A league of your own

The city’s rec sports scene is calling you

A quick Google search of “Columbus leagues” will pull up multiple pages of various rec leagues you can join in Central Ohio for kiddos, adults and the senior crowd. There’s darts at Byrne’s Pub on Tuesdays, sand volleyball at Flannagan’s on Sundays, and let’s not forget hockey through the Chiller Adult Hockey League or badminton at the YMCA.

But where do you look and how do you get started? Fit Columbus is here to help you get into the rec league groove.

What types of leagues are out there?

If you want to play it, there’s probably a league for it in Columbus. From the standard issue sports you find in most athletic conferences – volleyball (sand or indoor), basketball, softball, baseball, golf, hockey, soccer and tennis – to the not-so-common – lacrosse, kickball, dodge ball, handball and racquetball – to the sports (or sporty games) you forgot you loved – darts, bowling, billiards, flag football, cornhole and bowling.

“Trampoline dodge ball is coming in the fall,” said Ryan Ransom, Eastern Regional Manager of sportsmonster.net. The new twist on dodge ball will have leagues on Tuesday and Wednesday nights at Sky Zone in Lewis Center. “We ran it for the first time last winter and it sold out. I think it’s pretty big. It’s a good exercise, too.”

The Delaware YMCA is also trying new sports leagues this fall — two in particular that bring something fresh to the table: D-League and Pickleball.

“In D-League, for eight to 10 weeks, every week you change up what’s happening,” said Matt Bruns, executive director of the Delaware YMCA. “One week it’s basketball, then volleyball, pickleball, relay races — it’s not the same activity every week.”

Pickleball is like tennis with wooden paddles and has earned quite a following, said Bruns. Both new leagues are open for registration in mid-August, with leagues starting in September.

Where should I look?

Google is your friend and should be used regularly to research rec leagues in the capital city. But we can make it a little easier for you than that.

To start with, every city in Central Ohio has a city parks department, and that department likely has rec leagues, from Columbus to Dublin to Grove City. Head to your city’s website and search for athletics or leagues — you’re bound to find something. For Columbus parks, they’ve got all the basics plus a few extra, like disc golf leagues. Check it out here: columbus.gov/recreationandparks/programs/All-Athletic-Programs

Your next bet for rec leagues is to hit a website focused on league activity or that aggregates all the leagues in the city. You can start with sportsmonster.net, founded in Chicago in 1994, which creates its own city leagues.

Or you can head over to columbus.sportsvite.com, which aggregates all the different leagues and locations in the city and lets you search by league, team, player or games/events.

And don’t forget about the YMCA of Central Ohio, which offers leagues and classes in some interesting areas like bocce ball, badminton, horses and hiking: www.ymcacolumbus.org/sports-recreation.

If you’re looking for racquetball or tennis leagues, your local gym is a great place to start. If your local gym has a pool, you could also get involved in swimming.

Another fantastic go-to for leagues and games is the Columbus Young Professionals website: www.cypclub.com/athletics. You can meet people who are similar in age and ambition, as well as sports interests.