Recreational sports teams are a great way for co-workers, friends or neighbors to enjoy spending time together while getting some exercise. It relieves stress, providing a much needed break from daily life. Sports encourage team building and cooperation, which help to strengthen community ties and work relationships. By giving them something in common, sports teams let participants get to know each other better with the comfort of a shared interest in the background.
Recreational sports teams can be found everywhere- churches, offices, local schools and parks and social clubs. Some have several teams in different sports. Others are formed by finding enough interest in one sport within a group of people to start a team and/or league. Popular sports for recreational teams are baseball, softball, volleyball, tennis and bowling.
Local advertising, including word-of-mouth, is the best way to find people who are interested in signing up. Start with posting posters or flyers at the venue and the surrounding area. If a league of company teams is your goal, approach local business owners. Have some background information on the health, morale and team building benefits of the sport to aid in getting their participation. Put an ad in a local shopper’s guide or community publication. Call the special interest or community events section of the local paper and talk to the columnist about your project. Place flyers at the local gyms in the area and talk to the owner or manage about promotion and their potential involvement.
Once you have enough interest to start forming teams, encourage players to talk to their family, friends and neighbors about getting involved. Maybe they could all be on a team together. Don’t forget to talk to spouses too. Having softball teams of husbands who play against teams made up of their wives may be an interesting way to get people involved and enthusiastic. Be inventive and playful- this is meant to be relaxing and enjoyable. Get feedback from players, asking what would make the experience fun for them. Having a goofy prize at the end of the season for the team with the best record or a silly penalty for the team with the worst record is an idea.
It is important to set up a good communication system. Phone trees and emails are fine, but may not be reliable or can get ignored. A message system like GenieVOX by AllCom is a terrific low cost idea that costs a few dollars a month without a contract. This service gives you a private toll-free number that members can use to leaves free voice messages of up to 3 minutes long. You choose whether you want to receive your messages to your phone, text, email or all three. It’s a quick and easy way to confirm game dates and times, give reminders of any changes, make delay or cancellation notifications and exchange comments. You can send messages to one member or the whole league in one easy step. Players can respond with a message or can call back to respond with a single touch of a button.
Setting up teams and keeping everything fun and organized is easy with a little work, know how and the right tools. Just remember it’s called a recreational team for a reason and have fun!