ESPN has deemed poker a sport. Now, too, has UTD.
Texas Hold ‘Em, the betting card game popularized by the televised World Series of Poker, joins the slate of intramural sports scheduled for this year.
“With all the interest in poker on ESPN, we wanted to get people involved who aren’t into the major sports,” Intramural Coordinator Steve Anderson said.
Registration for the intramural poker tournament has already begun and will extend through Sept. 8.
Poker is not the only new game in town, as dodgeball, table tennis and swimming will all make their intramural debuts this year, Anderson said.
Anderson said he hopes the new sports will bolster the already booming participation in intramural athletics.
“Last year, we had about a 40 percent increase in participation. With the new sports, I’d love to get (more) new students involved,” he said.
The first sport of the year, flag football, opens play Sept. 7, and Anderson said almost 100 teams will be vying for the championship t-shirts.
The football teams, divided into five different divisions, will play six games each during the five-week season with a playoff and All-star game to follow.
As in previous years, winners will accumulate points in the race for the Comet Cup.
While Anderson said he expects a 30 percent increase in student involvement this year, he recognizes that growth in numbers is not the only important goal.
“Quantity is great, but I want the quality to increase as well,” he said.