As we find ourselves heading down the final stretch of the intramural basketball regular season, you and your squad should have your eyes set on making a deep playoff run, a la Louisville from last year’s March Madness. However, unlike Louisville, you do not have to be the number one overall seed in your group by wins and losses to participate in the big dance.
Even the lowly 0-4 teams have a chance to make a Florida Gulf Coast-esque run in the intramural playoffs. How so, you may ask? It is because of one important factor that oftentimes goes overlooked by even some of the most seasoned intramural sports veterans; the sportsmanship rating.
The sportsmanship rating was introduced as an incentive to encourage fun within the intramural sports world. Referees assign each team a rating at the end of the game based on the actions displayed throughout the contest. A rating of 3.0 is considered average and can drop as low as 0 or climb as high as 4.0 based on the team’s sportsmanship each game. Teams must maintain an average rating of 2.5 to be eligible for postseason play. This means, if your team sweeps the competition, but does so without sportsmanship, you will find yourself on the outside looking in at the playoffs.
I spoke with Dustin Champion, Competitive Sports Program Assistant here at University Recreation about the importance of a sportsmanship rating and he gave me some tips for those of you looking to boost your ratings for the playoff push.
Ways to Raise your Sportsmanship Rating
This is by no means the end-all-be-all guide to receiving a 4.0 sportsmanship rating, but it does include some things that Dustin pointed out that he notices when considering a team’s rating.
- Helping other players up
A good way to show sportsmanship is by not only helping your own teammates up after a scramble for a loose ball, but also helping up the opposing team. This is good for your rating, as well as just a nice thing to do.
- Telling referees “good call”
When a referee makes a call that you agree with, let him or her know. It feels nice to know that someone agrees with your call, because it is likely that somebody disagrees with it, which brings me to the next tip.
- Don’t argue calls
Nobody is perfect, refs may sometimes make mistakes. It happens on the biggest stages every single day. If your ref happens to make a call that you do not agree with, keep it to yourself. There is no need to go full-out Jim Boeheim on a fellow member of the Wolfpack.
- Retrieving loose balls
If a ball goes flying across the court, make the extra effort to grab it for the ref. Not only does it show good sportsmanship, it also allows you to get a few extra seconds of game time, which is something everybody wants!
Ways to Lower your Sportsmanship Rating
Again, just because you do not do any of these things listed, it is still possible to show poor sportsmanship in other ways. Avoiding these things does not guarantee you a good rating.
- Technical Fouls
Technical fouls based on violent, overly-aggressive play are likely to stick out in a referee’s mind when the game is over. Intramural sports are meant to be fun, there is no need to get so physical that a technical foul is called.
Just because you miss an easy shot, that does not give you an excuse to shout out explicitives on the court. Be mindful and respectful when you play and the referees are likely to remember.
- Arguing calls
This point cannot be reiterated enough; these referees are students, just like you and me. Show them the respect that they deserve for doing their absolute best at an extremely difficult job.
Remember, intramural sports are meant to be fun. This is one of the best ways to meet new people, interact with friends and stay healthy and active. By implementing these tips, you can make the intramural sports experience for everybody involved. Good luck on that playoff push!
Blake’s IM Basketball Roundup
Blake’s Favorite Team Name: Fettucine Scalabrine
Blake’s Bold Prediction: Team Shooty Hoopz is coming for the Men’s B Title!
I’m in a Wolfpack state of mind…