Intramural Sports

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Frequently Asked Questions

Captain's Duties, Showing up, Protests... 

Registration, Who Can Play, Performance Bonds...

Schedules, Locations, Standings and Cancellations...


Captain's Duties, Showing up, Protests...

What are the Team Captain's responsibilities?

Team Captain's are responsible for understanding and relaying the Code of Conduct to their teammates, and making sure everyone has a great time - on all teams! They are also responsible for...

  • Signing the game sheet before and after each game & marking the Spirit of Competition
  • Ensuring their teammates register and join their team roster on IMLeagues
  • Notifying their opponent and staff if they are unable to field a team for a game (see 'defaults')
  • Notifying the Intramural Office if a game score is reported incorrectly on IMLeagues
  • Attending any captains' meetings that league staff schedule (rare, but not unprecedented)

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What happens if my team doesn't show up for (forfeits) a game?

If a team does not show up to a game without defaulting, they lose the match and risk losing their playoff eligibility. Details can be found in the Code of Conduct.

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How does my team default a game and avoid forfeiting?

A default must be announced at least 24 hours in advance by contacting and the captain of the opposing team. Once a team has defaulted 2 or more games, they may be excluded from playoffs. Most important is making sure the other team and staff don't show up for a game against your team when you know you won't be showing up.

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How do I protest the result of an Intramural game?

Protests of an officials' judgement will not be considered, and protests must be made in writing and submitted to the Intramural office within 24 hours of the game in question. Details can be found in the Code of Conduct.

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What colour shirts should my team wear?

It's always a good idea to bring both a light and dark shirt. That said, the plan is as follows: If your team doesn't have a designated colour (e.g., 'The Pylons' might always wear orange), then...


...who's home and away? Check your schedule!

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What is the Spirit of Competition?

Spirit of Competition means respecting the rules, respecting the officials & their decisions, respecting your opponents and maintaining your self-control at all times.

  • Who Awards Points?
    • During the regular season, captains rate opponents, referees and game-day supervisors rate both teams. At the beginning of each game team ratings will start at "0" and stay at "0" on average, go up for positive and down for negative sporting behaviour. All scores will be added up throughout the regular season and this will give a team its final Spirit of Competition rating total.
  • Who is involved?
    • Every participant, official and game-day supervisor will have an active part in upholding these principles. A team's sporting behaviour will be measured through a rating structure of 1 - 5, called Spirit of Competition ratings (S.O.C.). These scores are an indication of how well a team has upheld their positive sporting behaviour in a game.
  • Regular Season
    • Teams must have an average Spirit of Competition rating of 3 at the end of regular season or they may be removed from the league and will not continue to the playoff season.
  • Spirit of Competition Rating Scale
    • 5 Excellent
      • Excellent team sporting behaviour towards opponents and officials (e.g.,  team always maintains an outstanding attitude, captains always question officials in a respectful manner and entire team shakes hands at the end of the game).
      • Entire team maintains self-control at all times.
      • No major penalties/incidents.
      • Penalties are next to none.
    • 4 Good
      • Good team sporting behaviour towards opponents and officials (e.g., team always maintains a good attitude most of the game, no conflicts).
      • Entire team maintains self-control at all times.
      • No major penalties/incidents.
      • Penalties are very few
    • 3 Average (starting point for rating teams)
      • Good team sporting behaviour towards opponents and officials (e.g., negative attitudes are limited to an individual rather than the entire team).
      • Lack of self-control is limited to an individual, not the entire team.
      • No major penalties/incidents.
      • Few penalties
    • 2 Poor
      • Poor team sporting behaviour towards opponents and officials. Lack of respect shown towards opponents and officials. Use of profane and/or vulgar language.
      • More than one team member shows a lack of self-control.
      • Major penalty(ies) have been awarded.
      • More than average number of penalties.
      • If a team has an ejection, the team will automatically receive a 2 rating.
    • 1 Not Acceptable
      • Terrible team sporting behaviour toward opponents and officials. Frequent use of profane and/or vulgar language, acts of verbal or physical intimidation.
      • The majority of the team shows a lack of self-control and respect for opponents and/or officials.
      • Major penalties have been awarded.
      • Numerous penalties.
      • If a fight occurs, the team will automatically receive a 1 rating.

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Registration, Who Can Play...

It's my first year at McMaster. What do I need to know?

First and foremost: Get involved! McMaster Intramurals offers a wonderful opportunity to achieve work-life balance throughout your university career: Sign friends...keep! Some important things to know are listed below (and all over our web site):

  • Find or form a team: It may seem like a daunting task, but your arrival on campus will bring with it the potential for thousands of new friends and membership in a wide variety of clubs, faculty and residence groups. If you ask around, take part in campus-welcome events (Welcome Week, Clubsfest, Faculty-Days, etc.) you will likely be able to find/form a team, register on time, and guarantee you and your new friends a spot in the league! Have a look at our complete list of sports and registration requirements.
    • Team or Free Agent registration only takes place during each league's registration period.
  • Join as a 'Free Agent': Free Agents can choose to pay a fee to be placed on an existing team's roster or just sign-up and hope to get invited to play by a team in need of another player. Learn more about joining as a Free Agent...
  • Playdates: Playdates for each sport are listed in the Intramural Sport calendar on our 'Play with us!' page. Teams will average one game per week falling on any of the days listed, outside day-class hours (some game times conflict with night-class). If there is a day that your team would particularly NOT like to play on, fill out your time preferences on IMLeagues when registering, and we'll do our best to accommodate you.
  • PlayStyles: Our leagues are divided into 3 different 'PlayStyles' instead of skill levels. PlayStyles dictate how you, your teammates and opponents should play. Players of all abilities and experience levels are welcome to sign-up for the style of their choice and are expected to play accordingly. Read on to help make your choice, and, whichever you choose, remember: It's all play. 

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Can I play Intramural Sports if I don't have a team?

Yes! Sign-up as an individual 'Free Agent'

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If the league is full, can I add my team to the wait list?

Yes, this is always a possibility. We do our best to ensure that as many players and teams get to share in the Intramural experience! To add your name to the wait list, drop by the Intramural office - no payment is necessary unless your team is offered a spot in the league.

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When and how do I get my Performance Bond money back?

Note: Bonds are only collected for Ice Hockey. Captains of eligible teams can pick up their Performance Bond following their last game. If you have questions regarding your team's eligibility, please contact the Intramural office. Otherwise, bring your receipt to the office along with whatever payment method (credit, debit card) you used during registration, and you're all set. Pick-up Deadline: April 25th of the school year in which your team competed.

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Can non-McMaster students play Intramural Sports? How much does it cost?

The entire McMaster community is welcome to join, though eligibility requirements differ depending on your relationship to McMaster. Learn more about participant eligibility...

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What's up with gender-based roster requirements and the false gender-binary?

Our leagues often specify roster requirements, including a minimum number of women or men. There’s value to this system, but it also falsely perpetuates the idea of gender as a binary and presents other barriers to our building an inclusive sport community. While fun and friendship for EVERYONE is our goal, we know we regularly fall short of it, whether a result of our inheriting of a broader sport culture that’s not always inclusive or shortcomings of our own creation. But, as we work to understand the ways that we continue to exclude members of our community, we learn and adjust. We’ve identified we can do better in acknowledging and training our staff to understand gender as a spectrum and to respect and support our participants playing as THEY identify. As members of an inclusive sport community, questioning another participant’s gender-identity is incredibly disrespectful and unacceptable.

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Can my teammate play even if their name doesn't appear on the gamesheet? 

We get it – sometimes players don’t have time to sign-up online. That’s ok! Just make sure that everyone whose name gets written on the gamesheet ends up joining your team before we get the chance to check online. If they’re not there, they’re considered ineligible and your team gets the loss. Why? Nobody likes playing against a team who brings in ringers from the last game in an attempt to stack their team. Ensuring that players belong to only one team is a way to prevent that. As a bonus, using IMLeagues gives our Free Agents more opportunity to get linked up with a team. If your team is short players, see who’s looking to join!

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How many games do I have to play to be eligible for playoffs?

Nobody likes a playoff ringer! Players are required to participate in at least 50% of a team's regular season games to be eligible for playoffs - make sure you sign-in at every game so we know you were there. During the regular season, feel free to have any eligible participant join your team at any time. Just make sure you have enough playoff-eligible teammates ready for the post-season.

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Are there Intramurals in the summer, May to August?

Not yet! In the mean time, there are a few leagues that play on or near campus which, though not affiliated with McMaster Intramurals in any way, are listed below:

- Grad Students Association: Coed Softball & Soccer.
Hamilton Ultimate Club
- And many others are probably just an Internet search away!

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Schedules, Locations, Standings and Cancellations...

When does my team's schedule go up on the web site?

As soon as possible! League Schedules (regular season) are typically published 1-2 days prior to your league start date, at the latest. Participants (on all league teams) will be emailed as soon as the schedule is available.

