/ Intramurals

IM Handbook

Invitation to Activity

The Hope College intramural program is planned to offer a variety of individual and team events in three divisions: men, women and coed. It is my wish that our program in its diversity will invite each of you to participate in at least one event during the academic year.

Participation in the intramural program is organized through teams. Teams of individuals from your immediate residence area, classes or friends compete the entire year for the same goal.

In Health Dynamics you learn about the benefits of exercise. In the intramural program you have the opportunity to exercise with new and old friends within an organized structure of physical activity. For all of the benefits of the intramural program, I would like to challenge each of you to achieve a participation level higher than ever before in your life. I am sure you will enjoy your participation in the intramural program!

David Jolly
Intramural Director

Goals and Objectives

The purpose of the Hope College intramural program is to provide an opportunity for all students, faculty and staff, regardless of skill level, to take part in a well-organized program of sporting activities.

All individuals are urged to participate in as many IM sports as time, interest and knowledge allow. The overall success of the program depends on each participant's full commitment to the activity by showing up for each scheduled contest and playing to the best of one's ability in a sportsmanlike manner. Know that you play intramural sports at your own risk, and Hope College is not responsible for injuries that occur during intramural play.

The following objectives may be obtained through participation in the Hope College IM Program:

  1. To provide an opportunity to spend one's leisure time in organized sports and recreational activities.
  2. To develop and/or maintain a physical fitness level.
  3. To maintain and/or gain greater physical skill in a sport.
  4. To increase social contacts.
  5. To test one's physical skill against others.
  6. To release mental stress in a positive manner.
  7. To provide opportunities for leadership to students.
Team Eligibility Rules
  1. All students currently enrolled at Hope College are eligible to participate in the intramural program except as listed below in the Varsity Athlete Eligibility Rules section of the handbook.
  2. Faculty/staff may play on an IM team, as well as graduates of Hope College.
  3. Seminary students/faculty may play on an IM team; however, a proper Dow pass will be necessary if the sport takes place in the Dow Center.
  4. There will be no maximum membership indicated for a team roster; however, the most needed on any given sport/activity team is ten players.
  5. Additions to IM team rosters after the start of a season are permitted, provided the individuals have NOT been registered previously with another IM team, all IM rules have been observed and the Dow office is notified. An addition must be submitted using a Roster Addition Form, before game time if the new participant plans to play during that evening's contest. A team member must play in at least ONE of the team's regular season contests to be eligible to participate in any play-off or tournament contests.
Forming Team Regulations
  1. In order to enter all sports/activities throughout the year, organize your roster (students-faculty-staff-seminary-alumni*) according to the number necessary for that sport (see partcipation rules below). If you are having difficulty finding a team on which to participate, ask other students or contact the IM director.
    1. *Alumni is anyone who attended Hope for one full semester. You do not have to have attended for four years to participate in IM sports.
  2. Fill out an IM roster entry form with all team members listed. To register your team, submit the Team Roster Registration form. This form will only be usable during sign-up periods, so pay attention to those dates. Clearly mark who your team's captain is. Restrictions on playing times and days must be made very clear on your team entry form.
  3. The team name you choose must be APPROPRIATE. If the IM Director does not approve of your team's name you risk it being changed without warning.
  4. To be eligible for competition in a particular IM sport/activity, the team captain (see IM team captains information below) must attend the captain's meeting and sign-up their team using the online form by 5 p.m. on the final sign-up date for that sport (see the IM Calendar). Competition entry forms are to be completed with all restrictions on playing times and days listed carefully.
  5. No more than two former varsity or JV players of a sport may compete at the same time for a team. There is an unlimited amount that can be on a roster for that IM sport or related sports, but the IM worker will mark who the former varsity/JV players are, and you will not be able to have more than two on the court/field at the same time. This policy WILL be enforced. Teams with former varsity players on them must sign up for More Competitive leagues (when there are enough teams for there to be separate playoffs). Teams with multiple former JV players must also be in more competitive leagues. ONE former JV player may be on a less competitive roster.
  6. No officials will be used in intramural sports. Captains will be expected to keep their teams under control. A knowledgeable arbitrator (IM worker) will be present only to settle disputes that cannot be resolved by the captains. The IM worker will not be making calls.
Varsity and JV Athlete Eligibility Rules
  1. No varsity or junior varsity athlete may compete in intramurals during his/her official sport season, unless he/she is officially dropped from the varsity/JV team. If the player is cut before ever making the team (freshmen), they are not considered a "former player." However, if a player is cut after having been on a team in a previous year, they are considered a "former player" and must abide by those rules. This includes non-traditional seasons, unless otherwise specified by the varsity head coach of their sport.
