Societies have held sports competitions since their inception at BJU’s founding 96 years ago. Soccer, basketball and volleyball draw the most attention, but other sports such as water polo, softball and futsal are not as well-known but still are important to the competition between the societies.
Recently, there has been a steady decline in supporting and watching society sports’ games. Looking back at the 1980s and 1990s, society sports were one of the main events to either participate in or attend on campus. Alumni stadium was packed for important soccer games that were played on that field, and the spectators often spilled onto the track surrounding the field. But as attendance at BJU dropped and with the creation of the Bruins teams, support for and attendance to society sports slowly dropped.
Why has attendance and support declined? There are many plausible explanations. The biggest explanation, as already stated, could be that there are simply not as many students at BJU as there were 20 or 30 years ago, and society sports were some of the main events that happened on campus. There were also few places on campus then where a dating couple could spend time together; one of the places for couples to spend time together was at intramural sports games. Other changes include the new popularity of video games and television on campus, drawing spectators away from the sports arenas; also, with the easier access to get off campus, students are often in the surrounding Greenville area rather than on campus watching the society games. Another reason could be that students are so consumed with homework that they forget about going to sports events.
Because there are many positive reasons to support society sports, students should prioritize supporting society sports, even if they are not playing themselves. Although not everyone enthusiastically enjoys watching sports, going to games is a terrific way to hang out with friends, to spend time with a significant other and to cheer on friends who are participating in the competition.
Attending intramural games also builds society camaraderie. Going out and supporting your society’s basketball team, for example, energizes you and the other society members watching the game, causing you to be excited about the game. This excitement and energy is absorbed by the players on the court, helping them perform better.
Many students want to connect with other students in their society, and going to and playing in society sports games is one of the best ways to do this.
More attendance at society games will build camaraderie with the players and the fans, build stronger relationships within societies and overall energize the atmosphere at intramural sports events.