Three nights a week, whistles and cheering can be heard outside Moody Coliseum. Fans gather in the hot and humid room above the pool and the smell of chlorine permeates the air. Visibility is limited – especially if you want to see the scoreboard. Despite all of these conditions, students are still showing up in droves.
After a long year with limited weeknight entertainment, waterball is back, and we appreciate it – and other changes made to intramurals this year.
The intramural office created new rules to waterball that seem to provide a compromise in the waterball controversy. For those who think the game is too dangerous, the intramural office changed the rules to promote safety, but the game still provides an entertaining experience for fans and players.
In a scene comparable to the gladiators in the Roman Coliseum, fans shout at both male and female players as they fight for points attained only when a player holds the yellow or red ball on the edge of the pool. Grimaced faces show the pain of treading water and the exhaustion from wrestling with the opposing team for possession of the ball. At any given moment in the pool, someone is pulling, splashing, pushing, holding, lifting or throwing. Regardless of the intensity, people keep playing and even more people are watching.
It is easy to see why waterball was discontinued; however, watching the fans and teams get so committed to the sport shows why it was brought back. Waterball is a unique game that attracts students from all areas of campus. It is exciting to watch friends give their all for the unrelenting sport, and it is always a great conversation starter around campus.
This is not the only change to intramurals we appreciate, though. Compared to last year, the number of advertisements seen before Chapel, on myACU and in the kiosk has greatly increased. Deadlines for team signups and ways to get more information about a sport are posted weeks ahead of time to ensure everyone who wants to participate can have the chance to register. The intramural office has even organized promotional events targeted at anyone who desiresto be involved.
The intramural office listened to student comments and made some meaningful changes. In response to this privilege, students should make responsible decisions in the pool, on the court and on the field.