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Intramural vs. Intermural: What's the Difference?

By Janet White || Updated on May 20, 2024
Intramural activities occur within a single institution, while intermural activities involve competition between different institutions.

Key Differences

Intramural activities are organized within a single institution, such as a school or university, and involve participants from that institution only. These activities are designed to foster a sense of community, provide recreational opportunities, and encourage friendly competition among students or members of the organization. Intermural activities, on the other hand, involve participants from multiple institutions competing against each other. These competitions are typically more formal and organized than intramural activities and may include regional or national tournaments.
In terms of organization, intramural activities are usually managed by the institution’s own recreation or sports department, with a focus on participation and enjoyment rather than high-level competition. Intermural activities require coordination between different institutions and may be overseen by external governing bodies or leagues to ensure fair play and standardized rules.
Participation in intramural activities is generally more inclusive, encouraging students of all skill levels to join and play. This inclusivity helps build a sense of camaraderie and school spirit. In contrast, intermural competitions often attract more skilled and competitive participants, representing their institutions and striving for excellence and victory in a wider arena.
Intramural activities offer the convenience of being held on campus, making them easily accessible to participants. Intermural activities may require travel to different locations, adding an element of adventure and exposure to new environments for the participants.

Comparison Chart


Within a single institution
Between different institutions


Community building, recreation
Broader competition, higher skill level


Managed by the institution's sports department
Coordinated between multiple institutions


Inclusive, all skill levels
More competitive, higher skill level


Requires travel to different locations

Intramural and Intermural Definitions


Focused on internal participation and enjoyment.
Intramural sports are a great way to stay active and meet new people.


Activities or competitions between different institutions.
The intermural basketball tournament brings together teams from various schools.


Designed for members of a specific institution to participate.
Intramural tournaments help foster teamwork among students.


Often organized by external governing bodies.
The intermural swim meet is governed by the state athletic association.


Activities or competitions within one institution.
The university's intramural soccer league is open to all students.


Requiring travel and coordination between institutions.
Intermural events often require teams to travel to different campuses.


Managed internally by the institution's staff.
The intramural basketball games are organized by the campus recreation center.


Between walls; enclosed by walls.


Existing or carried on within the bounds of an institution, especially a school
Intramural athletics.


Occurring within the walls or boundaries of an organ or other biological structure.


(Anatomy) Occurring or situated within the wall of a cavity or organ.


Local to an exhibit or exhibition.


Within the walls; within one institution, particularly a school.
Intramural sports involve teams that are all within the same school.


In house; internal to an organization.


Within the substance of the walls of an organ.
Intramural pregnancy


Involving competition between institutions, especially sports competitions.


A (usually sports) competition between teams belonging to the same school.


(art) Originating as street art but being curated and displayed in a gallery or museum.


Being within the walls, as of a city.


A (usually sport) competition between teams from separate organizations.


Of or pertaining to those activities occurring within a single institution or organization, such as intramural sports involving students of a single school; an intramural debate within a professional society.


A competition between teams from within the same organization.


Being within the substance of the walls of an organ; as, intramural pregnancy.


An intermural yard; a walled garden.


Carried on within the bounds of an institution or community;
Most of the students participated actively in the college's intramural sports program


Lying between walls; inclosed by walls.


Pertaining to events within the walls of a single organization.
Intramural debates are held every Friday evening.


Taking place between two different institutions or cities; as, an intermural soccer match between two schools.


Between two or more institutions etc;
An intermural track meet


Involving participants from multiple organizations.
Intermural chess competitions are held annually between local colleges.


Promoting inter-institutional competition.
Intermural athletics foster a spirit of competition among regional universities.


How do intramural and intermural activities differ in scope?

Intramural activities are limited to one institution, while intermural activities involve multiple institutions.

What is an intramural activity?

An intramural activity is a competition or event held within a single institution.

What is an intermural activity?

An intermural activity involves competition between participants from different institutions.

What is the main purpose of intramural activities?

The main purpose is to build community, provide recreation, and encourage participation within the institution.

Are intramural activities competitive?

Intramural activities can be competitive but are generally more focused on participation and enjoyment.

Are intermural activities competitive?

Yes, intermural activities tend to be highly competitive, often involving skilled participants.

Who can participate in intermural activities?

Intermural activities usually attract more skilled participants representing their institutions.

Who organizes intramural activities?

Intramural activities are typically organized by the institution’s recreation or sports department.

Where are intermural activities typically held?

Intermural activities are held at various locations, requiring travel between institutions.

What is the main purpose of intermural activities?

The main purpose is to promote broader competition and showcase talent between institutions.

Who organizes intermural activities?

Intermural activities require coordination between institutions and are often overseen by external governing bodies.

Who can participate in intramural activities?

Intramural activities are open to all members of the institution, regardless of skill level.

How do intramural activities benefit participants?

They provide exercise, social interaction, and a sense of community.

Are intermural activities inclusive?

While open to participants, intermural activities are more competitive and may be less inclusive than intramural activities.

Can an institution have both intramural and intermural activities?

Yes, many institutions offer both types of activities to cater to different interests and skill levels.

Are intramural activities inclusive?

Yes, intramural activities are designed to be inclusive and accessible to all skill levels.

Do intramural activities require travel?

No, intramural activities do not require travel as they are held on campus.

Do intermural activities require travel?

Yes, intermural activities often require participants to travel to different locations.

How do intermural activities benefit participants?

They offer higher levels of competition, exposure to new environments, and the opportunity to represent their institution.

Where are intramural activities typically held?

Intramural activities are typically held on the institution’s campus.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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