Did you once play organized sports in high school or college, but now you’re simply a gym rat (or don’t exercise at all)? Maybe you’re new to Philadelphia, or the Many-Rox portion of it, and you’re looking for ways to connect. Are you tired of going to bars to meet new people?
Philadelphia Sport and Social Club is for you. It’s a place where people 18 to 50-plus play league sports, make friends and even find love—yes love. A few marriages have been attributed to the coed touch football league, by far Philly Sport’s most popular league.
There are so many reasons to sign up for a league, and so many leagues to choose from. I, myself, am a gym rat. The gym is my second home. I am there so often that many people think I work there. Though I think everyone should have a gym membership, I think a good look at other options is in order.
Philly Sport & Social hosts basketball, soccer, coed flag football, softball, volleyball, dodgeball, floor hockey, and kickball. Though all of the sports are popular and have plenty of teams involved, the group's biggest sport is coed touch football. This league plays both nine Saturdays in spring and autumn. What made me want to sign up was the fact that every third play has to be a "girls play," where a female takes the quarterback position.
According to CEO Tim Horan, the teams that rise to the top are the ones with the best females. And don’t think that guys go easy on the girls, either. On the field, everyone gets treated equally, so this is not for the light of heart.
In fact, one now-married couple met because the girl accused the guy of contact that was too aggressive for touch football. On a later occasion she saw him at a bar and hassled him a bit about the incident. The rest is history.
Horan told me when he first moved to Philadelphia, he joined the club to play in a softball league. Almost 10 years later, he has close friendships that all begun on the team. Now they not only share a love of sports, but have gone to each others' weddings, and continue to live life with each other on and off the field. People bring their whole families to events and it becomes a bit of a tailgate party as well as a game. People on the field are playing their hearts out and people on the sidelines are having a great time too.
The club attracts a wide range of athletic and fitness levels.
“On the field," Horan said. “Guys fresh out of high school play with and against guys old enough to be their dads,” and there is no holding back.
“The day after hurts a little more now than it did 10 years ago,” he adds, “but the fun and camaraderie is worth it.”
With around 15,000 people involved in the club each year, there are those whose only physical activity is the league play, others who are retired pro athletes, and everyone in between.
If you’re interested in getting involved, (I know I am) you can sign up as an individual to be placed on a team, or gather a team to join as a unit. Either way, playing league sports is a fantastic option for both your own fitness, and for a social opportunity with a lot of adrenaline and happy-feel-good endorphins.