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Leshan Shen

Professor Michael Mlekoday

UWP 001

30 May 2017

The Local Intramural Soccer Community

in Davis and its effect
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The Local Intramural Soccer Community in Davis and its effect ................ 1
Abstract................................................................. 3
Introduction............................................................. 3
Methods.................................................................. 5
Results.................................................................. 6
Discussion............................................................... 6
Conclusion............................................................... 9
Reference Page.......................................................... 10
Appendix 1.............................................................. 11
Appendix 2.............................................................. 12
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As one of the student in UC Davis community, my life has been affected wildly

by the college and the college has brought me lots of things; in this essay here, I want

to show how a smaller discourse community of the campus affects its member and

what it brought to the members. The discourse community I chose to do research on is

my spring quarter intramural soccer team. In order to have a better understanding of

the community and its effect, I researched professional research report online and

conducted one survey and two interviews besides observation research. From

analyzing first and secondary sources, I found this discourse community positively

affect its participants by providing interpersonal and intrapersonal benefits such as joy,

friendship, exercises, relaxation, and improvement of various social skills.


It was last spring quarter when I first had a chance to join an intramural (IM)

sports team at UC Davis. My friend Edward asked me to join their intramural

co-recreational soccer team. I had played soccer for a long time and was one of my

high school varsity soccer team member. I was very excited to play again in the

college. The most important thing from playing soccer for me was always winning

and competitiveness, so after the first loss playing in a recreational level, I was very

disappointed. However, through the soccer season and the school year went on, my

original mindset changed through every game and every conversation with my

teammates. There are things more important than game itself and sportsmanship, I

recognized that IM sports was providing me happiness, friendship, communication

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skills, and a relieve from stressful coursework. From then on, I played with the team

every soccer season aiming for happiness and learning experience with friends.

Intramural co-recreational (CoRec) soccer is offered every spring and fall quarter

by UC Davis Campus Recreation and Unions' Intramural Sports program which

provides students and university stuffs a chance to attend different types of

competitive and recreational sport activities (Intramural Sports). IM CoRec soccer is

played outside at Dairy Field and consists eight players with at least three women or

men are on the court from each team (Intramural Sports).

A discourse community is defined by Swales in his article, having a common

goal, mechanisms of communication, participatory mechanisms for information and

feedback, different genres of communication, certain language use, and a limited size

(Swales, 1990). Acknowledging the definition of a discourse community, I can define

my IM soccer team as a discourse community. My IM soccer team has a common

goal which is to have fun and to play soccer as a community. The team uses

messenger group to contact each other, to set up practice, and to acknowledge game

schedules. Our captain also has our phone numbers and email addresses as back up

contact plans. We use normal language, nonverbal language, cheering, yelling as

different genres of communication. Each use of genre has its own purpose. For

example, use of dominant nonverbal language can deliver strategy to teammate and

submissive nonverbal language will deliver messages to opponent and yourself

(Furley, 2012). We use English and some soccer terminologies (for example, offside)

as our language lexis. The maximum people for a roster of a IM CoRec soccer team is
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20 people, and that is exactly the number we have.


In order to have a better understanding of my discourse community, I conducted

a survey and two interviews. The primary purpose of the survey is to get a general

idea about the background information about the team, how they feel about the

college life, and what they earned from attending the soccer team. Being able to know

the general information, I can then narrow the range of the students who attended the

intramural sports and making a more precise definition of the discourse communitys

range and size. I made a survey by survey monkey and then sent it to the messenger

group of our team so that everyone from my team can take it anonymously and


Interviews are more in depth in terms of the interviewees personal life and their

personal examples from the discourse community. In order to know different

positions role and intentions towards the discourse community, I made one interview

with my team captain and the other one with one of my teammates. My team captain

is Joseph, a second-year student from UC Davis, majoring in international

relationship and economy. The teammate I chosen to interview is Niran who is from

Thailand and is a second-year UC Davis student who is studying Psychology. I

scheduled interviews to have face to face talks with my interviewees by texts and then

recorded the interviews for gathering information.

In addition to the primary research, I did some secondary research online as well.

I looked through several articles that revealed other peoples research on intramural
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sports and its connection to the participants and other articles that were related to

either soccer or intramural sports. Being able to learn from other peoples researches

of the related discourse community could not only minimize my personal bias on

certain issues, but also gave me a broader perspective of the community and helped

me better understand the communitys effect.


Survey results are in Appendix 1&2


The primary research let me know more things about my teammates other than

which position they played on the court and how well they played in a soccer game.

Eight of my teammates were generous enough to participate my survey and write

down their personal thoughts about the discourse community. From the survey, it

shows that the people who in the discourse community are relatively young in the

college since six out of eight participants are second-year student. Most people in the

community are average students who has some spare time by having around 15 units

averagely matched to what is suggested to have as a UC Davis student (UC Davis

General Catalog, 2017). Most people are fine with the school in general, but are going

through some challenging time occasionally by scaling their happiness level as an

average score 7 from a 1-10 happiness scale. In terms of genre in communication, all

participates used normal tones in the community, most of them liked to use nonverbal

language and cheering for the team, few of them yelled to the team occasionally.
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Different people have different intentions of attending the IM soccer team.