  2. If a student is planning to play in or try out for a varsity or junior varsity sport and has been participating in a given IM sport prior to the date of the first varsity/JV scheduled athletic contest, then that student may "finish out" the given IM sport season if the varsity head coach permits. ("Finish out" shall not exceed 40% of an intramural team's remaining regular scheduled games.)
  3. Participants in a varsity/JV sport at Hope College shall not be eligible to compete in that particular IM sport if any portion of the intramural season corresponds to their varsity or JV season (traditional or non-traditional) or related sports during that academic year. If the entire intramural season is outside of their season (traditional or non-traditional) and the varsity head coach approves, then one varsity/JV athlete may be on a roster.
    Related IM Sports Varsity/JV Sports
    Soccer Soccer (M+W)
    Volleyball/3-Player Volleyball Volleyball (M+W)
    Basketball/3-on-3 Basketball Basketball (M+W)
    Softball Softball and Baseball
    Tennis Tennis (M+W)
  4. As a reminder, teams are limited to two former Hope College Varsity/JV athletes of a sport on the court/field at one time. If an out of season, active player is on the IM roster (because it's been approved by the sport's varsity head coach), and is on the court/field, then only one former athlete in that sport may be on the court at a time, for a total of two former/active athletes. This is a rule to prevent the stacking of teams and to keep the playing field even.
  5. Any student classified as a professional athlete and barred from varsity/JV competition in a sport shall also be barred from equivalent and/or related IM sports. 
Captain's Meeting Regulations
  1. Captain's meetings are mandatory for participation in a particular sport or activity. The team manager or team captain (or a roster member substitute) must be in attendance at said meeting, or make other arrangements with the IM Director prior to the meeting, or the team will run the risk of being disqualified from competition.
  2. Special rules, procedures and playing arrangements for the sport will be arranged and agreed upon at the captain's meeting with the IM Director in Dow 204. Check the IM calendar for these meeting dates. Please be on time.
  3. All questions regarding the sport and the tournament structure will be answered at the captain's meeting.
  4. If you are not affiliated with a team, but wish to participate, contact the IM Director before or at the meeting.
Participation Rules
  1. A team member must legally play in at least one regular season contest to be eligible for playoffs.
  2. If a team fails to appear at the appointed place, the contest shall be declared a "no show." One no show places that team on probation. Once on probation, one additional no show will eliminate that team from competition in that sport.
  3. If a team has contacted their opponent to cancel AND contacted the IM Supervisor for the evening (see IM staff), the game is considered a forfeit and is a loss for the forfeiting team. A forfeit will also be given if a team is not ready to play at the scheduled starting time (IM worker's discretion will be used) or if a team falls short of the minimum number of participants (see the participation numbers in the sport-specific rules).
  4. A team forfeits any contest in which it uses an ineligible player (they are a member of another IM team in that sport, or are a current/former varsity/JV player who puts you over the allowable number). The responsibility of checking on eligibility rests entirely upon the team captain. The IM director will check on a player's eligibility only when requested to do so.
  5. Being ready to play means that a team must have (on the playing site) the official number of players needed to start a contest in that sport. The team lineup must be properly recorded. Each member of the team must check in with the IM worker and show their Hope ID prior to the start of the game.
  6. In sports without an IM worker present, the team captains shall correctly enter the scores on the official score sheet and submit it to the IM office within 24 hours following the conclusion of said contest.
  7. Any player or coach ejected from an IM contest by an IM worker/supervisor shall be disqualified for the remainder of that contest as well as the next regularly scheduled contest. The ejected party may be subject to further disciplinary action if the IM director feels the individual's unsportsmanlike behavior merits such action.
  8. When a game starts late, IM workers may shorten games as needed to keep running on time for the remainder of the night.
Health and Safety Regulations
  1. It is the student's responsibility to consider his/her own state of health/fitness before becoming involved in intramurals. If you have questions about your level of conditioning or readiness, you should consult with the health clinic or your physician. The college is not responsible for students who participate injured or without a sensible training period.
  2. The college does not accept responsibility for injuries resulting from intramural competition. First aid will be the intramural participant's own responsibility and may be obtained at Holland Community Hospital at the participant's own expense or at the health clinic during the clinic hours at the participant's own expense.
  3. The IM program does not carry insurance to cover those individuals who are injured while participating in IM contests. It is strongly recommended that all participants provide themselves with some form of accident insurance if they are not covered either by their own or their guardian's insurance program.
  4. Hope College is not responsible for any personal items that are lost or stolen during intramural competition. If you take items of your own, make sure they're secure during games and that you locate them following the game. It is recommended that if you take personal items, you keep them in a bag near your bench while competing.
Equipment Regulations

