Think Outside the Penalty Box

Get moving this summer with these awesome and unusual sports—because who doesn’t want to learn how to sword fight?


Illustrations by Wayno.

Pittsburghers love their sports, but these days, you don’t have to pitch or tackle to enjoy a good game. Local athletes can dabble in all kinds of sports that involve bats, balls, polished rocks—and even sabers. Here is a sample of some of the lesser known sports Pittsburgh has to offer.

Disc Golf

The rules are easy: You take a plastic disc, which looks halfway between a Frisbee and a discus, and you toss it into a metal basket. But mastering the right flick of the wrist can take years. Disc golf (or “frolf”) uses the same terms as regular golf—like “hole,” “par” and “birdie”—but disc golf is free, open to anyone and is played mostly by young, bearded dudes. Pittsburgh has an abundance of courses—from Schenley Park to North Park and Deer Lakes. Most players enjoy disc golf for its relaxed camaraderie, but if you start acing holes, you can join leagues and compete in open competition, thanks to the Pittsburgh Flying Disc Society. pfds.org

Curling

For years, curling has been somewhat of a joke. What kind of goofball plays a sport involving brooms, a heavy stone and an ice rink? It turns out that a lot of goofballs do: The Pittsburgh Curling Club is so popular that its summer session, dubbed “TropiCurl,” is completely booked, and the waitlist is extensive. This good-humored bunch offers regular curling lessons and practice, but die-hard curlers may also compete with teams in other cities. Sponsors can support this nonprofit club by buying a T-shirt or having their name engraved on a “rock handle.” pittsburghcurlingclub.com

Cricket

Cricket is played all over the world, and it looks a heck of a lot like baseball, but it’s almost unheard of in the United States. Astonishingly, Shailesh Bokil discovered that Pittsburgh had a cricket club in 1883. He and his cohort started the Pittsburgh Cricket Association in 2004, and, in keeping with tradition, the organization reinstated the club’s original charter and updated the registration for the state records. “The games are pretty serious,” says Bokil, the association’s president and treasurer. There are weekly practices for rookies, but the real events are the round-robin games that are played by 15 established teams. pittsburghcricket.com

Fencing

There is hardly a person in the world who hasn’t, at some point, yearned to swordfight. If you’re daring, you can find a rapier and challenge a roustabout to a duel. But for a safer pastime, join the Three Rivers Fencing Center, a club based in Point Breeze. Novice fencers can study foil, epee and saber, and all equipment is provided. Students of all ages can learn parries and lunges from Iana Dakova, the former national champion of Bulgaria.
While fencing is a more expensive sport than, say, rollerblading, the all-inclusive classes are a real bargain. And ambitious students can compete for medals and ratings in regional tournaments. Touché! trfc.typepad.com

Dodgeball

No gym class would be complete without a dodgeball session. Yet adults rarely have the chance to whip rubber balls at scrambling opponents—until recently. Thanks to the Pittsburgh Urban Magnet Project (and maybe some inspiration from Vince Vaughn et al), fast-ducking athletes can enroll in summer dodgeball at the North Side YMCA every Wednesday evening. But be warned: These aren’t casual pickup games. Dodgeballers must register, join a division and sign a waiver—not that dodgeball is dangerous, per se, but PUMP likes commitment. pump.org

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in December

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in December

This month's best bets in The 'Burgh.
50+ Things That Will Make You Enjoy Winter in Pittsburgh

50+ Things That Will Make You Enjoy Winter in Pittsburgh

Love it or hate it, winter is upon us. Because some of us may think there's a lot not to like, we bring you 50+ things to eat, drink and do –– and some helpful tips –– that'll keep the blues at bay.
Excellence in Nursing: Meet Our 2016 Honorees

Excellence in Nursing: Meet Our 2016 Honorees

Pittsburgh Magazine presents the honorees from its inaugural Excellence in Nursing awards. Meet our judges' choices and learn what makes them remarkable in their field.
Choreographed Style: Winter Fashion with The Pittsburgh Ballet

Choreographed Style: Winter Fashion with The Pittsburgh Ballet

A regal ruggedness characterizes the season's menswear looks.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Mic'd Up: Did Ben Really Call Antonio ‘Ronald?’

Mic'd Up: Did Ben Really Call Antonio ‘Ronald?’

