Competitive Fitness Activities - Program Planning

A successful program depends on sound plans and close coordination between the units involved. The intramural director should meet with subordinate commanders or a sports representative to determine what program of activities is compatible with the mission and training activities of each unit. Unless they resolve this issue, they may not get command support which, in turn, could result in forfeitures or lack of participation. The less-popular activities may not be supported because of a lack of interest.

Before the program is developed, leaders must study the training and availability situation at each unit level. They should include the following items in a survey to help them determine the scope of the program and to develop plans:
• General. Evaluate the commander’s attitude, philosophy, and policy about the sports program. Under stand the types of units to be served, their location, the climate, and military responsibilities.
• Troops. Determine the following:
1) number and types of personnel;
2) training status and general duty assignment;
3) special needs, interests, and attitudes.
• Time available. Coordinate the time available for the sports program with the military mission. Determine both the on-duty and off-duty time soldiers have for taking part in sports activities.
• Equipment. Consider the equipment that will be needed for each sport.
• Facilities. Determine the number, type, and location of recreational facilities both within the unit and in those controlled by units at higher levels.
• Funds. Determine how much each unit can spend on the intramural program.
• Personnel. Assess how many people are needed to run the program. The list should include a director and assistants, sports council, officials, and team captains, as well as volunteers for such tasks as setting up a playing field.
• Coordination. Coordinate with the units’ operations sections to avoid conflict with military training schedules.
• Activities. The intramural director should plan a tentative program of activities based on the season, local situation, and needs and interests of the units. Both team and individual sports should be included. Some team sports are popular at all levels and need little promotional effort for success. Among these are volleyball, touch football, basketball, and softball. Some individual competitive sports have direct military value. They include boxing, wrestling, track and field, cross country, triathlon, biathlon, and swimming. While very popular, these sports are harder to organize than team sports.

Once the evaluations have been made, the following functions should be performed:
• Make a handbook. An intramural handbook should be published at each level of command from installation to company to serve as a standing operating procedure (SOP). This handbook should include the essential elements listed in Table 9-1 above.
• Plan the calendar. Local situations and normal obstacles may conflict with the intramural program. How ever, a way can be found to provide a scheduled program for every season of the year.
• Choose the type of competition. Intramural directors should be able to choose the type of competition best suited for the sport and local circumstances. They should also know how to draw up tournaments. Unless the competition must take place in a short time, elimination tournaments should not be used.
The round-robin tournament has the greatest advantage because individuals and teams are never eliminated. This type of competition is adaptable to both team and individual play. It is appropriate for small numbers of entries and league play in any sport.
• Make a printed schedule. Using scheduling forms makes this job easier. The form should include game number, time, date, court or field, and home or visiting team. Space for scores and officials is also helpful. Championship games or matches should be scheduled to take place at the best facility.

Unit Activities
The following games and activities may be included in the unit’s PT program, They are large-scale activities which can combine many components of physical and motor fitness. In addition, they require quick thinking and the use of strategy. When played vigorously, they are excellent activities for adding variety to the program.