CMS Intramural Futsal kicks off fall season

A CMS intramural futsal player prepares to kick the ball away from opponents in Roberts Pavilion.
Sophia Tuncer CM ’26 dribbles past opponents during a match in Roberts Pavilion. (Emma Jensen • The Student Life)

At approximately 9:45 p.m. on a Tuesday night, most students are in their dorms or at the library, huddled over tomorrow’s readings. But a handful of students will be heading to Roberts Pavilion for a 32-minute match of intramural futsal.

In futsal, two teams of four face each other on a pitch with one goal on either side. Like soccer, players use their feet to move the ball, and the object is to net the most goals. But unlike soccer, futsal is played on a basketball court, making the game more fast-paced. The hard surface and smaller, heavier ball moves quicker and therefore requires more footwork to control. 

For Sophia Saunders SC ’26, signing up for Claremont-Mudd-Scripps co-ed intramural futsal was a way to bond with friends while enjoying a game they love. Saunders created a team that consists of her roommates and other friends.  

The team chose its name based on the residence halls they live in — but with a twist. 

“It’s called ‘Rankle,’” Saunders said. “It’s the cross between Frankel and Routt, which are the dorms that we live in.”

Rankle member Nia Carroll SC ’26 played futsal in middle school and joined because she wanted to reconnect with the game. 

“Most people say ‘Froutt’ when they say Frankel and Routt,” Carroll said. “But we were like, ‘We don’t wanna make [the name ‘Froutt’] our own, so let’s just do it reverse.’”

Rankle’s team members change almost every game, with most members hailing from Scripps. The roster may change more throughout the regular season before playoffs, when the team becomes set.  

“Sometimes we’ll just talk about it, and someone might be like, ‘Oh, that’s cool,’ and we’ll be like, ‘Join the team!’ and then they will, which is fun,” Carroll said.

Rankle originally wanted to play in the intramural women’s futsal league, but since they were the only registered women’s team, they were forced to play in the co-ed league, which consists of six teams. 

Before the season started, Carroll said the team was nervous to put themselves out there but began to have more fun with their first game under their belt.  

“I feel like, before the first game, we were all extremely nervous,” she said. “… Everyone was … like, ‘I don’t want to go,’ and then afterwards, it was kind of like a 360 [degree turn] — like ‘We’re so excited for the next one.’”

Returning to futsal has been nostalgic for both Carroll and Saunders.

“I feel like there was a large portion of us [on the team] that have played futsal before,” Carroll said. “That was kind of funny because I feel like it’s not super common. I don’t play soccer anymore, but I played futsal in middle school … I did not expect to see it again.”

League referee Taylor Nelson SC ’25 said she was drawn to futsal out of a love of soccer and a desire to approach sports differently.

“I’ve always been into sports, so I thought it might be fun to participate in them in a new way,” Nelson said. “I played soccer all through high school, so I was glad to be officiating for [a] sport that I already felt familiar with … [Refereeing] has definitely made me feel some sympathy for the many refs I’ve had in soccer over the years.”

While Rankle does not take its games too seriously, there are other teams in the co-ed league who do, according to Saunders. 

“The guys really like to take it very, very seriously,” Saunders said, “and I’m kind of like, ‘Simmer down, you’re playing in an intramural league against first-years, like, you need to take it easy.’ I think that [as] first year Scripps girls, [we] go in knowing that we’re losing almost every single time, so we really do just mess around.”

Nelson agreed that the overall culture of the league is laid-back, with a few exceptions.

“The culture in both the coed and men’s leagues is generally really good,” Nelson said. “… There are some very competitive and skilled teams — particularly in the men’s league — and their games always have the potential to get a little rowdy.”

The score on the board at the end of a match is not the only measure of points a team earns, though.

“We have to give each team a sportsmanship score from one to four after their games,” Nelson said, “[but] it’s rare for me to mark down anything less than four.”

Rankle focuses on having fun, regardless of the points they earn. 

“I think that it’s just fun to play together and do something that we wouldn’t normally do … and even just having a little bit of competition,” Carroll said.

Rankle played its last game of the regular season on Sunday at Roberts Pavilion. They won the match 8-5. Depending on upcoming game results, they will advance to the playoffs later in the semester. 

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