Brian Markley

Sports Editor

COVID-19 has halted many different campus activities, campus recreation being one of them.

The fitness center located inside the SMC is open, although it looks different compared to pre-COVID semesters. Machines are available for use, however, students and staff that want to use machines and equipment must reserve what they want to use and when they want to use it.

“We have moved around most of the equipment to created reservable stations. They are 12-16 feet apart. There are stations in the Fitness Center, on the MAC, and on the Marauder Courts. We also have reservable stations for indoor basketball for 1 person and for table tennis,” said director of campus recreation, Allison Yarrow.

The SMC Fitness Center is open, but equipment and stations can only be used by reservation only. Photo courtesy of Student Services Inc.

Intramural sports will also look very different this semester. 

“For intramurals – we are running fantasy sport leagues and eSports leagues and tournaments. Many of the eSports games will be streamed live on Twitch for others to watch and chat about. We quickly rolled out Intramural eSports in the Spring and had success with that. We also partnered with our friends at West Chester University and Bucknell University to host several “West BuckVille” Rocket League Tournaments. We are doing all of that this semester and more! We have added in additional eSports leagues – all registrations are open on IMLeagues. We have a Discord channel where Marauders can meet up with other Marauders and just play some pickup games together. Another virtual Intramural competition we are adding in…a Speed ePuzzle competition. This will be done in teams and a singles competition as well.  It’s solving jigsaw puzzles online – fastest time wins,” said Yarrow.

The addition of eSports and fantasy sports gives students a new opportunity to be competitive and have fun while remaining safe. Yarrow also mentioned another new addition for intramurals, that being single person competitions. 

“Another intramurals addition this semester…we will be phasing in some competitions that can be done safely by one person but then get added on a team total. So for example, we will have teams sign up for a 3-point competition. It’ll be how many 3-pointers they can make in a minute. Team members will sign up on a team and put in their availability. We will then schedule them individually for a time slot to compete. Their score will be added to the team total. Additionally, Marauders can sign up as a free agent and be put on a team.”

The additions to campus recreation don’t stop there, however. Game nights, trivia nights and trick shot competitions are also in the works.

“Also through Campus Recreation – we have weekly Virtual Trivia nights for any Marauders to compete in. We will also be hosting a few game show nights of fun for all! Coming soon – we also will be having a trick shot competition that all Marauders can submit entries into. It can be a more classic sports trick shot or one of those fun, viral trickshots where it’s a ping pong ball bouncing off pots and pans to then go into a goal/cup. That’s just a few examples! We will take all of the entries and randomly draw up a bracket for all Marauders to vote on daily between head to head matchups until we have one winner left! It’s similar to the Marauder Showcase we ran in the Spring in collaboration with our Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management. We are partnering with our friends at PSECU to offer a Marauder Family Feud competition that will be all virtual and streamed,” Yarrow said.

Yarrow and her team knew the pandemic would force campus recreation to change, but the changes that were made still hold the same spirit as traditional campus recreation.

“This COVID-19 pandemic has brought on so many emotions, feelings of scared, stress, anxiety, loneliness, and so much more. From the very beginning, we in Campus Recreation understood this and wanted to do something about it. We want to offer Marauders an outlet to these serious and unknown times. Even before COVID-19, we are all about staying engaged and having a little fun so there is no better time than now to continue doing what we do best. We’ve added in some programming that might be seen outside of the scope of “recreation” but it’s still all about having some fun and interacting with others.”

For students who are interested in getting involved in any campus recreation activities, IMLeagues is your one stop shop.

“IMLeagues is the one stop shop for everything Campus Rec – the SMC Rec Center (formerly the SMC Fitness Center), Intramurals, and Club Sports. You can login via IMLeagues.com or the app. We are getting a custom app through IMLeagues that should be finished this week but until then the app is just IMLeagues,” says Yarrow.

Campus recreation is trying their best to keep things normal given the circumstances, and some of the new options open the door to even more students.