Intramural athletics have a longer history than most people expect. Intramurals can actually be traced back to about the 1840s. However, in the United States, intramural sports in the scope of academia didn’t gain popularity until the early 1900s.
For the University of Idaho, the earliest mention of intramural (or intra-mural) sports can be found in the 1922 Gem of the Mountains yearbook. At this time, Thomas Kelley was the Director of Athletics for the university. He advocated for more participation in intramural competition, reasoning that the U of I campus community should have a more active interaction with one another. From this moment on, intramural sports grew in popularity. Fraternities, sororities, and individual students now had friendly competition with the different social groups across U of I.
The newly processed University of Idaho Intramural Sports collection contains records, letters, photographs, and other various materials which show the transgression of intramural athletics between 1938 and 1992.
A majority of items in the collection come from Leon G. Green, Larry Golding, and Clem Parberry. Each served as Director of Intramurals for the U of I. In 2019, Leon G. Green’s grandson, C. Scott Green, became the University of Idaho’s 19th President.
To this day, intramural sports are an integral part of U of I campus life and culture.
University of Idaho Intramural Sports collection, UG 087, Special Collections and Archives, University of Idaho Library, Moscow, Idaho.