Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Daily Email Edition

Get MN Daily NEWS delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday!


UMN intramural sports leagues see upgrades

New sports and the new Fusion Play app encourage students to participate in intramurals.
Image by Ava Weinreis
The new app has made it even easier for students to join teams.

The University of Minnesota’s intramural sports program has seen multiple changes within the last year, all dedicated to improving the experience of players and staff.

Fusion Play is the new app implemented this fall for managing intramural sports, including newer sports like Esports, and inclusive sports for players with disabilities. 

“Fusion is the [University Recreation and Wellness Center’s] management system that we use for all of our memberships,” said Shandon Sutherland, the intramural sports and inclusive recreation manager. “Fusion Play is essentially just the add-on to that for intramural management.”

According to Sutherland, Fusion Play is more modern than the previous system, IMLeagues. Unlike IMLeagues, Fusion Play is a mobile app that allows push notifications to be sent to players for game reminders or registration sign-ups. 

“The main reason we switched is the simplicity,” Sutherland said. “The Fusion Play app has a really nice and clean user interface for the participants and there’s also an app for staff that has a nice and clean user interface.” 

Sutherland said Fusion Play has all of the aspects of IMLeagues but with a refreshed and updated look and easier usability for participants. While there were minor issues with syncing the intramural passes, he said they troubleshooted them. 

Samuel Angell, a second-year student at the University, is a senior supervisor in the intramural program. As a supervisor, Angell said he works on scheduling games for flag football and basketball leagues. 

“The intramural sports app that it used to be was kind of a mess,” Angell said. “It was not super easy to work with and was constantly slow. Fusion Play is a lot easier.” 

According to Angell, the only challenge they saw was transferring the intramural pass from the University over to the app which they are working on changing for next year. 

“I really like it and I’m glad it changed over,” Angell said. “It took me five minutes to get used to it, while the IM sports league’s app took me two to three shifts to get used to.”

Intramural sports are recreational sports meant for having fun. Every Fall and Spring semester, intramurals are split into A-terms and B-terms. Each term is a four-week regular season and one to two weeks of playoffs, according to Sutherland.

Sutherland said intramural leagues can be categorized into open rec, open comp or co-ed, which is another new addition to the program. Divisions within the leagues are based on the day of the week a person plays. 

According to Sutherland, 3,750 individuals are using the Fusion Play app and participating in the over 16 sports and activities offered through the program. Last year, 3,500 players participated through 2,230 teams. 

A new change the intramural program has implemented is the addition of Esports, Sutherland said. Esport teams for games such as FIFA, Madden, NBA 2K, Rocket League and Mario Kart started in the fall of last year.

“We know that there are a lot of gamers on campus so we’re just trying to bring those gamers here and play within our program and on some of our new and exciting systems that we’ve got,” Sutherland said. 

Another newer aspect of the intramural program is the adaptive and inclusive recreation program, which is aimed to encourage people with disabilities and non-visible disabilities to participate, according to Sutherland.

The adaptive and inclusive recreation program offers pick-up style wheelchair basketball and goalball, a sport meant for people with visual impairments that includes wearing blindfolds and guarding a goal from a ball with bells inside it. 

Sutherland said while wheelchair basketball does have registration on Fusion Play and goalball has open gyms on Saturdays, everyone is encouraged to “hop right in and try it out.” 

“Right now, we’re just trying to keep it as open as possible, limit barriers and just try to get as many people, at least to try it, as we can,” Sutherland said. 

George Brown, he director of RecWell and assistant vice-provost for student affairs, said in a written statement to the Minnesota Daily he sees a positive impact from intramural sports on students on a daily basis. 

“Participating in intramural sports activities provides significant physical, mental, and social wellbeing benefits,” Brown said. “Students who participate in organizations and activities like intramural sports are more likely to be more successful in and out of the classroom in terms of persistence to graduation and even GPA.” 

Joshua Taylor is a third-year student who has been involved with intramural sports since his freshman year, playing softball, tennis and golf. 

“It’s a great way to get together with some friends and do something fun once a week,” Taylor said. “None of the teams that I’m on take our games too seriously, so we’re goofing around a lot and having a good time, win or lose.” 

Taylor said he is happy about the switch to Fusion Play because it is much easier to navigate and works better than IMLeagues. 

“By no means do you need to be an expert or a former athlete to participate in our programs,” Sutherland said. “It’s a great way to meet new people, relieve stress and create lifelong healthy habits.” 

View Comments (1)
More to Discover

Accessibility Toolbar

Comments (1)

All The Minnesota Daily Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Shandon
    Oct 27, 2023 at 1:46 pm

    Love the article! Thanks, Amelia.