Baylor’s intramural engagement among nation’s best
If you’re a Baylor graduate or student, there’s a pretty decent chance you played an intramural sport at some point during your time on campus.
How do we know? Because Baylor has long boasted one of the nation’s most robust intramural programs, with participation rates that are the envy of many other universities.
In any given year, roughly 40% of Baylor undergraduates participate in intramurals — an engagement rate no other school the size of Baylor can claim. If you drive by the intramural fields outside the Baylor Science Building on a spring evening or step inside the McLane Student Life Center when basketball is in season, you’ll get a sense of its popularity.
Last year, more than 5,000 Baylor students played at least one intramural sport, and this year’s numbers are expected to be just as high. Also unique to Baylor is the level of female participation; approximately half of those 5,000+ participants are women, an unusually high rate compared to other universities.
Part of the reason so many Bears participate is the wide variety of options. Intramurals offer 22 different sports each year. Some are annual staples: volleyball, flag football, basketball, soccer, softball. The 2017-18 school year, for instance, featured 252 sand volleyball teams, 236 flag football teams, 202 basketball teams and 181 soccer teams. Other sports rotate on a bi-annual basis; think bowling, track or swimming.
Another factor is less tangible. In a recent episode of the “Baylor Connections” podcast, Assistant Director of Intramural Sports Dominque Hill said that intramural participation is simply part of the culture at Baylor, and has been for decades. Perhaps that’s because the Baylor mission is always at the forefront: “Everything here is Christ-centered,” Hill noted. “We’re all about building a caring community where all students feel welcome.”
Even as student schedules get busier and academic rigor picks up, Baylor intramurals has continued to grow. That’s because, Hill says, “when you are stressed, you need a break from that. Participating in intramurals helps students engage outside the classroom and relieve stress, have a good time, and not think about outside stressors, which helps them be more engaged back inside the classroom.”
Sic ’em, Baylor intramurals!