A Question On Teenaged Sports Habits

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 12.06% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

So I’m writing a story where a monster who secretly wants to be a teenaged girl is trying to fit in.  The reasons are… complicated.
But because of other story reasons, she needs to travel to a strange town and play a pickup game of sports with other teens.  And… I don’t know how sports works when you’re a young teenager.
So. What I need is a place where a kid from out of town can go and play a game with other kids, with parents watching.  (So even though there are pickup games of basketball, that wouldn’t be suitable, as it needs to be the sort of place where a lot of parents would be hanging out.)
If she has to try out for a league or something, that’s fine, but the end result has to be that she’s actually having a good time with other teens playing this whatever-it-is, so she can let her guard down and things can go terribly terribly wrong in front of a crowd of watchers.
But I don’t think most sports have a “show up and play” attitude for new kids, and I have no idea if tryouts usually culminate in some sort of game, or if that only happens with certain sports when you’re a kid.
So. Can someone who knows how these things work clue me in?  Thanks in advance, folks.


  1. Sandy Conley
    Jul 1, 2015

    When I was a young teenager, it was all about rollerskating. You could go to any town and find a skating rink, and while my dad went and did his auctioneer stuff, I’d be left there on my own for some precious pseudo-grownup hanging-with-peers time, of which I never got very much. It wasn’t a team sport in my case, but maybe the ice skaters had pickup hockey games? I loved those days, though. Wouldn’t have traded them for anything.

  2. Jericka
    Jul 1, 2015

    It isn’t a sport, but, the place with the most kids and parents hanging out with the kids free to interact with each other are some outdoor fountains that are built for kids to play in out here. Most of the fountains of this sort in S Cal are pop fountains and the kids chase the patterns of popping water and get thoroughly soaked. Age range for the kids, though starts at toddler and tops out at around 13 or so, usually. Then the social pressure to make room for the small kids takes over.
    Public pools are another idea, for areas that have them. The age range is a little higher because of learning to swim and all that.
    Roller rinks used to be a thing, but, I’m not sure what that scene is like now. There really aren’t as many rinks as there were.
    Soccer, softball, volleyball, and such are more organized sports. They don’t tend to be pick up games. Even basketball is more of a guy pick up sport than a girl thing.
    Skateboarding might be good for hanging around with other teens of both genders, though I think it skews male, and the parental supervision and observation tends to be lighter.
    Beaches….beach volleyball, or frisbee? Lots of people of different ages and not as high a barrier to joining a game as long as someone is willing to approach? For beach volleyball, taking over for someone wanting to sit out, as the sides need to match, maybe. For Frisbee, more people is more fun.

  3. Sandy Conley
    Jul 3, 2015

    On the other hand, impromptu soccer games seem to be a big thing in some places…problem is, there’s usually not a big crowd watching those. A really large apartment complex has stuff like that every night in the summer, or baseball (at one complex where i lived, it was actually cricket – in Ohio!) but usually there’s just a few parents there, maybe a cookout.

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