What is So Compelling About IBA?


Mariana Perez, Editor

The Intramural Basketball Association holds a powerful position at Wauwatosa East High School. Talk of IBA flies around East on a daily basis, there are many team Instagram accounts, and more teams every year. An outstanding 150 students participated in IBA this school year. There seems to be one main reason as to why IBA has become so popular: it’s a way to play basketball that is within reach to a wide variety of people, unlike other programs. The main goal of the IBA program is to be as inclusive as possible. Ben Plaisted, the commissioner, describes it as “a place where any student at Wauwatosa East can come try their hand at the most popular indoor sport in the U.S.” Because of the broad spectrum of students that are able to participate in IBA, it has become a popular activity at our school.

IBA allows for students to stay active during the winter and play with their friends without the pressure of balancing everyday practices and schoolwork. Many East students on official competitive basketball teams find it difficult to keep up with their seasons. Sophomore Olive Madden, who plays on the Junior Varsity basketball team, said “You get pretty tired from it. I would be happier if the commitment level was lowered.” Sophomore Keenan Taylor agreed, saying he was considering playing IBA instead of competitive basketball next year, because of AP classes and the ACT. Many student athletes find themselves without enough time to participate in other extracurriculars as well. On the other hand, IBA is much less time consuming. Each team has games once or twice a week, with team practices being entirely optional.

Another big draw of IBA are the teams. Students build a five to twelve person roster consisting of anyone they choose. Many choose to play with their friends, but there are also teams like Girls Golf, bonding outside of their normal season. Senior Michaela Kobinsky’s favorite thing about playing on an IBA team is the sportsmanship that her team has. Kobinsky said, “I think it’s that way because everyone knows we’re just playing for fun, not to win state or something like that. I like that it’s lighthearted and not super intense or scary.” Kobinsky’s advice to someone who is considering playing for an IBA team next year is, “if you find sports stressful because you have to practice every day and work really hard, do IBA. You can work hard if you want to but it’s more fun than a regular sports team.”

Besides being a less intense and more fun way to play basketball, IBA also breaks the barrier for less experienced players to access the sport. Playing with experienced players can be discouraging to students who weren’t able to start learning as early on. With IBA, students are able to choose whether or not they want to play on a competitive or non-competitive team. Games are also played on a half court and only run for thirty minutes total, which makes them more accessible to less seasoned players. This allows for all skill levels to have a place in this program.

Although competitive basketball can be very rewarding, IBA is a better option for many people. Due to it’s accessibility, it is clear as to why IBA has been very popular recently.