After a fall season that included 338 participants, the intramural (IM) sports leagues came to a close last weekend with the flag football championships.

For the first time ever, this year's IM lineup included a badminton group. Started by Rob Byzantine '14, it boasted 35 participants.

Tennis is also a new addition to the IM repertoire, as it started up only last fall.

"It's my job to support those people who want to put together other sports, said Chris Rossi '10, assistant director of residential life and coordinator of IM sports. "Rob really wanted to take on badminton and make it an actual thing."

According to Rossi, students are drawn to intramurals for two main reasons.

Some students were high school athletes who want to have fun in a more laid-back environment than that provided by varsity athletics, and yet still crave competition. Others have never played a sport before and want to give it a try.

"We give people an opportunity to do something they can totally stink at," said Rossi. "You've never played it before, but neither have the other 12 people."

Yet though he is in control of the program, Rossi—who played IM flag football and softball during his time at the College—sees one inescapable downside to the IM program.

"Bowdoin students have a lot of stuff going on and take work very seriously, so IM sports are something people can't always do," he said. "You'll have some times when one team shows up and the other doesn't, and you can't really do anything about that."

"If a kid's got a paper, he isn't going to his IM game," Rossi added.

Most IM sports regularly meet twice a week, and although Rossi tries to schedule games on the weekends to minimize conflicts with other activities and schoolwork, he can't force IM athletes to show up to a voluntary activity.

The team Crabcakes & Football won the 10-team flag football league last weekend.

"Flag football and badminton both have smaller groups, but people are just really jacked up about those sports," said Rossi.

Though larger IM enrollments usually occur during the winter season, the fall turnouts were consistent with those of past years.

In the IM soccer league, there were A, B and C divisions. Getting Messi won B-league soccer, while Troy took home the gold in the C-league.

The A-league, however, consisted of only four teams, which made the competition fairly relaxed.

Oftentimes, the group of students in A-league would meet at the scheduled game times and play pickup soccer games, and at the end of the season no final championship game was actually played.

There were nine B-league soccer teams and five C-league teams, each of which had a sector of free agent players.

Students have the option to sign up for IM sports as part of a team or as an individual free agent, and it takes a critical mass of free agents to create a team.

As of now, the winter IM season will consist of tennis, badminton, three-on-three basketball, and hockey. The latter two sports are usually the most popular IM offerings, and will be divided into A, B and C leagues.

Signups for the winter round of IM sports are currently underway online, and will be close at 5 p.m. on Monday, November 7.