Intramurals appeal to students with variety of competitive choices

PNW intramurals try to offer something for everyone.

Basketball is the most popular intramural sport, attracting about 150 students.  Volleyball ranks second  with 120 participants. But Matt Dudzik, assistant athletic director for Intramurals and Facilities, is always on the lookout for something different.

This semester, the university introduced its newest intramural, Snow Volleyball. It’s played outside when there are at least 2-to-3 inches of snow on the ground. It is a nuanced game. Temperature is a factor since it cannot be freezing cold, but it has to be cold enough for the snow to stay firm. If the weather cooperates, Dudzik sends out an email to students the day before announcing an open play. 

“It was memorable by being the first time we ever held it,” said Dudzik. “A student played in shorts in the snow and cold.” 

Another new intramural activity is Ghost Hunting. Last semester, Dudzik teamed up with NWI Paranormal Club, regional ghost hunters who offered to bring their own equipment and lead a hunt in each building on the Hammond campus.

They went around empty classrooms with motion detectors, which light up when motion is sensed, and spirit boxes, devices that allow spirits to communicate. 

“We went into dark classrooms and lounges,” Dudzik said. “It was a wild experience with motion detectors going off and no one around them.”

This semester, Ghost Hunting will take place March 1st in Westville, at 12:30 p.m. for one hour. Dudzik is weighing the possibility of doing another evening hunt in Hammond later this semester. 

Other intramurals include the annual Baking Contest (TBA), Ping Pong Tournament (April), Free-throw Contest (March 5th), UNO (Fall semester) and Eating Contest (March). This semester, eating contestants must consume Hostess cupcakes. The event’s date and location will be announced on the PNW website soon. 

Dudzik is a fan of all intramurals but enjoys fishing in particular. 

“I am not a big-time fisherman, but I enjoy being out at the lake on a nice summer night,” Dudzik said. “Everyone that fishes works together to help each other catch something. It’s a competition, but it’s not competitive like soccer or basketball.”

Clarissa Koutz is a junior Nursing major and has been in the fishing league since last summer. Why?

 “I love the people,” she said. “When I decided to join the fishing club, I was rather nervous that I wouldn’t fit in or I would get bored.

“This was not the case because Matt and Dave, the organizers for the club, were accepting and very welcoming to me, a new fisher,” she said. “I probably spent more time chatting and being taught by them than having my line in the water.”

Dudzik has tried other intramural activities at PNW, but some just don’t work out. Foosball, bubble hockey and arm wrestling failed to gain interest over time, and were dropped. 

Dudzik tried to create a Swimming intramural and even had a deal to rent out the pool at the Hammond YMCA, but the deal got cut. 

“It wasn’t a big interest,” he said. 

But he hasn’t given up. In March, PNW will introduce the Cricket intramural team.