Intramural flag football returns
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Students and non-students have the opportunity to compete in growing league
The UNLV intramural flag football championships will begin on Oct. 17 for the men’s, women’s and co-rec divisions.
Matthew Dunigan, a graduate assistant who participates in intramurals, said 30 teams are expected to participate this year between the three divisions: 20 in men’s, four in women’s, and six in co-rec. The champions of each division will then move on to the National Campus Championship Series Regional Flag Football Tournament at UCLA Nov. 11-13.
The winners of the regional championship divisions will head to Texas A&M University from Jan. 4-6 for the National Championship.
Intramural sports like flag football give non-student-athletes a chance to participate in a fun and competitive environment at UNLV.
“It brings people back to the glory days of high school and the whole living out their dreams of playing football in college,” said James Kaikis, a graduate assisatant at UNLV and member of the fall flag football team, #Swag.
There is more to UNLV’s flag football league than simple nostalgia. Competing in the league allows players to experience things only student-athletes feel, like team camaraderie, high-level competition and athletic success. While they may not be playing in pads, the games are still very real. They are competitive and full of passion, and the teams do whatever they can to win.
“It’s really just being part of something and representing the university,” Kaikis said.
Kaikis has been playing since his freshman year. This fall will be his sixth year playing in the league. For him, the flag football league is something that they expect to win every year, and they have represented UNLV at the regional tournament each of the last four years, as well as representing UNLV and placing third overall at nationals two years ago in Tampa, Fla.
This year is no different. Kaikis and #Swag hope to represent the university in the regional tournament and advance to the national tournament once again.
With 37 teams participating with typically 14 to 21 players per team, Dunigan said that up to 700 people can be expected on game night.
Even with budget cuts ravaging the campus, the intramural league seems to be as strong as ever. While things have had to change to accommodate the cuts, the league itself is still running efficiently.
“We’ve had pretty much a smooth process going from our supervisors that were trained for intramurals only to the building managers that are trained in various programs here in the rec center,” Dunigan said. “That’s pretty much the only thing that’s been affected as far as budget goes.”
Dunigan says fraternities and sororities account for a majority of the league, estimating about 65 percent of the league is affiliated with these groups.
The league has plenty of “open teams,” which are formed by non-Greek life members. The other option for participants who can’t field a full team is entering into the league as a “free agent.” These players then can be picked up by other teams, much like a free agent in professional sports.