Interestingly, most people in the soccer team did not like soccer very much. From the

survey, I found only one or two out of eight survey participants are watching and

playing soccer frequently (once or twice a week). One of the interviewee Niran said,

I just want to play a sport to have fun, and meet new people, and stay in shape. I

believe for most participants, this is the reason that brought us together as a discourse

community. Other interviewee Joseph told me that he needed to coordinate the

community, to send out the schedule, and to communicate with the IM organization as

a captain. Taking the role as a captain, he intended to practice leadership and

organizing skills.

Did everyones intentions being satisfied? My survey participants unanimous

agrees with it by stating they enjoyed the soccer season. In Artingers research, he

found out that attending intramural sports could solve some problem in the college

and brought positive effect to its participants, such as personal social benefits,

university integration benefits, social group bonding benefits and reliable alliance

benefits (Artinger, 2006). Besides the interpersonal benefits, Kanters claims that

intramural sports could also develop motivations and self-esteem of the participants as

intrapersonal benefits (Kanters, 1997). From my survey and interviews, dependent on

different people, different interpersonal and intrapersonal benefits were received.

Meeting new friends and stabilizing friendships are mentioned most by my

teammates in the survey. From the interview, captain Joseph mentioned that he had

the chance to not only make friends within the team but also to talk with the ones
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were on the other side of the team and to make friends with them. Better teamwork

cooperation was also improved with the time, as one person mentioned in his survey

responses. He improved in communication both verbally and nonverbally by

practicing several communication mechanisms. I agree with him strongly. As later of

the season, I personally started making some assists by using dominant body language

telling my teammate where the ball I was going to pass to by eye contact. I was also

better at took advantage of other peoples submissive body language made couple

steals by reading opponents leg movements to surmise where he was going to drive


Gaining intrapersonal benefits also appeared in the survey and interviews.

Almost all the survey respondents and two interviewees said they appreciated to do

exercises that kept them fit. Interviewee Niran told me that coming from high school

to college gave him a mixed emotion with a hardship. And attending the IM soccer

team helped him ease from the hardship in the college. Interviewee Joseph increased

his leadership by organizing practices and games better. At the beginning, some of us

always came late to the game, so Joseph decided to discuss the issue with the whole

team which eliminated the future lateness. Being part of an intramural sports team

brought motivations to his college life, as one of the respondents to the survey which

also matched with Kanters idea. Even though the IM soccer team was playing at a

recreational level, the willingness to win and self-esteem were not diminished,

nevertheless, increased throughout the quarter. In the interview, our captain Joseph

said his best memory from this quarter was the last game, in which our team finally
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earned our very first win by playing solid defense and scoring a bunch of goals.

I, in the soccer discourse community, enjoyed my first shocking goal. I was

feeling flying in the sky when my work was appreciated wildly by my teammates. In

the united community, I enlarged my friendship, kept fit happily, and earned

motivation. Moreover, usage of body language was developed by cultivating

relationship, and other social skills was improved.


In conclusion, from primary and secondary research, it is obvious that being part

of the intramural soccer team can positively affect its participants by providing both

interpersonal and intrapersonal benefits. Every participant gained different things

from the community and contributed differently to the community. The soccer season

is over, but the experience, the friendship, the improved social skills, and of course,

the happiness will last in everyones life and continue making positive effects.
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Reference Page
Artinger, Lori, et al. "The social benefits of intramural sports." Naspa Journal 43.1
(2006): 69-86.
Furley, Philip, Matt Dicks, and Daniel Memmert. "Nonverbal behavior in soccer: The
influence of dominant and submissive body language on the impression
formation and expectancy of success of soccer players." Journal of Sport and
Exercise Psychology 34.1 (2012): 61-82.
Intramural Sports. UC Davis, n.d. Web. 30 May 2017.
Kanters, Michael A., and Scott Forester. "The motivations and self-esteem of
intramural sports participants." NIRSA Journal 21.3 (1997): 3-7.
Swales, John. "The concept of discourse community." Genre analysis: English in
academic and research settings (1990): 21-32.
UC Davis General Catalog. UC Davis, 22 Mar. 2017. Web. 30 May 2017.
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Appendix 1

Survey Questions
1. What year are you?
2. How many units you are taking this quarter?
3. How you feel about college life? (1-10, 1 is very unhappy, 10 is very happy)
4. Do you have fun playing IM soccer this quarter?
5. Do you watch soccer in your free time?
A. More than three times a week B. one two times a week C. one- two time a
month D. Less than C
6. Do you play soccer in your free time other than playing with this team?
A. More than three times a week B. one two times a week C. one- two time a
month D. Less than C
7. Which mechanisms do you use in a soccer game? (choose all that applied)
A. Normal Language B. Cheering C. Trash Talk D. Nonverbal Language E. Yelling
8. What do you enjoy most from being part of the team?
9. Do you think being part of the team affect your college life and yourself
personally? If so, how?
Interview Questions
Back ground information, What year are you? Major...
1. What you do in free time? Whats your favorite, why?
2. How you feel about college?
3. Why you want to do IM soccer this quarter?
4. What you like most for IM soccer? Personal story?
5. Hows nonverbal language affect the game?
6. *Why you want to be the captain of the team?
7. *What extra you need to do?
8. Do you watch or play soccer other than the game?
9. What you think about intramural sports in general?
10. Are there any affect to you by attending the sports? Friendship, academically,
general life?
Questions with * in front of it is specifically asked to the captain.
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Appendix 2
Survey Results

Q5 & Q6 & Q7