In intramural competition, no one may use equipment hazardous to others, such as:

  • Football equipment
  • Baseball/softball metal spikes
  • Track spikes
  • Any other equipment or devices deemed hazardous by the IM director, IM supervisor or IM worker
Tie Breaker Regulations

If two or more teams are tied after the regular season, the following rules will be followed in order to determine the pool's regular season standings and seeding for the playoffs. In certain sports, the top teams in each pool will receive a bye in the first round of the playoffs. The tie breaker criteria is as follows: 

Within Pools to Determine Seeding

  1. Head-to-head winner, if the two teams played during the regular season
  2. Whoever does not have a "no show" or a forfeit on their total record. A "no show" is a more serious offense than a forfeit
  3. Point differential versus the highest seeded team that both have played
  4. Flip a coin

If a situation occurs which is not covered above, the IM director will make a fair and appropriate decision.

Sportsmanship Rules

Any individual who is found guilty of acting in an unsportsmanlike manner may be disqualified from all IM participation for the remainder of the individual's college career, or any part thereof. The opinion of the IM supervisor/IM worker will be the deciding factor in the suspension of a participant. However, all suspensions will be reviewed by the IM director. If another member of the team is a party to the unsportsmanlike conduct, that individual or the team may also be barred from IM participation for the balance of the year or any part thereof. Some examples of the infractions which would be considered as an unsportsmanlike act are: 

  1. Playing under an assumed name
  2. Playing illegally on more than one team
  3. Misrepresenting a score
  4. Being a varsity/JV participant and withholding the fact
  5. Willfully taking action to injure an opponent
  6. Playing "out of position" to gain unfair advantage in IM sports where ability is an important part of positioning
  7. Behaving grossly or unruly at an IM contest either as a player, coach or spectator
  8. Using swear words toward another or swearing loudly
  9. Any other unsportsmanlike or unacceptable action displayed in any manner or degree.
Protest Rules
  1. No protest will be considered if it concerns the judgment exhibited by an IM worker or IM supervisor during an IM contest.
  2. All protests, other than those concerning eligibility, must be made at the contest site at the time of the dispute to the proper official (IM worker or supervisor) indicating that the game or contest is being continued under protest along with the rationale. The proper official will take time to write a note on the back of the score sheet before the game is resumed. Said protest must be signed by the official and both opposing captains. The signatures show that each party knows of the protest. It does not hold you to what is written on the protest. No consideration will be given to a formal protest that has not been made in the manner described above. In most instances problems can be satisfactorily resolved on the site by the IM supervisor or IM worker.
  3. All protests, except those regarding eligibility, must be made in writing (email) and given to the IM director within 24 hours after the contest in which the protest arose. If a protest is filed after the standard 24-hour time period, it must further include a rationale for why the protest should be considered when it is beyond the usual 24-hour period.
  4. A team risks forfeiting a game they actually won if they used a non-eligible player. The IM director will review protested games and make the call. Again, a team found to have used an ineligible player shall have voided any victory in a contest in which the ineligible player participated.
Contest Postponement Regulations
IM games will be cancelled if there is inclement weather. This decision will be made by the IM director by 3 p.m. on the date of competition. Such announcements can be found on the IM website homepage. IM games to be played that day will not be rescheduled. They will be a "no contest" and will not count for or against the records of those teams. If there is inclement weather during the playoffs, the IM director will adjust the schedule at his/her discretion to fit the remainder of the tournament in. With the large number of entries, the comparatively short playing seasons and the limited playing facilities, the requests for postponement cannot be accommodated.
IM Awards System

