Consumer Motivations for Intramural Sport Participation

Primary author: Jordan Baxter
Co-author(s): Hailie Palafox
Faculty sponsor: Yong-chae Rhee

Primary college/unit: College of Education
Campus: Pullman


Intramural sports are one of the most popular ways for students to get involved on college campuses. However in recent years the participation rates have steadily decreased, especially among females (Baghurst, Tapps, & Judy, 2014). To better understand why students are playing less, we took a survey of Washington State University students for what motivates them to play intramural sports. The four motivations that were surveyed were physical fitness, socialization, competitiveness, and life balance. Out of those four, it was found that competitiveness was the main motivation for why college students play intramural sports. More interestingly, the study found that females were more motivated by competitiveness than their male counterparts, showing that although the female participation rates are dropping, the females that do play are playing to win, rather than using intramural sports as a social avenue. It was also found that life balance was a significant motivator for seniors. This could be that seniors play to relax and take a break from the stresses of college and the worry of life after college. This study will help recreation professionals better market to students and establish new ways to make intramural sports more attractive to the entire student body.