Brand Extra

A quick guide to summer sports leagues

It’s summer in Chicago and you don’t have to look hard to find a good time — especially if sports are your thing. Whatever your game is, there’s an amped group of people who want to wipe out every memory of winter and play it alongside you in the warm weather.

Tennis, anyone? ChiTownTennis can hook you up. “We want people to connect with a wonderful community of players who will meet them on the courts,” said Steven Chagon, director for “Our members take full advantage of the weather to play lots and lots of tennis against other passionate tennis players.”

Maybe you prefer Frisbees to fuzzy green balls? Then check out Ultimate Chicago, a nonprofit group that organizes coed ultimate Frisbee leagues every summer. “Since the format of our summer leagues is created through a draft, you can buddy up with a close friend or group while still joining a team made up of new faces,” Ultimate Chicago board member Jorge Duarte said.

Then there’s the sport Chicago does better than any other city: softball. We have 12- and 16-inch leagues. We have male-only, female-only and coed leagues. We have recreational, intermediate and competitive leagues. If you can’t find a softball league that works for you with a quick Google search, then you need to either find a job with better hours or stop being so picky.

By far, though, the best summer sport in Chicago is beach volleyball. Nothing beats feeling sand between your toes with the Chicago skyline on one side of you and Lake Michigan on the other. “Our beach volleyball leagues are one of the most iconic things during a Chicago summer,” said Jason Erkes, president of Chicago Sport and Social Club. “We have close to 2,000 teams playing on Chicago's lakefront every summer.”

And each summer, there are more sports to play and more leagues to play in. In fact, the Chicago Sport and Social Club just purchased gear for bubble soccer, Erkes said. So, even if your goal is to play the beautiful sport while wearing a giant plastic bubble around your torso, Chicago has you covered.


— By Christopher Nelson, Brand Publishing Writer

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