  • Notes about League Schedules
    • Most of our leagues consist of a regular season and a playoff season.
    • In leagues that there are both a regular and playoff seasons, registered (default) teams are guaranteed 6 games (5 regular season games and 1 playoff game).
    • Regular season games may vary (5 or 6), if the league has an odd number of teams, but each registered team will be guaranteed 1 playoff game and your remaining games will vary dependent on how your team performs.
  • Please note:
    • We do allow “Time Preferences” to be made during the team registration process for the regular season but these are requests (that we try our best to accomodate) and we cannot guarantee that they will be met due to league sizes and facility availability. We can only guarantee that games will be played during the advertised block of time on any given day/evening//night of play.
    • Particiapnts must be registered on the team and play in 50% of the regular season games in the league to be eligible for the playoff season.

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When will my playoff schedule be available?

Playoff schedules will be ready ASAP following the last regular season games in your league (usually the week following the end of the regular season schedule), as there may be some other teams playing following the end of your regular season (if the league has a 'BYE Week'). Again, all Captains will be emailed as soon as the schedule is uploaded (24-48 hours before your first game).

  • Please note: We do allow “Time Preferences” to be made during the team registration process for the regular season but these are requests (that we try our best to accomodate) and we cannot guarantee that they will be met due to league sizes and facility availability. We can only guarantee that games will be played during the advertised block of time on any given day/evening//night of play. 
  • During the Playoffs: We cannot adhere to any "Time Preference" requests due to the facility availibility to handle the entire playoff schedule. The playoffs will run during the same block of time that the league was scheduled for during the regulars season day/evening/night of play. 

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How do I know when my next playoff game is?

When the schedule has been posted, make sure you look ahead to the next round so that you know when your team is playing. As an example, if you win Match #1 make sure you look ahead in the schedule to see when the 'Winner of Match #1' plays. Other special notes to remember:

- If you have a 'Bye', you are the winner of that match! Find out when you play next!
- More than one playoff round may be played in the same day/weekend. Make sure you pay attention!

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My team is going to be short players. Can we reschedule our game?

Unfortunately, once our schedules are released online we only make changes due to facility or weather-related cancellations (as a program run by students, for students and with hundreds of games each week, we just don't have the person-power to manage all the rescheduling requests). That said, captains are welcome to reschedule their own games by swapping game times with other teams in the league, fill their roster with alternate players, or default the game. Steps to take:

  1. Connect with your opponent: Contact your opponent's captain to let them know you won't be able to play at your scheduled game time. If there's another game time on that same day that would work for your team, ask them if they would be willing to switch times. If they say yes, move on to Step #2 below. If they say no, move on to Step #4. 
  2. Ask the other teams to swap game times. Contact the captains of the two teams playing in the game time you and your opponent agreed to swap with and ask them if they would be willing to swap game times with you. If both captains agree, great! Move on to Step #3. If one or more captains don't agree, move on to Step #4. 
  3. If everyone agrees to the game time swap, email confirming your sport and PlayStyle, team names and game time swap details. Be sure to include all captains involved so we know everyone's in the loop. 
  4. If you can't negotiate a game time swap, email your opponent and confirming you will be defaulting the originally scheduled game. Be sure to include your sport, PlayStyle and game details. You'll be recorded for a default loss, but will remain eligible for playoffs. 

An even better option? Check under the 'League' button for each PlayStyle in your sport for Free Agents and invite them out to play. Begging housemates, floormates, labmates and classmates to join your team for a game - as long as they meet all other eligibility requirements - is also encouraged!

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Where is my game being played?

Your online schedule shows the location where you'll be playing, and our Play Locations Map should help from there! If you're still lost, contact the Joan Buddle Service Desk at 905-525-9140 ext. 24612.

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The weather is bad. Is my game canceled?

We play 'rain or shine', however, in the event of thunder/lightning storms or unsafe field conditions, outdoor games will be canceled. How do you know if your game is canceled? Depends on the day!

  • All Days: We'll do our best to Tweet about any schedule changes - check the Twitter feed on your sport page!
  • Weekdays: Contact the Intramural office between 3:00pm-4:30pm and we will notify you if the games have been canceled.
  • University Closure: Check the Daily News or call the McMaster operator at 905-525-9140 for information; if the University closes, all Intramural games on that day are canceled.

Canceled games will be rescheduled whenever possible to ensure you get the Intramural Sports experience you paid for, however facility availability is limited, and games may not always be able to be rescheduled.

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How are my standings determined?

By points, if all teams played the same number of games: Teams will receive two points for a win, one for a tie, and zero for a loss. By winning percentage, if a different number of games have been played by different teams. Ties will be broken based on head-to-head results (when all tied teams have played each other), then based on points-for/against.

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