Whether you’ve just graduated out of your local house league program, or spent years playing rep, there’s a team for you. With competitive and recreational leagues offered for both men and women, it’s fun to get your old teammates together and play together again.

You can also join a team as a free agent, making friends and meeting new people in the process. Hockey is one of the few intramural sports that runs for both the fall and winter session, meaning you can stick with your team for the full school year. If the full year commitment seems a bit too much, there’s always ball hockey offered for half year sessions.

#1 – Flag football

Flag football is a staple in Western intramurals. There are several chances to play; whether it be in the residence league representing your building or in the powderpuff league, flag football is the perfect sport to join with friends or your floor. Male, female and co-ed teams are all offered to anyone who wants to give it a try. Coming into first year, the residence league is great to join in order to meet other people in your building, and compete for the Champs Cup at the end of November.

Flag football in first year is a proud competitive tradition at Western, with the residence league offered in the fall semester for women and the men's league offered during the winter semester. Also for the winter semester, those who competed in the fall leagues get recruited to join the powderpuff team, an all-girls team that plays outdoors in the snow and sleet, competing in tournaments against other universities.  

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Claire is a third year Media, Information and Technoculture student. She is a first year sports editor at the Gazette. Have a question? Email her at claire.palmer@westerngazette.ca

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