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Ouch! Overcrowded Nelson Fieldhouse poses threat to students?

February 24th, 2013 Posted in Arts and Life

By Clayton Leuba, Tessa Italasano, Ileana Borunda and Cale Patterson
The Blue Streak

LOGAN—Limited space and resources in Utah State University’s main athletic building, the George Nelson Fieldhouse, have created an environment that is crowded and prone to user injury, some students have said.

NelsonAccording to Mike Ginnetti, supervisor and coordinator of the fieldhouse, this time of year is the “peak indoor recreation season” as students search out a place to remain active and escape the cold weather.

Students and various athletic programs at the university use the fieldhouse. Due to the high demand for use and insufficient resources, specific times are scheduled in which students may do different activities. It is during these allotted times that some parts of the fieldhouse often become crowded.

Joseph Burt, a student who frequently participates in the fieldhouse’s open-recreation soccer games, finds it difficult to use the building’s facilities because of the way they are currently managed.

“It is always really crowded on the lower courts,” Burt said. “There aren’t really a lot of options for us to play soccer. The fieldhouse is used for different activities throughout the day so everyone that wants to play has to come all at the same time.”

“There are usually way too many players, all with varying levels of ability,” Burt said. “There is always a ton of contact with that many people.”

Abul Giasuddin, a student studying bioengineering, was injured during a soccer game on Feb. 19 when another player missed the ball, kicking Giasuddin’s foot and leaving a toe sprained.

“The problem is that we have like 40 guys every day, playing in a very small space,” Giasuddin said. “It is very crowded which makes it hard to play.”

To avoid injuries, university employees in the fieldhouse are responsible for ensuring that those using the facilities follow all rules and that a safe capacity within different areas of the building is not exceeded.

“We take a lot of measures to be sure everyone who uses the fieldhouse is kept safe,” Ginnetti said. “We do hourly court checks to be sure games don’t get bigger than eight-on-eight and we intervene if games get too big.”

According to students like Burt and Giasuddin, regulation of the activities in the fieldhouse is not always effective.

“As long as we play within the allotted time,” Burt said, “they pretty much leave it up to us. Games will go on with too many players until they come over and tell us our time is up.”

Ginnetti hopes the new Aggie Recreation Center, scheduled for completion in the fall of 2015, will provide students with a less crowded alternative to the fieldhouse for recreational use.

“The new recreation center will be centered around students,” Ginnetti said. “Most of the athletic programs will continue using the fieldhouse and will leave the recreation center open for easier drop-in use by students.

“Looser scheduling will make it so students can use facilities at different times, which should reduce crowds in both buildings.”


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  1. One Response to “Ouch! Overcrowded Nelson Fieldhouse poses threat to students?”

  2. By Gina on Feb 26, 2013

    It’s because the rec facilities are so antiquated. The new academic buildings going up are great – i get it. It’s a college. But if you’ve been to any other campus across the country – our facilities stink.

    A little research and you find that we are well below the top ten student fitness centers in the nation. In fact I would argue that a new, trendy, fitness center may even increase student enrollment and retention. If your fees pay for this awesome gym – wouldn’t you stay?


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