One of the distinguishing features of collegiate student recreational sports complexes is the sense of community that is intentionally introduced in the programs and services that occur within these facilities. Intramural sports programs provide a powerful medium for student interaction (Belch, Gebel, & Mass, 2001). This study was designed to examine the social benefits of intramural sports participation for undergraduate students at a midsized postsecondary institution. Surveys were randomly distributed to students (N = 349) participating in a variety of intramural sports programs. There were a number of significant differences in the reported social benefits of intramural sports participation between on-campus and off-campus students, first- and fourth-year students, males and females, and differences in reported social benefits based on the number of intramural sports played. Recreational sports programs should be linking participation in intramural sports with broader institutional goals of retention by emphasizing their role in socially integrating students into the university through participation in various recreational sports offerings. Suggestions for future research are made in the context of the limitations of the study.
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