You don’t need to be recruited to be a student-athlete at UCSB.

UCSB Recreational Sports, commonly known as Rec Sports, organizes and manages intramural sports for UCSB students and faculty. Rec Sports, run entirely by students, provides exciting opportunities to get involved on campus at Santa Barbara.

Since 1979, an average of 14,000 participants each year have hit the sand, hardwood or field to play nearly 20 sports. The sports range from the more popular activities of basketball, flag football, ultimate Frisbee, indoor and outdoor soccer to non-conventional ones such as badminton, bowling and water polo.

This year, Rec Sports will introduce another sport, in hopes of encouraging more participation. This fall, intramural kickball will make its debut. Mixing college intramurals with the memory of those pickup games during elementary school recess, kickball is expected to be as much a success as any other intramural sport. UCSB will join the University of Alaska-Fairbanks as the only other university known to have an intramural kickball program.

“Kickball is going to be awesome,” junior Rec Sports kickball coordinator and creator Garret Bean said. “Bring your ‘A’ game when you come to play. Whether you prefer the baby bouncy or the slow roller, put together a team and have a good time.”

Signing up to play is nearly effortless. The Recreational Sports office is located inside the Recreational Center on the first floor. The signups are already underway and will continue through Sept. 26. Depending on the sport, teams usually pay a small fee, averaging between $20 and $50. While intramurals are largely comprised of UCSB students, anyone is welcome to join. Individuals who do not attend UCSB pay an additional fee of $10, while alumni and affiliates of the University are charged a similar fee.

All sports except for bowling compete on campus, making participation that much easier on the student- athlete. Games and matches are supervised by members of Rec Sports, who ensure fair play and safety. For sports that require referees or judges, Rec Sports provides them as part of your paid team fee.

Everyone is encouraged to play intramural sports. Students can form teams prior to registration, guaranteeing a spot in a league. For individuals who cannot put together a team, most sports put together an Indy team, comprised of those individuals who want to participate but do not belong to a registered team. Rec Sports will put the team together for you and contact each team member after the selection process.

“Most Indy teams end up doing very well. It’s not a problem at all to sign up as an individual,” junior Rec Sports student manager Jake Norton said. “[People interested] can come to a meeting to sign up on Oct. 1 in the RecCen.”

Leagues commence Oct. 7 and last through the last week of November. There will be a mandatory manager’s meeting on Oct. 6, to which each team will need to send a representative to receive information about scheduling, policy and rules.

Intramural sports are designed to invite all types of people to participate. There are men’s, women’s and coed leagues for many of the sports. Intramural teams do not practice, so getting involved usually means an hour a week. Students can choose the competition level. The “A” leagues compete at the most competitive level, while the “B” and “C” leagues attract some beginners or more modest athletes. While competition is highly encouraged, Rec Sports prides itself on promoting an enjoyable atmosphere. Potential participants need to look no further than the organization’s motto: fun, fitness and friendship.

“Intramural sports have every level for every type of person,” Norton said. “If you’re not super-competitive, that’s OK. Go out there and get involved to enjoy yourself.”

That’s not to say that intramural sports can not bring out the intensity and fire that former high school athletes or any sports lover will crave and inspire. Sports such as volleyball, flag football, ultimate Frisbee, soccer and basketball can be as competitive as any organized league. In some A-level leagues, the rivalry and ambition is unmatched, often attracting many spectators. Most sports enjoy some type of playoff system, in which a single-elimination format decides a league champion. There are no material awards for winning the championship, but the rewards are priceless.