Ways to make friends: Sports leagues

Are you an active type? Make friends by joining one of these NYC fitness groups, geared toward casual and serious jocks alike.

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If you’re a sports enthusiast in search of a team, here are some leagues in New York City where you can meet fellow runners, tennis buffs, soccer players and more. So what are you waiting for? The ball’s in your court.


RECOMMENDED: 50 ways to make friends in NYC


New York Fun Run

New York Fun Run

Unless you’ve got the Benjamins for a helicopter ride, there’s no better way to see the city than on foot. Find running buddies by jogging around town with this sociable group. Members, who call themselves “Run-Chuggers,” meet at a bar in a different neighborhood every Wednesday night and set out along a predetermined route, returning to the same watering hole for a few guilt-free postrun beers. The 30- to 50-minute trot allows plenty of time to think up clever conversation starters.meetup.com/nyc-fun-run. Wed 7pm; free.

“I really look forward to meeting new people every week. New people tend to feel really comfortable showing up, even without knowing other participants.”—Vinay Pai, 32, tech entrepreneur, West Village

  1. Locations vary
94. Dominate the baseline at an indoor tennis court

Tennis NYC

This casual club offers plenty of opportunities to find a doubles partner or just work on your swing. Once you submit your desired weekly schedule and neighborhood, organizers will pair you with a partner of a similar skill level. If you don’t want to jump in right away, register for an evaluation or practice session with league director Koko Lani, who has played in the city for more than 25 years, or instructor Eric Capuano, who has taught for 30-plus.tennisnyc.com. Monthly membership $95.

“I was a bridesmaid for a woman I met through Tennis NYC. Our friendship is the best thing that came out of joining the league.”—Maggie Wang, 36, publicist, Upper West Side

  1. Locations vary
Play Soccer 2 Give

Play Soccer 2 Give

Soccer and service go hand inhand with this nonprofit, which encourages players from all over the city to meet for competitive-yet-friendly games of pickup footy. Proceeds fund youth-soccer equipment in underprivileged communities here and around the world. Players of all skill levels can sign up for January’s winter indoor season as individuals or as a group of up to five.meetup.com/playsoccer2give.  $2–$10 per match.

  1. Locations vary
NYC Social

NYC Social

This popular league, formerly known as New York City Social Sports Club, introduces active types under 40 to each other via several sports each season. Join as a free agent and register for the winter session (choose from basketball, soccer and volleyball, among other options), and you’ll be assigned to a team with other players looking to make friends and enjoy the game. • 212-929-5353, nycsocial.com. Season $125.

  1. 40 W 29th St between Broadway and Sixth Ave
New York Urban Professionals Athletic League

New York Urban Professionals Athletic League

Volleyball and basketball lovers find common ground with serious year-round games and a chance to bond (meaning drink) with fellow sports enthusiasts after each match. Individual players in both sports are welcome to attend open scrimmages and form a team with other free agents. In addition to the three-month season of men’s, women’s or coed league play, participants can attend open-play games to perfect skills and expand social circles. The upcoming winter season begins mid-December for basketball and mid-January for volleyball on courts throughout the city. •  212-877-3614, nyurban.com. Mon–Thu, times vary. Individual fees: Basketball season $118.50, volleyball season $117.50.

  1. 155 W 72nd between Columbus and Amsterdam Aves


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