Chicago league takes friendly competition indoors for fall season
Published: Sunday, November 6, 2011
Updated: Monday, August 27, 2012 16:08
The blue skies of summer have been replaced with the golden leaves of fall. Temperatures have dropped and so has morale considering the new lack of activities. No longer can one attend a lakefront volleyball game or frolf in an open field. Instead, most spend their time anticipating the plagues of ice and snow that Chicago winters are known best for.
But for Ben Shimon and members of S3 Leagues, they can look forward to the energy and fun that S3 Leagues brings. Designed around bringing people together through sports, S3 Leagues was created in May of 2009 by Shimon himself.
"Initially, I just wanted to make money so I could travel," Shimon said. However, because the leagues have created an infectious sense of vitality more people are participating than ever before. In fact, some leagues have even started up in New York.
S3 focuses on allowing people to engage in a positive outlet while encouraging them to get active and mingle with other members of the community. Those who wish to join, sign up for a league that is focused around a specific sport. This season the sports include bowling, volley ball and whirly ball. S3 benefits those involved by forming a sense of community through activity, teamwork and a little bit of post-match happy hour.
"We pride ourselves in running the most fun, welcoming personal leagues in the city," said Shimon.
Each season there are three groups to sign up for. The leagues are not designed for Olympic athletes or those of extremely serious caliber. Instead, S3 is more focused on allowing average people to compete and have fun with one another. Inevitably, some team members will have an athletic niche that destroys most competition, while others were better off on the sidelines. Regardless, all are encouraged to sign up and get involved.
This season, S3 Leagues is offering bowling, volleyball and the only whirly ball league in Chicago. All leagues are designed for people aged 22 to 44.
Each person who wishes to sign up can do so with a small group or by themselves. By simply enjoying the atmosphere of such a fun organization, participants will meet local singles in their community while still reveling in the spirit of athletic competition.
"It helps increase your social circle. I still talk to people I met a year ago. You should join if you want to meet people like you," said Brian Holifield a employee of the DePaul Student Center.
Registration for the winter leagues has already begun so those who wish to participate must sign up quickly. As previously stated the earliest one can enter the league is age 22. Therefore most undergrads cannot get involved but for those in grad school, the leagues provide a space to meet and greet fellow Chicagoans.
For the bowling league, each team is made up of eight players, four guys and four girls. Every week participants will be able to compete against other teams. The first six weeks of the season are designed to establish a personal average. After those six weeks, finals begin and handicaps will be used automatically to update scores of each individual. It costs $90 to join and the season starts Nov 8. Matches take place every Sunday at Diversey Rock ‘N Bowl, 2211 W. Diversey Parkway.
"My team now is really close," said Holifield.
The volleyball league begins Nov. 4 and matches are scheduled for Friday at the Windy City Field House, located at 2367 W. Logan Blvd. The cost to register is $75. Just like bowling, all teams will be of equal male, female proportion within a similar age range.
Whirly ball, a combination of part bumper cars, part lacrosse and part basketball starts Nov. 8 on Tuesday nights. By signing up for the league, participants will use hand-help scoops to fire whiffle balls at the scoring target. The only restrictions surrounding whirly ball is that participants must be above 4'6'', good cardiac health and cannot be pregnant. Matches will be held at Whirly ball Chicago on 1880 W Fullerton Ave.
S3 Leagues is not simply an organization focused on sports. During the off-season, groups plan events and mixers to allow teammates to get to know one another off the court as well. Recent events include a fall get away, which included a hay ride and camp fire, various ski trips and lazy river tubing.
By generating S3 Leagues, Shimon has not only been able to fulfill his dream of traveling, he has generated large amounts of money for the local charity ‘Bin Donated,' a group that transports charitable items to those in need. Shimon and S3 Leagues have donated more than $2,000 to this organization and even given some funds to Japanese earthquake relief.