Lack of gym space leads to cancellation of an OHS favorite

Brady Ruiter, Writer

OHS Intramural Basketball has been a tradition for years, and that’s why shutting it down has been the talk of the high school since December. Some might say it’s just an intramural sport, what’s the big deal? Looking at it from the surface, it may not seem like a big deal. However, as time passes on, students can truly start to understand the effect of “Murley ball” on OHS.

Tweet stating that Intramural Basketball is cancelled
Source: Twitter
Tweet stating that Intramural Basketball is cancelled

Physical activity is something that is stressed in the Owatonna school district. In physical education classes, we were told constantly to exercise daily and we would reap the benefits. After that class there were no more PE requirements that needed to be met so most people aren’t getting exercise during school. Outside of being in an actual winter sport, the school doesn’t offer any other options for students to get physical activity. Intramural sports allow students that load their schedules with enriched and AP classes to play a sport they enjoy outside of a school setting with their peers. If keeping students healthy was such a big priority then why isn’t keeping them active and involved a bigger deal? Intramural participants that would normally be at home watch television or playing video games get a chance to be with their friends and most importantly be active.

Intramural sports are a way for our school to become closer as a whole. It’s an opportunity for people from all walks of life to get together and have fun. While the games do get competitive at times, it allows people to gain respect and bond with people they normally wouldn’t interact with. The activity allows seniors to interact with freshman and vice versa. It builds a sense of camaraderie that creates new friendships and develops school unity. Mark Hanson a murley ball veteran said “Murley has helped me strengthen my current friendships and make new ones. Overall it’s been a great experience.” Also, it allows those in a winter sport to come support their friends like they do at all of their games. Star basketball player, Alex Emanuelson said, “I loved murley ball. It gave me a shot to repay the fans for all of the cheering and encouragement they’ve given me throughout my high school career.” Emanuelson states a perfect example of how this program is about more than just shooting hoops, it’s about bringing the student body together.

Intramural basketball also allows those who cannot afford to pay to play a winter sport, are involved in a winter activity or simply don’t have the skill set to play for their respective gender’s basketball team to be a part of a sport. It allows the casual player an avenue to both display their skill set in a competitive environment and have fun.

Due to the short season I unfortunately am not able to advise this season.”

— Mr. Matt Skala

Unfortunately, the official twitter for Owatonna Intramural basketball, @OHSMurleyBall, tweeted that the season had been cancelled for this year due to lack of gym space. This was tweeted on December, 7 2015. In an interview with Activities Director, Ryan Swanson, he also cited the gym space as the main issue stating, “The number of OBA teams are up this year and with their numbers up it really put us in a bind gym space wise.” However, there is a slot of gym space open Monday nights from 8:30-10:30 at OHS. This space would give the league sufficient time and space to play their games.

Intramural basketball is currently looking for a new adviser. Former adviser, Matt Skala said, “Due to the short season I unfortunately am not able to advise this season.” The adviser must work within the Owatonna School District. Mr. Swanson told Magnet that he would post the position. At the time of print, to date nothing has been posted. Applicants can contact Mr. Swanson if interested.