San Diego’s Social Sport Clubs
Volleyball, Soccer, and Football, Oh My!
Beach Volleyball San Diego
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Listed as the third healthiest and most fit city in America, it’s no surprise that, combined with our amazing weather and fun-loving sense of community, we love our social sports. Whether you’re looking for a new outlet for meeting people or a way to stay fit outside of the gym, there are plenty of options in San Diego County to fit every age and demographic.
For those of us who have been here long enough, we can remember when VAVi was nothing more than a small rookie sports league put together by local Tyler Jensen back in 2002. Since then, the sport and social club has grown to over 85,000 members with over 30 sport options. It’s now a fully-recognized and awarded organization that is the epicenter of social club leagues in San Diego.
Geared toward folks in their twenties and thirties, options include basketball, bowling, boxing (regular and kick), dance (tango, salsa, swing, hip-hop and belly dancing), dodgeball, flag football, golf, hiking, kickball, kayaking, running, soccer, softball, surfing, tennis, triathlon club, volleyball (both beach and indoor)—and the list just continues to grow. More fitness-oriented options include beach boot camp, cardio pole dancing and cardio strip tease. VAVi offers an incredible variety of options to choose from for those who like diversity and a large network.
You probably know that local pubs, bars and restaurants partner with VAVi to host the social events they provide for their players, but the organization has grown to the point of partnering with giants like Petco Park to host their own events, sections and special offers. Additional player perks include Miller Lite specials for winning teams at participating bars, half-price bottles of wine for all VAVi members at The Catamaran Resort and even medical advantages, like special access in the sports medicine department of the UCSD Health System.
VAVi is admittedly massive, prompting a portion of the community to look elsewhere for a league with a narrower focus. Started even before VAVi in 1998 in Washington D.C., WAKA Kickball & Social Sports covers the entire country and also offers a selection of other sports, but their variety is more streamlined and their focus remains on kickball.
With a more philanthropic core than other sports league, WAKA teams are encouraged to participate in both local and national charities. WAKA also knows how to have fun, hosting costume theme weeks, league parties, charity events and group vacations. And if you’re a diehard fan, join 3,000 kickballers in Las Vegas annually
to compete in The Founders Cup World Kickball Championship.
If being social, a sense of community and camaraderie are the things that really get your engine revving, the Irish community may be your surprising new home. Hurling, Camogie and Gaelic Football are all popular Irish sports, centuries old and important pieces of Irish heritage. If you decide to play locally, you may also get a new pen pal: players from Ireland frequently come to the States on J1 visas to join our teams.
Hurling and Camogie (the female version of Hurling) are described by the St. Peter’s Hurling Club of San Diego as
a stick-and-ball sports that incorporate elements of lacrosse, baseball, ice hockey, field hockey, soccer, rugby and football. In this sport, team members run up and down the field body-checking each other as they try to score. Gaelic football is similar, but it’s played with a larger ball and incorporates elements of soccer, volleyball, basketball, football and rugby.