During spring, one sport breaks out the bases once again - baseball. For those looking to get active and meet new people, there's another, similar yet less traditional offering - kickball.
Sure, you can organize the occasional game with your friends, but for those looking to play on a regular basis, and relatively competitively, luckily, the schoolyard sport isn't so under the radar in New York City. Rather, the city boasts several leagues that can get you in the game, just like fifth class gym class.
NYC Social Sports organizes several sports leagues year-round, kicking it old school in the warmer months with co-ed blacktop kickball. Most nights during the week this spring, you can find co-ed games, from the Lower East Side on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, to the Upper East Side on Tuesdays and Thursdays (the weekends you'll have to reserve to practicing). As the name implies, this is as much about the game as it is the social aspect, and after the scores are tallied, you can find your teammates at the bar for a post-game party.
Want to play/party? The next season starts mid-April, though registration opens a month beforehand on March 16, so make sure to get your friends together now, or, if you're going solo, register as a free agent. Games are weekly until the end of May, to be followed by the summer season. The spring season will cost you $100 per player (maximum of 18 players a team), and includes everything from equipment to beer specials at a sponsor bar.
ZogSports, another organization that runs multiple sports leagues year-round, adds a third element to this party/play equation - charity. With their "Play for your Cause" theme, a percentage of the organization's profit goes to charity, and the winners at the end of the season have further donations given to a charity of choice.
Of course, for the kickball aspect, the rules are still the same. Also a co-ed league, ZogSport's registration is officially open for the spring season, with the first day of play Monday, April 5, at Central Park. Sunday games begin May 2 at outdoor spots all over Manhattan, from Central Park to the Lower East Side. Similarly, more Manhattan locations are added to the mix on Monday, May 10.
Depending on the night, registration ranges from $90 a person, or $1,300 for a team of 18 ($35 per extra person beyond that) to $130 a person and $1,400 a team. More on that here.
Don't worry Brooklyn, you're not left out of all the fun. McCarren Park is home to Brooklyn Kickball, which runs from April to October. Every Sunday night you can find teams kickin' it until the lights go out.
Interested in joining? Email firstname.lastname@example.org stat, as slots fill up pretty quickly (last year saw over 30 teams). Those with teams, or those floating around as a free agent, can also sign up for more information on the upcoming season here.
Unfortunately, it's already too late to join the New York City teams that are part of the World Adult Kickball Association, where registration is closed for the spring season, held from April to June on the most days of the week. Also founded on the social sports model, if this is a community that interests you, find the league nearest you or your work, sign up for alerts on the summer season and don't miss out. Or, there's always Long Island.