The members of the championship team in each IM sport/activity will receive a championship IM t-shirt. A team member must have participated in at least 50% of the team's regular season contests or, if a playoff is held in a sport, participated in at least one regular season contest and in one playoff contest to be eligible to receive a championship IM t-shirt for that sport. No individual may receive more than two IM t-shirts during the academic year. There will be a more and less competitive league in IM sports involving more than 20 teams. The less competitive league champions will also win a t-shirt (a different color than the more competitive league). A different color t-shirt will also be given to individuals who are winning their second (final) t-shirt. If there are 40 or more teams in a given sport, there will be three leagues in the playoffs:

  • More competitive league (fewer rules for varsity players or former players/alumni)
  • Competitive league
  • Less competitive league
IM Team Captains

If an IM team is to receive maximum benefit and the best success in the IM program it must select a responsible person to serve as the IM team captain. This person is the chief coordinator for all items of business between the team and the IM office including such responsibilities as:

  1. Becoming knowledgeable in all IM matters by frequenting the IM website and attending the captain's meeting for each sport (see the IM meeting calendar).
  2. Communicating to your team all the important information received.
  3. Registering your team by placing all team member's names on an IM Team Roster Registration form and submitting it online during the registration period (see the IM calendar) with accurate restrictions listed regarding times and days of competition.
  4. Being a positive and active IM participant and promoter by doing everything possible to keep your team's participation sportsmanlike.
  5. Daily do the following:
    1. Notify the team members of the date, time and place of each contest.
    2. See that team members are on hand for all contests at the scheduled time.
    3. Be thoroughly familiar with the eligibility rules as contained in the IM handbook and abide by them.
    4. Make sure your team has checked in with the IM worker before game time with their Hope ID.
    5. Be knowledgeable of the sport rules.

Only those students who are vitally interested and have the time and ability to organize a group should be appointed or elected as team captains. Inadequate captains will be asked to relinquish their duties to someone better able to shoulder the responsibility.

IM Workers/Supervisors

Qualities of IM Workers and Supervisors

  1. IM Workers: The IM worker is present to handle the check-in process before games, get the game started, make quick judgments on calls not able to be resolved by teams and keep track of the score during the contest. The IM worker is not there as an official for the game. They can also contact the supervisor at any time to help handle injuries or disputes. An IM worker is a student employed by the IM program and selected on his/her ability to make good, quick decisions and knowledge of the rules. They shall not be disrespected in any way by captains or players during competition. Such disrespect by a participant could be the cause for suspension or expulsion from intramural play.
  2. IM Supervisors: The IM supervisors are proven IM workers who have shown the capability to handle responsibility, make quick, direct decisions when needed and troubleshoot potential situations that arise during intramural play. They are called upon to oversee all of the evening's activities for a given night of intramural competition. The supervisors are listed in the IM Staff, and they should be the person who captains contact when a team must forfeit (that captain is also responsible to let the opposing team know by 3 p.m.).

Procedures for Hiring and Firing

Individuals interested in working for the IM program must contact the IM director. Being an IM worker is a paid position. Workers are subject to removal by the IM director based on input by IM team captains and supervisors.