Social Sports Are Not For Everyone

21 06 2011

I will admit that organized, social sports leagues are not for everyone. I have been playing on such leagues since graduating college four years ago, and have played and met many different people. While I’m always trying to get my friends from different facets of my life to join this social aspect of my life, I do realize that it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Sure, it’s hard for me to take the news, but I can understand how it’s not for everyone. I can’t speak for every type of sports league however.

I’ve only partaken in two different leagues and two sports. I was in a bowling league for one season and I’ve been playing kickball for something like three years, although with the different teams and different divisions, it adds up to a total of 10 teams, to which I’m about to add another. I’ve only played kickball with one of the many different leagues in the area. But from what I’ve gathered, pretty much all of the social sports leagues work the same. I would conclude from all of my social sports experiences, that this is the type of thing that someone should join if they are competitive, enjoy drinking, looking for a fun way to exercise, social, and interested in meeting new people and making some friends. If you meet those simple categories, then sure, joining a social sports league would be a pretty good fit for you.

So who shouldn’t join these sports teams? Your first thought might be that if you’re not into sports, then naturally wouldn’t be interested. (While I admit this is pretty good reason not to join, I have still played kickball with those who are not athletic and who don’t even like the sport they have signed up.) But these types of people are not necessarily the kinds to show up to every game or to renew their interest another season. But- for the record, there are sports leagues of the very least athletic activities such as Skeeball, Shuffleboard, and Bocce Ball.

Who else should not partake in these activities? If you don’t drink, you might not have as much fun as your drunken teammates, and thus you might feel left out. Of course, nobody wants to feel excluded from a group. However, with the previous reason, I have still played kickball with a select few who don’t drink (or like to.) Sure, they won’t go to the bar after the game, and they might be left out of other activities, but there’s no reason that could totally stop you from joining the league. If you just want to play the sport and meet new people, that can still be achieved.

If you’re a hermit, anti-social, not interested in meeting new people, or think you’re too good for the rest of society, you probably wouldn’t be interested in joining these such sports leagues. Alternatively, I have heard a few people use their crippling shyness as an excuse not to join social sports leagues. I can tell you from first hand experience, that being shy might deter you at first, but these organized social gatherings sort of force you to be social – which you won’t regret. And even if you are way too shy to initiate conversation, I can assure you that the others on your team won’t all be as shy as you. Plus, it’s kind of your captains’ responsibility to make sure everyone is enjoying themselves.

Of course, social sports should not be included into your schedule, if frankly, you don’t have time for it. If you are so busy (say, with work) that you can’t take a few hours out of your life for some good-natured socializing, then you probably shouldn’t waste your money on this idea. However, there are various activities offered on every single day of the week, to meet your needs. Another reason not to join is if you are seriously impaired. I know that social sports try to be as inclusive as possible for everyone, but if you are confined to a wheelchair, then perhaps something like a Volleyball team might not be the best choice for you. Or, if you have a broken arm, I would suggest against bowling. Likewise, if you have a contagious disease and have quarantined, do not go out and spread it to all of your potential new friends.

As I mentioned, social spots do try to be as inclusive and accommodating for everyone as they can. Sometimes it’s a little surprising how well they do this, too. I have also had so many great experiences with my sports leagues, which is why I am such a big advocate. I have made many long-lasting friendships. I have an excuse to be outside in nice weather. I have an outlet to unleash my competitive- though with friendly intent- nature. And, I have discovered of new types of alcoholic beverages and ventured to bars I might have otherwise overlooked. So, I’m sorry if I seem too pushy to my peers to join a social sports league. But it’s just that it seems to be such a good fit for a person like myself!




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