intramural adj : carried on within the bounds of an institution or community; "most of the students participated actively in the college's intramural sports program" [ant: extramural]
EtymologyFrom Latin intramuralis, from prefix intra-, within, + murus, wall, + adjective suffix -alis
- Literally, "within the walls": pertaining to something within one institution, particularly a school. For example, intramural sports involve teams that are both within the same school.
Intramural sports or intramurals are recreational sports organized within a school. The term derives from the words intra muros meaning inside the walls, indicating that matches are conducted between members of the same school (as opposed to varsity teams who compete with other schools).
Activities for intramural sport participants are conducted separately from varsity athletics. Often these programs are administered by students themselves under the supervision of a faculty sponsor or intramural coordinator. Intramural sports are found from the elementary school level through college level. Programs at large universities have an autonomous administrative unit on campus with their own facilities and staff. The competitive nature of the events is characterized as informal, but the intensity remains very high in reality. Generally, the activities are open to all students who form their own teams and sign up for leagues that are appropriate for their skill level. Most programs offer levels of play from advanced to beginner (e.g. A, AA, AAA, Coed).
Intramural activities may sometimes extend beyond the walls of the institution. Such "extramural" activities can include everything from sports clubs which compete with other clubs off campus to play days that integrate students from different schools into competition/participation units.
The National Intramural Recreational Sports Association, a professional organization based in Corvallis, Oregon, provides a network of more than 4,000 highly trained professionals, students and Associate Members in the recreational sports field throughout the United States, Canada and other countries. (See National Intramural Recreational Sports Association) In most of the world outside North America, sports scholarships and college sports on the North American model do not exist so the distinction between college and intramural sports has no relevance and is not made.
Popular sportsPopular intramural sports include, in no particular order:
- C. Jensen & S. Overman. Administration and Management of Physical Education and Athletic Programs. 4th edition. Waveland Press, 2003 (Chapter 14, "Intramural Recreation").
- D. Wade & S. Mayhew ''Everything I know about Intramurals, I learned from Gary Cahen (1st edition, Iota Press, 2005.)
intramural in German: Schulsport