From childhood playground games to picnic pastimes, Dayton Sportcial combines fun and recreation with camaraderie and community building.
Sportcial — the brainchild of Raph Carranza and PJ Falter — organizes a variety of leagues, tournaments and special events in and near downtown Dayton.
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Leagues that are currently under way include:
• Kickball (Kettering Field)
• Cornhole (Dayton Beer Company)
• Volleyball (Lohrey Recreation Center)
Leagues that are coming soon:
An eight-week skee-ball league gets under way at DK Effect on May 2 and a seven-week Wiffle ball league starts on May 16 at Bomberger Park.
How it got started
It all began in 2015 after Carranza and Falter played on a softball team together for the first time.
“We started talking about playing in another league that was more social but, after asking around, we found out that a previous league had closed up shop,” Carranza said. “Having moved around a lot, we agreed that the easiest way to make friends was through fun games. We decided then that we should revive the idea.”
Since its inception, more than 600 unique players – 1,500 total registrants – have participated in one or more of the many Sportcial leagues.
“We find that a problem with a lot of adult leagues is competitiveness,” Falter said. “Don’t get me wrong, competition can be fun, but our primary goal is connecting people and building community. We find that by really focusing on sports that are not mainstream, people are put at ease, don’t fear embarrassment, and are more likely to let go and have fun.”
How you win in Sportcial?
Carranza and Falter share how they gauge Sportcial’s success:
How well did we connect people?
“We’ll see people who play or played on different teams having a drink or working together on a project around town. We have some very inspiring people that play in our leagues and they are doing great things in the community. Through our leagues and events, people have a low-pressure way of connecting and finding others who have similar motivations. Seeing the personal and professional relationships grow let’s us know we are succeeding – we just had our first engagement of two players that met in our league.”
How well did we create community?
“Dayton is our home. All of our leagues and bars are downtown – that’s on purpose. Our players drive from Springfield to Springboro to play, and we want to showcase our city. We’ve had players tell us they didn’t particularly care about downtown, but now love coming downtown, and have even moved downtown. The city of Dayton is making some big strides, and we’re happy we can show off all the great things going on downtown.”
How well did we build business?
“The success of the businesses we bring our party to is our success. We bring 100-plus people to a bar on a weeknight. One of our bars experiences a 167-percent increase in sales when we’re there. That is awesome, but an even more telling impact is seeing Sportcial shirts out on the town after our events and, even more so, them coming back to that bar when we aren’t there. We also spend our money locally. In addition to for-profits, we push the success of organizations that align with our mission. UpDayton, Generation Dayton, city of Dayton, and Brigid’s Path are some of the groups that we work with.”
GIVE IT A TRY
May 2: Skee-ball
May 16: Wiffle ball
May 16: Sportcial Golf: Basics, Bogeys and Beers
June 4: Industry League
June 13: Cornhole: Recreational J
une 14: Cornhole: Competitive
June 14: Ultimate Frisbee: For Starters
June 21: Kickball
For those who want the fun with less commitment – one-day events that can fit into most people’s schedule that involve some sort of game that takes you outside of your comfort zone.
April 22: Day at the Races
May 20: Dayton Dragons Game
June 10: Skydiving
June 24: Ice cream bike ride
July 22: River Float