For reasons only he knows, Antonio Brown wants to be known as Ronald and, with the season he's having, his quarterback is willing to oblige.
Meet Some Steelers, Get Some Autographs, Help Some Kids

Meet Some Steelers, Get Some Autographs, Help Some Kids

Members of the Pittsburgh Steelers' defensive line and the team's entire rookie class will be signing autographs for charity later this week.
Richard DeShantz Shows You How to Make Pot Roast Like a Pro

Richard DeShantz Shows You How to Make Pot Roast Like a Pro

The owner of Meat & Potatoes shares his delicious techniques with a national TV audience.
The Mosaic Stairway: You've Never Seen Steps Like These

The Mosaic Stairway: You've Never Seen Steps Like These

When viewed from the foot of the South Side Slopes of Pittsburgh, the stairs ascending Josephine Street form a massive image that consists of more than 7,500 individual mosaic tiles.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in December

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in December

This month's best bets in The 'Burgh.
50+ Things That Will Make You Enjoy Winter in Pittsburgh

50+ Things That Will Make You Enjoy Winter in Pittsburgh

Love it or hate it, winter is upon us. Because some of us may think there's a lot not to like, we bring you 50+ things to eat, drink and do –– and some helpful tips –– that'll keep the blues at bay.
Excellence in Nursing: Meet Our 2016 Honorees

Excellence in Nursing: Meet Our 2016 Honorees

Pittsburgh Magazine presents the honorees from its inaugural Excellence in Nursing awards. Meet our judges' choices and learn what makes them remarkable in their field.
Choreographed Style: Winter Fashion with The Pittsburgh Ballet

Choreographed Style: Winter Fashion with The Pittsburgh Ballet

A regal ruggedness characterizes the season's menswear looks.
Restaurant Review: B52 in Lawrenceville is a Levantine Lifter

Restaurant Review: B52 in Lawrenceville is a Levantine Lifter

Omar Abuhejleh taps deep into his roots at his vegan cafe that's focused on Levantine cuisine.
Why You Can't Beat The Weather in Pittsburgh in The Winter

Why You Can't Beat The Weather in Pittsburgh in The Winter

I’ve traveled a lot of miles, and I still stare in bewilderment at people who tell me they’ve moved to a place because “You can’t beat the weather.”
Edit Module
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Mic'd Up: Did Ben Really Call Antonio ‘Ronald?’

Mic'd Up: Did Ben Really Call Antonio ‘Ronald?’

For reasons only he knows, Antonio Brown wants to be known as Ronald and, with the season he's having, his quarterback is willing to oblige.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Miracle on Liberty Pops Up in Pittsburgh

Miracle on Liberty Pops Up in Pittsburgh

The holiday themed cocktail bar is one of around 20 international Miracle popups.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Best of the Burgh: Pumpkin Patches in the Pittsburgh Area

Best of the Burgh: Pumpkin Patches in the Pittsburgh Area

We’ve compiled the best pumpkin patches for fall family fun.

Comments


Why Wait For Summer? Head to Kennywood's Holiday Lights

Why Wait For Summer? Head to Kennywood's Holiday Lights

The park's winter celebration is great for families and a fine choice for anyone who loves Christmas (and/or funnel cake).

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Big Ten-Champion Nittany Lions More Worthy Than Buckeyes

Big Ten-Champion Nittany Lions More Worthy Than Buckeyes

For some reason Ohio State is ranked No. 2 in the latest playoff rankings and Penn State is No. 7. That has to change if Penn State beats Wisconsin on Saturday night.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Locket Full of Joy

Locket Full of Joy

The handcrafted piece opens to hidden treasures.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Ten Upcoming Flicks Every Oscar-Watcher Should See

Ten Upcoming Flicks Every Oscar-Watcher Should See

PM film critic Sean Collier picks ten forthcoming flicks likely to rake in nominations for the 89th Academy Awards.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Before the Proposal: How to Ask her Parents' Permission

Before the Proposal: How to Ask her Parents' Permission

It can be more intimidating than the actual proposal, asking a father for his daughter's hand in marriage. Three grooms share their stories of how they popped that first big question.

Comments


The latest tips and trends to refresh your home.
Seasonal Shopping: CMOA Store Holiday House, J.Crew Mercantile Opens Doors

Seasonal Shopping: CMOA Store Holiday House, J.Crew Mercantile Opens Doors

The Carnegie Museum of Art is full of Christmas cheer — and great deals. Plus, get the scoop on The Block Northway’s latest retail offering.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Tuba and Euphonium Players Invited to Join in Christmas Concert

Tuba and Euphonium Players Invited to Join in Christmas Concert

Waynesburg University will present a TUBACHRISTMAS concert on Dec. 9.

Comments