CB3 Tries One More Time to Engage Education Department on School Yard Use

kickball les

Kickball on a Lower East Side school playground; 2012.

Who knew kickball could be controversial?  Residents living around two school yards on the Lower East Side have been dealing with the noise and bright lights created by adult sports leagues for a few years now.  Last night, they took their concerns to Community Board 3’s youth & education committee.  While locals are pretty exacerbated with the organizations using the facilities — the bigger issue for CB3 is the Department of Education’s (DOE) failure to involve impacted neighborhoods before its school yards are made available for rentals.

The most recent complaints are coming from residents who live near P.S. 142 on Attorney Street.  For several years, a company called New York Social Sports Club has paid the DOE for the use of several school yards, including at PS. 142 and the nearby M25 complex (which includes Marta Valle High School).  This year, it has been partnering with a non-profit group, the Notwork Network, for the LES games, which include post-game get-togethers at local bars.

Kickball, Friends & Fun on the Lower East Side

We just heard from the gang at New York Social Sports Club that they’ve opened registration for their spring kickball leagues on the Lower East Side. You can choose to play Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday nights.  The season lasts 7 weeks, and every game is followed by post-game parties at a local bar.  The club is not about hard-core competition – the league is geared towards anyone who wants to unwind, have fun and make some new friends. You can either organize a whole team yourself, sign up with a friend or two and be placed on a team together, or just register as an individual, and you’ll be placed on a team!  No kids – 21+ only.  To sign up or get more information, check out their web site.

$5 Kickball – Celebrating with NYC Social Sports Club

If you’ve walked past P.S. 142 on Attorney Street in the early evening hours, you might have noticed something doesn’t look quite right on the blacktop. There’s a spirited game of kickball going on. Nothing unusual there. But the kids look awfully big. There is, of course, an explanation. For the past five years, the NYC Social Sports Club (NYCSSC) has been helping adults blow off a little steam, connect with new and old friends and reconnect with the games that defined their childhood.

Every week, thousands of New Yorkers come out to play friendly games of kickball, dodgeball, broomball, ultimate frisbee and inner tube water polo. This summer, to celebrate its five year anniversary, the organization is offering all sorts of special deals, including a $5 – five week- kickball league.

Recently, I met NYC Social Sports marketing guy Matt Archambault on a playground in the shadow of the Williamsburg Bridge, where an intense game of kickball was being played. Actually, it wasn’t all that intsense — and that’s sort of the point. The club is not for hyper-competitive jocks out for blood. As Amy Short, the company’s founder told the New York Times recently, the emphasis is on the “social,” not the “sports.”   As she put it, “the higher purpose of this league is to help build community in New York City,”

Build community — make some new friends — and maybe even make a “love connection.” On the playground and in the local bars after the casual rivalries have been set aside, more than a few romances have taken root. The night I spoke with Matt he was on his way to celebrate an anniversary with his girlfriend, who he met playing broomball a few months earlier.

If you’d like to know more about that $5 kickball league or their big birthday bash at the Astoria Beer Garden on August 8th, visit NYC’s Social Sports Club’s new web site here.

And if you’d like to relive your childhood dodgeball triumphs or humiliations, check out this video: