Physical education programs
Intramural activity is typically defined as activity beyond the regular instructional program but confined within the school. The traditional model for portraying the relationships among instructional physical education, intramurals, and interscholastic sport is a pyramid.
The base of the pyramid is the instructional physical-education program, which reaches all the students. The second tier in the pyramid is the intramural program, which provides activity opportunities for students who are interested in extending their skills and engaging in more competitive situations.
The top of the pyramid reaches fewer students but is intended for those who are especially talented, providing them more practice and competitive situations.
The top of the pyramid reaches fewer students but is intended for those who are especially talented, providing them more practice and competitive opportunities.
In the best of all worlds, intramurals would occupy a place of major importance in the school day. Many students would participate. A wide variety of activities would be available.
Students could extend and refine the skills learned in the instructional program. Students could have an important competitive experience without making the daily commitment necessary to be on an interscholastic team.
This ideal is seldom achieved. In fact, in many schools, the intramural program is virtually nonexistent, thus eliminating a major component in any complete physical-education program.
Intramurals suffer from a number of problems. Schools often do not have the resources to hire personnel to administer and conduct these programs. Teachers, with full class loads, are often not enthusiastic about the extra burden imposed by such an assignment.
Facilities used in the instructional program are often taken over immediately after school by the sports teams. Students find it difficult to go home and then to return to school for intramurals.
Where intramurals are an integral part of the total physical-education program, they are often popular among students, with high rates of enthusiastic participation.
When they are conducted in poor facilities at inopportune times, with little care and attention from staff, they tend to be poorly attended, often so much so that they are eliminated due to lack of student interest.
The immense popularity of intramurals in colleges and universities and the equally strong success of community recreation programs suggest strongly that boys and girls will take advantage of recreational sport and fitness opportunities that are available in reasonable facilities at reasonable times with reasonably competent staff.