Pingpong, Mario Kart among intramural offerings this semester

Bella Baff, Sports Editor

Sunday morning baseball games on the quad are cancelled. No more evening hoop showdowns in Reily Student Recreation Center with friends. You may be wondering what intramural sports are running this semester, exactly, and are they safe?

Fortunately, while many of the more traditional sports like soccer, baseball and basketball are off the books for casual players this fall, Tulane’s campus recreation is still offering leagues and tournaments in five less conventional activities as well as a slew of esports competitions. Students can register for the intramural sports on IMLeagues and esports on Mission Control.

This semester, Reily is dividing intramural seasons into waves with the first wave having begun the first day of classes and the second wave beginning in October. With multiple registration cycles, students can choose to join leagues later on while Reily can also reevaluate campus conditions and potentially offer more sports in later waves such as volleyball and dodgeball.

Among the more unknown sports offered by Reily this fall is pickleball, which has been described as a blend of tennis, badminton and table tennis. Students have the option to participate in the more competitive GreenWaveGlory league or the more laid-back TuFun league, both in singles events on Wednesday and Thursday evenings.

Courtesy of Creazilla

Bocce ball, an outdoor sport enjoyed by the likes of George Washington and Galileo and which involves rolling a ball in order to get as close to a smaller target ball as possible, is offered Monday and Tuesday evenings. Once again, serious bocce-ballers can join the GWG league while dabblers can opt for the TuFun league.

Falling just outside of the U.S. “big four sports” is tennis, which will be self-scheduled by students. GWG players will participate in weekly matchups and equipment will not be provided, while TuFun players will receive equipment. Pingpong singles matches will also be available.

At this point, you may be thinking that all this sounds great, but how exactly is Reily planning to keep these sports safe?

In addition to focusing on individual and dual sports, Reily will be cleaning equipment between uses. Students are required to wear masks and, for the first time, no fee will be accrued for forfeiting games. So if you feel at risk, you shouldn’t feel any pressure to attend a game. 

Of course, the ultimate virus-free option is remote competition.

For the first time, esports will now be offered under the intramural umbrella and hosted under missioncontrol.gg. As of now, tournaments in Rocket League, FIFA, Mario Kart and Super Smash Brothers are scheduled, but Reily hopes to add more titles as the semester progresses. Given that these tournaments can be played from the comfort of a student’s home on any preferred system, these flexible tournaments are the most pandemic-friendly of the intramurals offered this semester.

So, even if the only Tulane varsity sport to be watched in the near future is football and most major intramural sports are not options this semester, Tulane students can try their hand at some out-of-the-ordinary sports this fall. As they might say in pickleball, just dill with it.