A Sports League for everyone

Inexperienced Sports League is all about fun and being active

Jill Fehr (right) makes a throw during a game of ultimate put on by the Inexperienced Sports League.

Photo by Margaret Gehman

University of Winnipeg (U of W) student group Inexperienced Sports League (ISL) is interested in bringing new and old sports and games to fun-loving students who don’t have time to join a sports team but are down to get some physical exercise.

Joshua Gehman, a second-year student at the U of W and the founder of ISL, created the group to gather students to play a large range of sports and games in a learning situation.

“ISL is a University of Winnipeg student group that strives for a non-competitive and safe space for people of all skill levels to have fun and be active through playing sports,” Gehman says.

“I’ve always enjoyed playing sports, but I’ve never played in leagues due to time constraints and the fact that highly competitive leagues just didn’t appeal to me.”

ISL “is going for a general mindset where having fun is the primary goal. It’s an open, safe, non-competitive space where you can meet people and play games.”

Gehman formed ISL just weeks before the beginning of September of this year and was astounded by the amount of interest in the group.

“Roll Call was a chance for me to see whether it was just me that wanted this. I was very excited by the turnout and the excitement people showed toward the group,” Gehman says.

“It shows that there is definitely a spot for non-competitive sports on campus. These are people who don’t want to or don’t have time to join a soccer team and practice four or five times a week, but would rather play a pickup game maybe once a week.”

Darebase is a strategic tag game that emphasizes teamwork. It’s just one of the lesser-known games that ISL wants to bring to students who want to join in on the fun.

Two opposing teams start in their end zone-like bases on a field. If a person leaves the base, they are free to be tagged. The point of the game is to get everyone on the opposing team tagged and into the team “jail” – a designated spot near each opposing team’s base.

To free one’s teammates from the jail, a player must touch the baseline. To complicate things, a player cannot tag – but can be tagged by – someone who came out of their own base after them.

Emily Chandler, student at the U of W, is also very excited about ISL.

“There’s so much room (on campus) for people looking to play sports in a non-competitive and non-committal environment,” she says.

Chandler says ISL could have very successful events, as many folks on campus have the need for it.

“ISL (could provide) opportunities for students from all backgrounds – new students, international students and experienced students – to come together to play sports and make friends and be active,” she says.

Though ISL is aimed toward less-experienced athletes, Gehman welcomes higher-level players as well.

“It would be great for more experienced soccer players, for example, to come in and play, even to help teach less experienced players,” he says.

“You can go out and buy a bike and enjoy riding it but not enter the Tour de France,” Gehman says. “Just like that, I think there is a place for students who just want to play.”

Any student who is interested in joining in on activities hosted by ISL can email sportsforthefunofit@gmail.com for more information, or visit the Facebook page “The Inexperienced Sports League - ISL.”

“It is within human nature to be competitive, but there is also a space for non-competitive, fun sports at the university,” Gehman says.

Published in Volume 73, Number 3 of The Uniter (September 20, 2018)

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