In a League of Your Own
It‘s time for you and your coworkers to score one (or two) for the company team.
|An elementary school favorite, kickball is still fun for the post-graduate crowd.|
Spring is finally here and, no doubt, you and your office mates are experiencing spring fever. So, dust off your sneakers and round up everyone in your department—it’s time to play ball (that is, sign up for some local company sports and recreation leagues).
The Old Playground Standby
Big League Kickball
Westchester Division is played at SUNY Purchase; season starts May 3 and runs for eight weeks.
Kickball was once a staple of elementary school playgrounds. But, heck, you don’t have to be in fifth grade to enjoy it. If you and your work pals want to kick that familiar red rubber ball around once more, here is your opportunity—just form a team through your company and join. Companies in the past that have sponsored kickball teams include Broadview Networks, Amscan, Aupair Care, the Blackbear Bar, and various hedge funds. “I found it to be lots of fun,”says Sean Davey, managing director of information services for Broadview. "Maybe it’s just that I’m getting old, but it’s not as easy as I remember—it is more fun than I remember, though."
Ye Olde English Standard
Westchester County Darter’s Association
Played at various bars throughout the county; summer season runs from April through August, fall/winter season runs from October to February.
Many of your favorite suds-pouring watering holes sponsor teams and host games for the Westchester County Darter’s Association, which runs leagues all year. Local pubs that have participated include Murphy’s Law in Harrison, Danny Mac’s in Yonkers, Celtic Corner in Dobbs Ferry, and others. If you were a bar darts pro in college, it’s time to get the throwing hand back in shape. “It’s become very popular," reports Tracy Feiertag, corporate secretary and statistician for the association. “Bars usually make the entry fee [$300] back the first week of the season."
For more info: visit wcdarts.com, or call Feiertag at (914) 497-1484
The Green Zone
Yorkville Sports Association Golf League and Metropolitan Restaurant League
Various courses throughout the area; season runs weekly through the end of August
What would a list of summer corporate outings in Westchester be without golf? Whether you’re in it for the networking, the competition, or a nice cold one at the 19th hole after a long afternoon of hooks and slices, this is the consummate businessman’s game. The YSA has run leagues for many years, with companies such as Emicrophone in Yorktown Heights, Gordo’s Restaurant, Manos Management in Hawthorne, and many more. “I joined the league to be able to play a variety of interesting local courses in a competitive but relaxed setting,” says Stefan Malgarinos, president of Manos Management, who has played in the league for four years. “What I found was a great bunch of casual golfers, who take the game, but not themselves, seriously. I have taken five strokes off my handicap, and, more importantly, made several new friends and business contacts.ˮ
For more info: visit ysaleagues.com, call YSA President Al Morales (914) 962-8390 ext. 10, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Game You Hated (or Loved) as a Kid
Big League Dodgeball
Held at the YMCA in White Plains, though locations could expand; spring league begins in May and runs for eight weeks
Though dodgeball may have been removed from most school PE curricula in the PC world we live in, adults can still experience the joy of pelting their fellow man with a rubber ball at high speeds. A recent winter league proved so successful that locations and teams will be increased for the spring. The league is sponsored by the Wicked Wolf Tavern in White Plains, where players go afterwards to drink away the pain and commiserate. “While competitive, we always try and keep a fun, relaxed atmosphere where everyone feels welcomed,” says Maurice Reep, a field manager for BLD. “We have doctors, teachers, firemen, lawyers, musicians, stock brokers, and more."
Not Just for Hippies Anymore
Westchester Ultimate Disc Inc.
Held at The Main fields at SUNY Purchase; season starts at the end of May and runs through August
Ultimate disc has evolved over the years from a game mainly played casually by college students to a nationwide, highly competitive, organized sport. The WUDI offers leagues for players of various skill levels, including a coed league. Though many players register as individuals, you and your co-workers can contact the league and request to be placed on the same team. “What really drew me into the sport was the amazing sense of community and inclusiveness," says Seth Canetti, coed draft league coordinator.
The Summer Classic
Softball in the City of Yonkers, run by the Yonkers Adult Sports League
Different fields throughout the city; season runs all summer on Friday nights
Softball and summer go hand in hand, so much so that the phrase “beer league" long ago entered the national lexicon. For companies in and around the Yonkers area, the long-running city softball league is the place where you can live out your own personal field of dreams. Companies that sponsored teams include Stew Leonard’s, Con Ed, Lawrence Hospital, and St. John’s Hospital. "We have been participating in the softball league of Yonkers for almost eleven years," says Walter Kalina, assistant grocery manager at Stew Leonard’s. “This has become such a beloved tradition in our store and everyone looks forward to the start of the season. Whether you’re on the team, or cheering from the stands, it’s always a good time."
For more info: call the YASL at (914) 968-3223
Three hundred fifty acres of land with 15 different playing fields at the Liberty Paintball complex in Paterson; no organized season, but fields are open to individuals and groups from Wednesday through Sunday during the summer.
Located just north of the Westchester/Putnam border in Paterson, New York, this mega-size paintball facility caters to individuals and groups looking to spend an afternoon navigating and shooting their way through paint-splattered battlefields. Its playing fields consist of varied terrain, such as buildings, trenches, tanks, spaceships(!), and natural woods. The facility has hosted corporate outings from Westchester, and provides all the equipment necessary for a day of paint warfare with admission fee.
For more info: visit libertypaintballny.com or call (845) 878-6300
The Great American Game
Westchester County Wiffle ball Tournament
Annual tournament; this year’s will be held in Ardsley on August 6
The game of Wiffle ball is one seemingly every American has played at least once in their lives. Most of us have fond memories throwing the white plastic ball with holes in it in our backyards (or on the street, if you grew up by asphalt and stoops). Since its invention in 1953 in Fairfield County, Wiffle ball has grown from a neighborhood game to one with a national organization and big-money tournaments. The Westchester County Parks Department has attempted to start Wiffle ball leagues in the past, but, due to the difficult logistics involved, has settled on an annual one-day tournament. This year’s is slated for August 6 in Ardsley.
For more info: visit westchestergov.com/PARKS, or call (914) 328-1542
Bryan Yurcan is a freelance writer and longtime Westchester resident. A former college Wiffle ball star, his athletic endeavors these days consist mostly scouring the country for the perfect pint of Guinness.