Champ week, one of the busiest times for Sports Programs, has been completed for the spring 2018 season.
From Sunday, April 22 to Friday, April 27, a total of nine championship games were played for a variety of intramural sports, such as basketball, 11-on-11 soccer and softball.
Champ week is typically held during the last week of each semester. In the weeks leading up to this event, competitive league teams finish off their regular season with playoffs for a chance to compete in the championship game.
The goal is to host a different sport every night. However, some nights have more than one tournament due to UREC’s vast number of intramural sports offered. Program Assistant Nathan Williams offers insight on the behind-the-scenes logistics that go into making champ week a success.
What are the steps in preparing for champ night?
For each champ night, UREC creates a playoff bracket leading up to the final champ night date. To coordinate staff efforts, Champ Cru’s are formed. Being selected as a Champ Cru member is a high honor, as they are recognized as the best Sports Programs officials who have exemplified a positive attitude throughout the semester and made the effort to provide quality, fair calls during sporting events.
What is a priority for UREC’s in planning champ week?
The priority for Sports Programs in planning champ week is to create a unique and memorable experience for all participants. Typically, the nights begin with music, adding to the energetic and lively atmosphere. The bleachers are set up for fans and supporters who want to cheer on their friends. Occasionally, Pack TV broadcasts live videos of the games, creating an equally captivating experience for spectators unable to attend the events.
One night that stood out from the rest during this semester’s champ week was the basketball champ night hosted Wednesday, April 25. Athletes competed as their exuberant fans cheered from the bleachers and sports commentators provided play-by-play descriptions of the games using the old score table from Reynolds Coliseum that lights up with “NC State” in bright letters. In planning for the event, Sports Programs believed this would create a unique and authentic experience for the players and fans.
According to Nathan Williams, “It’ll be pretty legit.”
At softball champ night Tuesday, April 24 each athlete was accompanied with their own walk up song as they went up to bat. The referees at the 11-on-11 soccer champ night applied the very same “vanishing spray” used in professional soccer games to draw temporary lines on the field to mark where fouls occurred.
What types of challenges does Sports Programs face?
The efforts to make champ night and the regular intramural season a memorable experience for everyone are not without their share of challenges.
The weather, as well as working with students’ busy schedules are two constant factors that must be constantly monitored by staff members. Williams recalls this was especially the case this past semester, as many outdoor games had to be rescheduled due to mild flooding on Miller Field.
What’s the environment like? Does it get competitive?
The basketball semi-finals were extremely intense this semester. There were a lot of fans at the game and each team was ready for the night. Once we make it to the championship games, it is the best two teams competing to win, ensuring a degree of competitiveness.
It may be easy to overlook the work put in behind the scenes by the staff of University Recreation. From creating the playoff schedule in the office to setting up the (game space) to officiating the games on the field/court, students and professional staff certainly have their hands full. However, all their hard work is rewarded after the final championship game when they can relax and reflect on what went well and how they can improve for the following season.