Inside the Athletics Pavilion, soccer is played a little differently.
Teams play with seven players, there are no registration fees, each team has at least two girls and all students and players from all ability levels are welcome.
This is the sport of intramural soccer, a two-week tournament for the student body to enjoy put on by the Campus Activities Board.
“I think it’s the competitiveness of students that makes them come out and play. They need a break from school,” Jacob Acevedo, intramural chairman for CAB, said. “People want to play.”
The tournament ran from Nov. 8 through Tuesday with 10 teams participating.
Each team played at least two games. Past that, only winning teams that advanced continued to play.
“I’m a resident assistant for the Oaks and I was talking to my floor and they were saying they wanted to play some sports,” junior accounting major Daniel Perez said. “So we signed up. It’s just kind of about building a bond.”
Acevedo organized this year’s event, though the event has occurred in past years as well.
“It’s been around for a few years now, but I’m making it better each year,” Acevedo said. “The students are getting used to it.”
One change Acevedo implemented this year was to make sure the girls got to play too.
“Mostly guys [are] on the teams, but I made it mandatory to have at least two girls on the roster and one girl has to play at a time,” Acevedo said. “It’s good to get the females out there, not just the guys.”
This rule has been well received.
“A lot of guys just want guys on their team, but I feel like on my team the girls are actually doing better than the guys,” Albert Trujillo, a junior business administration major, said. “I don’t look at gender, I just look at people as soccer players. It brings a lot more harmony to the team when you have girls on the team.”
Acevedo scheduled the games so that only one was played at a time, in order to bring out more fans per game.
“I feel it would make it even better if the student body came out. More fan support equals more fun in my book,” Acevedo said.
Signs around the school urged students to come watch the games and the response was good.
Friends, fellow students and even faculty attended the games.
“If people aren’t playing, they bring along their friends and you’ve got the whole student body there,” Trujillo said.
While the tournament was just for fun, there was an incentive to win; the winning team received a trophy and t-shirts for their team.
“It’s all in good fun and they understand that on an individual level, even if they got competitive,” Perez said. “Spending time together is the real reason why we decided to do it.”
Competiveness was obvious in the way many of the players tore around the tiny field.
“It’s healthy. It’s not to a point where it is negative. A little competition is healthy to have on the team,” Trujillo said.
“It’s about getting activities on campus. That’s what CAB is about,” Acevedo said.
Megan Sebestyen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.