The next chapter of Malvern Intramurals

Sean Ward

The program plans to initiate more interest in the student body with innovative ideas.

After gradually decreasing in popularity over the past couple years, new intramurals faculty leader Mr. Andrew Burke says the intramurals program is looking to bounce back for the 2016-17 school year.

Three years ago, the majority of the student body showed up to watch the championship game of the fall flag football tournament.

Economics teacher and previous head of the intramural program Mr. John Ostick believes that the decrease in student turnout was due to the block schedule change instituted two years ago for the 2014-2015 school year. With the school day ending at 3:10 it became much harder for students to participate because they had to catch a bus or go to other activities, he said.

Classes only go to 3:00 this year, but something more than ten extra minutes after school has to be done in order to get the student body excited about intramurals again.

Burke has some ideas.

He said the program plans to continue popular sports such as flag football, basketball, and handball, but with some innovative twists. For example, handball will be switched to speedball, which is very similar to handball but “faster and more active” according to Burke.

Another idea that the program plans to institute is to have the championship of an intramural game played at half time of Malvern football or basketball games.

Burke said the program is also looking to expand to playing speedball to other schools, especially those in the Inter-Ac, in a championship style tournament. “For example, Malvern would choose a champion through a play in tournament and then have an Inter-Ac championship,” Burke said.

He said schools like Episcopal, Germantown Academy, and Springside Chestnut Hill all play speedball already and love it.

These ideas were introduced to students Wednesday, September 14, at the annual activity fair and interest in the program is already rising.

Seniors Sam Rose and Garrett Myers, who have never played intramurals before, are planning on playing for the first time this year.

“I plan on playing football, basketball, and speedball,” Myers said after visiting the activities fair. He is also very excited by the potential opportunity to play against other schools in a tournament.

Rose is also excited by the multi-school tournament idea as he would love to “smash Haverford.”

“What we’re looking to do is build upon the success of the previous program,” Burke said. According to Burke, the two main goals of the program are to build upon its success in previous years and generate more success in the student body.

The flag football season begins the week of Monday, September 16, and with more than 20 teams signed up, the program is off to a good start in fulfilling its goals for the year.