When you're the new kid on the block, finding a game is relatively easy—if you're nine years old. Just stand in your driveway with a basketball, a football or a baseball mitt, and soon someone will ask you to play. But how do you do this when you're 34? "You come to us," says Andy Solomon, president and CEO of the online sports recreation community streetzebra.com. "We'll find a team for you."
StreetZebra recently acquired Sport & Social Clubs, a company that manages leagues in 18 cities. Among its other features, streetzebra.com posts home pages for the clubs' leagues and teams. Find the "League Tools" link on the site and under your metropolis you'll see a menu of activities, from billiards to basketball to boot-camp fitness. You and your friends can register as a team, or you can sign up solo and the club will put you on a squad. In the Philadelphia Sport & Social Club this fall, for instance, you can play coed floor hockey (three men, two women) on Wednesday nights for $510 as a team or for $80 as an individual.
"Being in a league gives you more of an incentive to show up," says Matt Boler, 34, an entrepreneur who lives in Chicago and each Sunday morning plays on a coed football team called Older, Injured but Still Playing. "If we tried doing this on our own, people would stick with it for a month, tops."
Says Solomon, "It's sort of like a happy hour where you keep score." His site recently began trolling for undergrads by purchasing intramurals.com.