Endless Summer Fun: You Want to Play What?
Make like Abner Doubleday More than sport, vintage baseball is a reenactment of the game as played in the 1860s, complete with antique uniforms, arcane rules and goofy whiskers. Catch the Diamond State Base Ball Club July 12th or 18th at Fort DuPont State Park in Delaware City (diamondstatebaseball.org). They’re always looking for players. And the Flemington Neshanock have a match on the Fourth of July at Historic Cold Spring Village in Cape May (neshanock.org).
Discover what’s meant by “sticky wicket” As well as “googly,” “stodger,” “cow corner” and “maiden over,” at a cricket match. The Philadelphia Cricket League has chapters in, among other places Haverford, Fairmount Park, Northeast Philly and — believe it or not — out by the Automall. Teams play weekends all summer (philadelphiacricketleague.com).
Scrum some Rugby is big in these parts. The Philadelphia Woman’s Rugby club practices at Gray’s Ferry Field (pwrfc.org); the North Penn Rugby Club, with men’s, boys’ and girls’ teams, plays at the Hatfield American Legion field (northpennrugby.com); home turf for South Jersey Rugby, also for men, boys and girls, is in Cherry Hill (southjerseyrugby.org).
Slip a disc Not in your back — to a teammate in Ultimate, the Frisbee/football hybrid that’s played by men’s, women’s and co-ed teams. The Philadelphia Area Disc Alliance (pada.org) is a local clearinghouse, and novices are welcome; in fact, you get your own league. The Fairmount Park Summer League (pada.org/fairmountpark) is one of the largest in the world. There’s also a high-school league (phuel.cooksclassroom.com).
Put your mettle to the pedal The Valley Preferred Cycling Center hosts World Cups and Olympic trials on its bike-racing oval — the Masters and Elite Regional State Championship is July 25th and 26th. It also opens its (very) banked track to any damn-fool man, woman or child with a bike and a helmet — no special equipment required (1151 Mosser Road, Breinigsville, 610-395-7000, lvvelo.org).
Get a nickname Something like “Iron Mike” or “Joltin’ Joe,” or even “The Italian Stallion.” Monikers like these aren’t given; you earn them in the boxing ring. If the sweet science is something you’ve always wanted to try, Sports Extreme in Boothwyn has classes for men, women and kids. Um. It also has a Sinister Competition Fight Cage (sportsextreme.us).
Twist and shout Just like you did at grade-school recess, trying to avoid the shame of getting thrown out at dodgeball. But you’re all over that now, and the Philadelphia Sport and Social Club (phillysportandsocialclub.com) has leagues at various intensity levels. (It’s got Wiffle ball, too!)
Go home And with luck — skill? — send a few base runners there ahead of you. The World Adult Kickball Association (a.k.a. WAKA!) just added new local divisions to its co-ed kickball league, playing at various locations both urban and suburban (kickball.com/kickball#PA). Can’t you just feel your toes sinking into that big red ball?