Five staff photographers will offer close-ups of the interests, activities, and personalities inside five Harvard Houses in installments over the course of the academic year.

The stands at historic Harvard Stadium are empty, the vacant seats and aisles a dim reminder of the raucous crowds at major football games like Harvard-Yale. But most evenings, there is still plenty of action on the playing field: the battle for the Straus Cup, Harvard’s House intramural (IM) sports championship.

Undergraduates compete in such sports as flag football, soccer, softball, ultimate Frisbee, kickball, volleyball, crew, tennis, basketball, hockey, squash, table tennis, fencing, and dodgeball.

Winthrop House has won the intramural prize the past three years. IM is serious business at Winthrop, where last year more than 200 students helped to win the title.

Maria Persson Gulda, a graduate student and Winthrop’s IM tutor, touts the positives of the competition, emphasizing the House spirit that the sports help to shape. Alex Ahmed ’10, who previously was Winthrop’s IM rep, said, “I played three sports in high school. I played 12 sports in IM.” Last year, Ahmed even learned to skate to play ice hockey.

And, yes, Winthrop so far this year is rolling along once more, with a 20-2 record.

Winthrop House's game plan

Stephanie Mitchell/Staff Photographer

  • The ultimate

    The ultimate

    In a fall semester match, Winthrop plays Adams House in ultimate Frisbee at Harvard Stadium. Eva Liou '11 (from left), Eric Wu '11, Nick Purcell '11, Alex Ahmed '10, and graduate student and Winthrop House tutor Maria Persson Gulda play for Winthrop House.

  • 'H'eck yeah

    'H'eck yeah

    Eva Liou '11 takes a breather in her patriotic gear.

  • Night lights

    Night lights

    On this night, Winthrop scored a victory against Mather House in flag football, even despite the cold, rainy conditions.

  • It's a rout

    It's a rout

    Winthrop quarterback Andrew Badger '12 (with ball) helped his House dominate 58-18 against Mather House in flag football.

  • For love of the game

    For love of the game

    Winthrop House resident tutor and intramural sports coordinator Maria Persson Gulda (center) responds to a stellar catch.

  • Great form

    Great form

    Winthrop's Alex Ahmed '10 makes a mid-air grab.

  • On-field collision

    On-field collision

    Winthrop's Nick Purcell '11 (right) collides with an opponent.

  • Time out

    Time out

    Winthrop House's Alex Ahmed '10 (from left), Nick Purcell '11, and Sean Singh confer at halftime.

  • Strategizing


    The Winthrop House team discusses plays and strategies for moving forward.

  • Rushing the field

    Rushing the field

    The Winthrop House flag football team returns from halftime re-energized.

  • Our ball!

    Our ball!

    Daniel Balmori '11 (hands in air) responds to Andrew Badger's '12 (with ball) sweet save.

  • Fist bump

    Fist bump

    It ain't victory without a fist bump. Allston Burr Resident Dean of Winthrop House Gregg Peeples (far left) celebrates with the team.