Intramurals: Pioneers on Campus
Despite the inequalities for women’s athletics at the varsity level, intramural sports were a way for all men and women to compete in healthy athletics at Madison College/ James Madison University. By looking at their yearbook entries, it would seem that both men’s and women’s intramural sports promoted healthy competition for all, an ideology associated with the AIAW and women’s sports. Funding also seemed equal for the intramural sports for both genders, because of the similar sports advertised.
At the school, both men and women had governing bodies for their intramural sports. Women’s intramural sports were organized by the Women’s Recreation Association (W.R.A.) in the 1970’s. According to the Bluestone yearbook, “The purpose of the women’s recreation association is to afford recreational opportunities for all students and to develop a high degree of sportsmanship… (Bluestone, 66). Sports sponsored by the association include basketball, softball, volleyball, swimming, tennis, bowling, golf, badminton, ping pong, bridge, soccer, and flag football. It seem
Men’s intramural sports were governed by the Men’s Athletic Association (M.A.A.) in the 1970’s. According to the Bluestone yearbook, “The men’s athletic association provided a broad spectrum of athletic events in which every male student could participate… The purpose of the m.a.a is to offer as many varied intramural activities as possible on a competitive basis to a growing male population on campus” (Bluestone, 69). A complete list of sports was not listed, but pictures show participation in soccer, flag football, and wrestling.
When Dr. Ronald Carrier came to Madison College, he was determined to make progress in the school in terms of equality for men and women as well as between the races. He was also a big supporter of athletics at all levels (Carrier, 2013). It was likely because of his ideals of a healthy lifestyle through sport and competition for all. It is interesting to see that both men and women include all students, showing that at least at the intramural level, everyone was viewed as an equal. The equalityof intramural sports showa level of progressiveness at Madison College, preempting the Title IX legislation.
Bluestone. Harrisonburg: James Madison University, 1972.
Carrier, Ronald “Class Lecture,” History 337 Local History Workshop, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA, March 13, 2013.