Moving to college means a new environment, new friends, new classes and lots of change. Many students find themselves struggling with how to become involved on campus.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln offers many activities to help students continue to pursue interests from high school, as well as become involved in new activities. Intramural sports allow students to participate in athletics without the pressure of competing year-round on an organized team, and are a great way for students to make new friends while staying active and making healthy decisions. With more than 150 organized sports, the choices are endless, allowing every student to find something that interests them.

Students have the choice of team competition or individual competition, with a tournament night for other competition taking place during the fall semester. Intramural competition takes place during both the fall and spring semesters, as well as in the summer for students who are on campus year-round.

There are many different options of teams to join when considering intramural sports. Students can participate on Residence Hall or Greek teams. Independent teams with student organizations or with friends. Participants also have the choice to compete in men’s, women’s or co-rec teams. Team sizes vary from sport to sport, but an unlimited number of teams are allowed to join in competition. This set-up is designed to give all students who are interested in intramural sports a chance to participate.

One of the less common intramural sports offered at UNL is Battleship.

While the mention of the name might spark flashbacks to those pesky plastic pegs, this game provides stress relief for students as well as a dip in the pool. Competition begins with all teams in canoes at the ends of the pool, and as the game begins teams move to the center using their arms to propel the canoes forward. Each team member is equipped with a plastic bucket which they use to either dump water into the boats of other teams, or scoop water from their own. Boats that capsize or sink are pulled from the water and competition continues until one team is left standing. Battleship takes place on the Sunday before fall semester finals in the city campus Rec Center pool. Six teams compete during each preliminary round, with the top finishers moving to the final round.

Flag football is one of UNL’s most popular intramural sports during the fall semester. Games consist of six-on-six teams competing in round-robin league play. Games take place Thursday through Sunday evenings starting in mid-September. After two weeks of regular season play, teams are able to qualify for a single elimination post-season tournament. Competition takes place at the Vine Street Recreation Complex and Mabel Lee Fields, which allows students to play without ever leaving campus. Flag football leagues are offered during all three seasons, so students can play with different teams all year long.

Co-rec slow pitch softball is popular during the spring semester, allowing students to play on a mixed-gender team. It’s also offered during the fall semester and consists of men and women’s leagues. Teams participate in round-robin play before advancing to the single-elimination post-season tournament. Winners in each division of intramural play are awarded intramural sports champion shirts. There are five different divisions in slow pitch softball based on the size and type of team.

In addition to team sports offered through the intramural league, students can also participate in individual competitions. Some of these events include, chess, indoor track and disc golf. These tournaments are perfect for students who prefer individual sports over team sports, or who don’t have time for weeks of practices and tournaments. Campus Rec also offers a tournament night during the fall semester in which students can take place in individual and team competitions, such as tug-of-war and a climbing wall competition. These allow students to participate in athletic competitions without having to attend games for multiple weeks.

Intramural competition not only offers students a fun way to stay active, but it provides opportunities to create friendships with other students on campus. Students are not limited to the number of intramurals they participate in, allowing players to try as many activities as they would like. Each year, one male and one female athlete is crowned Athlete of the Year for his or her participation in university intramural events. During individual events, student earn points, which contribute to their overall standing as an intramural athlete. The student who accumulates the highest point total by season’s end is recognized as the Athlete of the Year.

The variety of intramural sports that students have to pick from is wide, allowing every student to find an activity that they’ll enjoy. Even students who don’t consider themselves athletes can participate in games such as Laser Quest or Texas Hold’em. Intramurals allow students to let off steam and let them focus on things other than school work all of the time. Finding a balance of activities and academics is essential to success, and intramurals are the perfect addition to a student’s college experience.