During the high holiday season, many Jewish students on campus are forced to miss classes, tests, and homework. A dilemma often unvisited is the idea of intramural sports scheduled during the Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot period. Four intramural sports are being offered this fall: men’s soccer, coed soccer, men’s basketball, and coed basketball. Multiple games for these sports have been scheduled to take place during the holidays. This may leave Jewish students with a difficult choice to make.
Mary Kate Sullivan, the assistant director of intramural sports, is in charge of scheduling the regular season and the playoffs. She explained that teams can choose their schedule through “instant scheduling” on the IMLeagues website during registration to ensure there are no conflicts. However, Sullivan also has to take into account when the university is open and all the students who play intramural sports- religious and non-religious.
“As a state institution it would inappropriate for us to schedule around some religious holidays and not others,” she said. “So we have found it most appropriate to simply follow the University calendar.”
Normally, intramural schedules are arranged based on a number of factors including weather, facility availability, and previous years’ participation rates, and not when the Jewish holidays fall out.
If a team has a conflict with the scheduling, the captain is responsible for dealing with the issue. Captains are encouraged to email the office in advance and request the days they wish to be scheduled for the playoff period, according to Sullivan.
“When a captain selects a particular division, they already know which day their team will play on and at what time during the regular season,” Sullivan said. “This allows the captain to schedule their team around religious, school, or work obligations.”
Avi Kozlowski, a sophomore psychology major, has played 16 intramural sports since he started here at the University of Maryland -this semester participating in all four that are offered. He reiterated what Sullivan said, stating that if players have an issue with the schedule, they must email Sullivan with their problems, otherwise they will not be accommodated.
Koslowski also explained that the number of Jewish teams affected usually depends on the number of teams that are participating in each league, which is decided based on how competitive the leagues are. “There can be anywhere from 20 to 100 teams participating,” Kozlowski said. According to Kozlowski, there are usually between three and seven all-Jewish teams participating in intramural sports.
Sullivan highlighted that captains must be “proactive” if they have specific issues. In order to ensure the best possible schedule for their team, during registration they should choose a division that has games scheduled for a day that doesn’t have a holiday. They should also contact the office during the last week of regular season play and inform them of the holiday schedule so that they can schedule the games around those dates as best as possible.
By Daniel Chavkin, email@example.com