UWG hosts events as a part of their Alpha Pack Tournament Series that started on Nov. 8 as an opportunity to hold competitions for unique sports that peak the interest of students who may not like traditional sports. One of the main events was BroomBall.
The program is built on the idea of universal inclusion and offering sports like BroomBall, which is floor hockey with foam brooms. It is a small step towards offering more variety of programing that hopefully gets students more active and involved.
“We offered Giant Volleyball which is played with a 5 foot volleyball in diameter and Kin Ball which is a variation of Giant Volleyball but does not use a net,” said Nicholas Horton, Assistant Director of Competitive Sports UWG University Recreation. “We also offered Sit-Down Volleyball and Nerf Flag-Football in the Spring. In October, they successfully hosted the first Special Olympics Unified Softball Event, which was partnered with the Carroll County Recreation Department.” This is the second year UWG has offered the Alpha Pack Series.
“Last year was good attendance, it really just depends on if it is a team sport or not,” said Horton. “We hold registrations online so we get a ballpark number but we do allow for walk-on sign-ups, which means you can show up and register a team the day of the event.” The Alpha Pack tournaments last one to two days and are four hours in length. Students, faculty and staff can register online or can register the day of with a member on staff.
They also do not require any previous experience for students who have never played a sport.
“Our program is built on the idea of #RecForAll and what that means is our sports offerings and rules are designed in a manner that allows everyone to participate regardless of skill level or physical ability,” said Horton. “We constantly look at our program offerings to ensure that everyone at UWG feels welcome and that we are offering opportunities that the students, faculty, and staff can participate in.”
There was recently a Unified Softball opportunity that allowed Special Olympic Athletes to be paired with UWG students as well.
“This was an amazing first step in the program,” said Horton. “When I started here in 2017 I noticed that the sports offered were very similar and that we did not provide an opportunity for everyone. We noticed that there were barriers to the program when I took over and step one was to eliminate those barriers, which meant offering more diverse sporting opportunities and simplifying our rules.”
Alpha Pack has brought a way to build excitement about UWG sports and brand them so that they stand out from other league offerings.