Here in Chicago -- where it often feels like winter for about eight months out of the year -- we don't take one second of warm weather for granted. Sports leagues are just one of the many things we love about summer in Chicago, and fortunately there are plenty of great options when it comes to bringing out your competitive side.
Meet New People: Chicago Sport and Social Club has become the go-to sports league for 20- and 30-somethings looking to meet new people. In addition to their range of social events, this club offers the most diverse range of sports leagues in the city, covering random sports like broomball, ping pong and sailing in addition to classics like beach volleyball, football and kickball. Summer leagues are currently forming, so sign up soon to secure your spot.
Connect With the GLBT Community: The Chicago Metropolitan Sports Association is a non-profit sports organization open to everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, gender or gender identity. Among the many sports leagues which are currently looking for players are softball, soccer and beach volleyball.
Commitment-Phobes: If you can't commit to a summer-long league, consider stopping by for a pick-up game of soccer at Senn Park in Edgewater. A local meet-up group called Soccer Club Chicago has organized a daily soccer game at the park, sometimes with more than one game a night. You don't have to commit until a day or two before, but make sure you can show because the club discourages "no shows."
Night Owls Unite: Not all sports have to be competitive – or take place during the day. If you're a night owl, check out the Midnight Marauders. This cycling group meets up at various Chicago locations once a month to go for a midnight bike ride. You'll avoid the traffic while still getting a great workout.
Affordable Options: Some of the most affordable sports leagues in the city are run by the Chicago Park District. Though there are tons of programs for kids, you can still find adult leagues for sports like outdoor soccer, racquetball and even roller hockey. Looking for fun family activities? Try bocce ball, horseshoes or table tennis, each of which is open to all ages.