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Rules are meant to be broken

By Kate Longworth
Arizona Daily Wildcat
April 29, 1999
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Arizona Daily Wildcat

Kate Longworth

It used to be you worried about grabbing your shin guards and cleats before you ran out the door, or your high tops and ball, or cap and bat - but not now. Now you've got to head out the door with a rule book larger than the study guide to the Bar exam.

If I'm heading to the library to study for my O-chem final, I expect to spend a few hours memorizing complicated concepts. But if I'm heading to the intramural field, I don't think so - I'm not devoting hours to relearning a sport I've played since I could walk.

I'm talking about the Intramural Sports program at the UA. I take part in the program because, like most students who do, I played in high school or had a special love for the sport.

But that's all - a little fun and games outside of taking classes, which might be possible, except the program here forgot this isn't elementary school anymore and slapped more rules on each sport then there are plays in Dick Tomey's game book.

Let's begin with softball - the Extension Rule. All right, so you just hit a fly ball into center field and you're heading for first base. Sounds easy enough, but wait! Don't hit the wrong bag, which could easily be mistaken for the one next to it where your opponent is standing. But you need not worry, just like at home plate, there's a base for you as a runner, and a bag to make the out at. Just like the major leagues, right?

And staying with softball, no need to worry about a Nolan Ryan staring you down at the mound. Not unless he's on your team because it's your own teammate throwing strikes your way. Oh, and it's not 1-2-3 strikes you're out at this ball game, it's all about three pitches, no more, no less - forget the strike zone. Be sure not to get hit by the pitch because there's no auto-one base for you. You go back to the dugout with an out for your team.

Let's move to floor hockey. There are no big problems, if you're not afraid of the nationally fifth-ranked Icecats showing up as your opponents. Apparently too good for the superior Cactus League, they play in the intermediate Sunset League. Male goalkeepers better be prepared, as you're thrown in the net with only a couple of leg pads and a helmet - maybe you should bring your own Dixie cup from home. Oh, and one more pointer here. Be careful about high sticking because we're not talking NHL rules here. If you're a foot above the ground, even away from the puck, you're getting the call.

My next few gripes apply to the whole lot of Co-Rec sports. If you want to insure a win guys, grab a few girls - not to cheer you on from the sidelines, but to pick up a few gimme points for the team.

If a girl sinks it on the b-ball court, she's awarded three points for the shot, even if she's in the lane or directly under the basket. Don't worry, there won't be any confusion if she's outside the arc and makes the shot, instead of the three they'll slap four points on the scoreboard for her.

The same goes for the soccer field. If the team's down 2-1, don't set Pele in front of the net to tie the score, just send the girl down because you get two points when she nets it. Who needs a tie when it could be a win with one breakaway?

And volleyball players, don't go for the bump-set-spike unless you've got a girl in the mix-up. Here at UA, they just refer to it as boy-bump-girl set-boy, etc.

Lastly, if you talk trash, you should just stay home. In intramural sports, it is not tolerated. Your team opens the season with 50 sportsmanship points and should any of your language or actions be taken as rude by the governing board, it's a deduction for your team.

If you lose your 50 points, forget the playoffs. No matter if you're the star quarterback or sitting on a perfect record, no wild card will get you in if you don't have sportsmanship points.

Should you be ejected from the game, it could be na-na-na-na-good-bye to your whole recreational career. Because until you appear before the judicial board with a lawyer and an apology letter in hand, Campus Rec outlaws you from not only intramural sports, but from even setting foot in the Recreation Center.

And please, no 49ers Bryan Young plays out there because unless you previously notified the intramural staff, there are no "on-sight" subs made to the roster during the game.

So if anyone's up for a game, leave your past, fun experiences behind, avoid any contact, grab a girl, get a good lawyer, take some months to freshen up on the rules and head out to the intramural field and remember "no ID, no play."