St. Albert Sport and Rec is gearing up to tee off on its outdoor season with a game that’s a healthy combo of soccer and basketball as played on a rugby field.
Its name might be bonkers but boccer-ball has a lot of fans, especially those who get to play. Those numbers are growing as the casual mixed multi-sport league has really taken off in its first few years.
“It was in March of 2016, when we very first came up with the idea and tried it out. At the time, we only had about three or maybe four teams. Just this past December, we had 14 teams,” said organizer Mary Burch, adding it’s currently down to 12 teams at the moment, leaving lots of room for the May and June session.
The group’s philosophy is akin to a sampler at the snack bar. They play a different sport each week to maximize variety and to keep things on an even playing field.
“We have enough equipment so that everybody plays flag football, and then the next weekend, everybody plays Ultimate Frisbee. We just go through each sport for the eight-week session.”
They also play handball, soccer, kickball (a soccer/baseball fusion) and spike ball. Teams can have a maximum of 14 players. In the winter sessions, they play indoor sports such as curling and darts.
“It works out perfectly. The outdoor session is the most fun just because it truly is what Sport and Rec is all about.”
She added it’s also great for kids to watch their parents play sports instead of it always being the other way around.
“This is kind of the flip side where kids get to be on the sidelines playing with their soccer ball or their lacrosse sticks, and they’re ordering french fries from the rugby house. Then afterwards, all of the teams are able to just walk straight over to the patio and order a beer and just relax and get to know each other a little bit more.”
The fee for a full team of 14 is $950 although individuals can join other teams as well for a fee of $110 per person.
“We will put you on a team and find you good people that are all like-minded that want to play sports together.”
St. Albert Sport and Rec also makes a point of using local facilities.
“That’s 100 per cent what we’re all about. When we started the league, it was important to us that we showcase St. Albert and the businesses in St. Albert. In our league, we do rotate through certain places: we’ve used the yoga studio, we’ve used the Red Willow Community Church … they’ve been instrumental in helping us with space because Servus Place is booked a lot. We’re really lucky that we have those places. We end every single session with the dart tournament at the Legion.”
People who are interested should get in contact by visiting www.stalbertsportandrec.com.