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Fraternity Intramurals: Are Sports a Recruitment Tool?

He shoots. He scores!

Whether you’re lobbing a game-winning three ball, juking defenders and diving for the end zone, or swinging for the fences, fraternity intramural sports are a great activity for young collegiate men.

You get exercise, learn the value of teamwork, and meet a bunch of new people. You also learn your strengths and weaknesses in competition, a valuable life lesson.

Life is wrought in competition. You competed to get into a good college, and then into your chapter. Once you graduate, you’ll compete for a good career in your degree field. Even when you’re looking for that special someone, you’re competing with countless others to find the right match.

But let’s go back for a moment to when you rushed your chapter, an anxious freshman, new in town, with few friends, trying to find your way around campus.

Yeah, that young dweeb was you.

Yet you must have made a genuine impression, because here you are. You’re a third-year brother and the chapter recruitment chair.

Do you remember that moment during rush week--although most of it was a blur--when the conversation with brothers turned to sports? You perked up. You didn’t know much about fraternity life, but you knew sports:

LeBron’s field goal percentage since he left Cleveland.

The dynamic explosiveness of the WNBA’s Nneka Ogwumike.

The fact that so far this year, Russell Wilson has a higher completion percentage in the NFL than Tom Brady.

And what about the staggering 1.89 ERA of Tampa Bay Rays Cy Young winner Blake Snell--the youngest major league Cy Young pitcher since Clayton Kershaw?

You could’ve talked to those guys for hours about sports. You’re a certified fanatic. But then you find out about fraternity intramurals, and you’re sold. This is the chapter for you.

As you found out that fateful day, sports can be a powerful fraternity recruitment tool when used effectively. Just keep in mind--sports can bring us together as well as tear us apart. So tread wisely.

OmegaFi has a halftime locker room speech for the ages when it comes to Fraternity Intramurals and how Sports Can Be a Recruitment Tool for your chapter.

Rivals on the Intramural Fields

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While many who engage in intramurals are already fraternity men, many more are not. Just like the wide world of sports, recruitment is technically a year-round endeavor for fraternity chapters.

And just like sports, fraternity recruitment is competitive. You’re fighting other chapters to fill your house with the best men on campus. It’s a win or lose proposition.

Ties only happen in grade school.

Okay, and maybe once or twice between NFL teams in overtime.

Either way, we won’t repeat the old adage about what ties are like, but we’ll put it this way: They’re not exactly helpful.

So how do you end up on the winning side of the fraternity recruitment game? It’s all in how you play.

Frenemies at the Recruitment Table

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During a match, you may view the other side as hated enemies to be vanquished, Game of Thrones style. But that’s not really the best approach to sports during or after the game ends.

Instead, try viewing your rivals as simply other college men, like you, trying to better themselves and test their skills and athleticism. Some light taunting can be all part of the fun, but overall it’s better to be respectful of your opponents.

Try to get to know the other players off the field, before and after the game.

Don’t pound them with recruitment talk at first. Just get acquainted as men. Discuss music, love lives (or lack thereof), and classes.

Once you get a feel for the person, how he responds to adversity on the field and how he acts one on one, you can make an informed decision about actively recruiting him.

For potential new members you don’t meet on the intramural fields, but who might be attracted by sports, you can incorporate that into your rush activities.

If your chapter has won any awards or trophies from intramural competition, display those prominently in the house during rush events. Engage PNMs about their sports interests, and let them know they’ll have an opportunity to enjoy those activities as a brother.

Whether you meet PNMs under the Friday night lights or in Tuesday-Thursday 8am Chem, sports can be a homerun for your chapter recruitment.

Intramurals Keep Active Brothers Active

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Recruitment, recruitment, recruitment. It seems like that’s all you talk about these days. All you think about. All you do.

And for good reason--rushing quality brothers sustains the lifeblood of the chapter.

Lousy recruitment can lead to big problems for your chapter. During the bad years, you’re faced with either taking in guys who make terrible students and unmotivated brothers who don’t pay their membership dues, or you end up with low numbers.

Yet recruitment is only part of the chapter’s bigger picture. Keeping current brothers motivated should concern chapters just as much, if not more, than brining new brothers in.

Intramural sports can be a great tool to achieve the goal of brother motivation.

Playing together can create an atmosphere of teamwork and become a springboard for brothers to participate in other chapter events. Sports also provide brothers the opportunity to serve as intramural chair or as a team coach, which teaches them leadership and communication skills.

Just as collegiate athletes are students first, chapters should require that brothers maintain a minimum GPA, attend all study hours and keep current on membership dues to participate in intramurals.

Among the many tools in your fraternity toolbox, you might easily overlook intramurals. After all, it’s just some fun to blow off steam from that brutal midterm, right? However, as you can see, sports help you recruit on the sidelines and keep brothers’ heads in the game.

What role to intramurals play in your chapter? What’s your most memorable intramurals moment? Give us a play-by-play, share your highlight reels, and let us know what you think of our playbook in the comments below.

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