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sports options -- anything I'm not thinking of here?


JennyD
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I have three sons -- 13, 10, and 8.  They love sports and desperately need lots of exercise (esp my 10yo).   In the past they have done various rec sports, but as they are getting older it is becoming increasingly difficult to find good options, particularly for my older two.  The main sticking point is that for religious reasons they cannot participate in Saturday games, and nearly every team sports organization I have investigated holds games on Saturday.  

For a while my older two were able to practice with a soccer team and just not go to the games, but that eventually fell apart.  My oldest does indoor rock climbing with my husband, and I found   a gymnastics class that everyone seems to be enjoying.  I regularly take them swimming and to the the park, and sometimes the school where they attend part-time fields a track team.  (This past fall they did x-country, which was a terrific experience.  Hopefully they will offer spring track as well.)

I have looked into every soccer, basketball, hockey, and baseball team I can find.  Everything is on Saturdays.  Swimming is a possibility, although that is nobody's first (or second, or tenth) choice.  I've thought of martial arts but have yet to locate a school that we would want to try.  

Obviously we are not the only people in this situation but there just isn't the critical mass of older-elementary school kids that would be needed to get a real alternative option off the ground.   The JCC offers sports on Sunday but they are for young kids.  I've spoken to the athletic director there and he was not particularly helpful.  I know one child who does competitive gymnastics and just does not attend any of the competitions, and one other who manages to play for a travel soccer team but only in the Sunday games.  So it's not impossible that I can arrange something like we had going before with the soccer team, but I am wondering if perhaps there are any other possibilities that I just haven't thought of.  

Any ideas for me?

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Have you looked at recreational league basketball?  I think in my town, they only have games on week nights.

Our town's swim team has meets on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays (and only during the summer, though conditioning is year round).  I am sure they would allow people to skip the Saturday meets.

Other than that, I would look at individual sports such as running and cycling.  You can sign up for races when they work for you.  Conditioning can be done any time.

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36 minutes ago, alisoncooks said:

We know a young man who took fencing classes. Idk if they had weekend tournaments. 

They do and I know two who only do the Sunday tournaments.

Is there a town/city nearby with a larger Jewish population?  I have a friend who travels about 45 minutes away so her child can do sports teams with that JCC.  Her local one only offers stuff for young kids and this was the solution.  

 

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Do you have any homeschool sports or physical activities in your area? All our homeschool sports are weekdays.  If there aren't any, see if you can organize something yourself. I've set up homeschool basketball, soccer, track and field, swimming, martial arts. Other moms have started cross-country running, hockey, skating, sword fighting, riding. It's definitely more work for the organizer, but most community sports rely heavily on parent volunteering anyway. If you organize it yourself, you have a lot more control over when and where the activities happen.

Edited by wintermom
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One thing to keep in mind for martial arts is that even though the classes might not be one a Saturday the belt tests often are. Basketball locally seems to be often on a Friday night but I think that’s because it’s a less major sport here.  It may be that looking into the more obscure sports with give you a bit more flexibility as they have to fit around the major sports venues.  The other option is go to one of the sports venues and ask who uses them that don’t play on a Saturday.

we don’t have a full day off but church has stopped ds from pursuing several sports as many have moved to Sunday here due to more people working Saturday’s.  Which would help you but doesn’t help us much!

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We have a fairly large Seventh Day Adventist school in our area that is in the same league as the private school where my boys play basketball.  Their games are always scheduled Mon through Thurs.  No Friday night or Saturday games.  Maybe that would be a possibility in your area?

The rest of the league plays many games on the weekend but are happy to schedule around the weekends for this school.

Edited by JanOH
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All of my boys are on swim team. I know you said that is no one's first choice, but it is flexible (in our town) as far as the days. Mine have practice offered 6 days a week. We pick the 3-4 that work for us. The meets are often Fri-Sun, but we have the option to only swim Saturday or only swim Sunday. 

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My kids did team sports when they were younger, but we got sick of the obnoxiousness of it all (from the so-called adults?), so switched to individual sports. Mine did golf, horseback riding, archery, martial arts, and target shooting. Dh also did a crossfit-type workout with them every day.

Individual sports are nice because many of them are activities that they can continue doing right into adulthood.

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21 minutes ago, Selkie said:

My kids did team sports when they were younger, but we got sick of the obnoxiousness of it all (from the so-called adults?), so switched to individual sports. Mine did golf, horseback riding, archery, martial arts, and target shooting. Dh also did a crossfit-type workout with them every day.

Individual sports are nice because many of them are activities that they can continue doing right into adulthood.

Golf is great...But for a good "workout" you need to walk and carry your bag. kids are too young to get carts alone but once they learn the game and the etiquette, a starter will let well-behaved younger kids walk the course.

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Kids parkour-type classes are popular here, along with archery, horseback riding, swimming, gymnastics, and martial arts.  You might also look at something like figure skating - because they have to share the rink with hockey, ours here split the weekend with figure skating on Saturdays and hockey on Sundays.  It might be worth looking at the rink schedule in your area to see what they're doing on various days.

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USA swim meets are almost always Saturday and Sunday. You can just go on Sunday (we know plenty who do this) or Saturday (also know people who do this as well). I would definitely suggest individual sports and be immediately up front with your religious requirements.

Climbing is also an individual sport that has flexible competition requirements.

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My kids do martial arts. We had a tournament last week that was Friday-Saturday but all our events were on Friday.

And you don't have to do tournaments to participate and move up in ranks. Our dojo usually belt tests on Saturday but they offer private belt testing at other tines for folks who can't make the big test sessions, we've done that a couple of times because of conflicts.

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Is there some kind of fitness centre that offers classes?  The centre here has things like various aerobics, a weight training class, and so on.  They tend to meet the same day or night every week.  Essentially they are individual sports but with a group, so to speak.  Something like that might work, or rock climbing, a hiking or orienteering group, etc.  It will depend on what their offerings are for kids - some places also have gyms especially for kids - I think one might be called "Little Gym".

Another possibility might be racquet sports.  Not toward participating in tournaments, but something like joining a squash ladder - you can do it on whatever days you want really that someone will meet with you.  And there is a kind o competitive element for those that enjoy that.  You can usually do squash and racquetball at larger fitness centers, and they have tennis versions often at clubs.  And lots of community centers have pickleball.

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I've never heard of a team (even "individual" sports like XC or track or ski team) that will allow participants to opt of competitions, at least by middle school. Coaches want to know their athletes are committed to their sport, and will disqualify those who don't show up (teammates don't tend to take kindly to kids who show up part time either). All the school sports teams here have Saturday games, as do private (non school) clubs like hockey, soccer etc. 

I would think it would be easier to find activities they enjoy, rather than teams they can join (again, at least by middle school--the younger kids might not be an issue). The dynamics won't be the same, but neither will the expectations. 

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Another high energy activity that is less commonly thought of is Irish step dancing--think Riverdance or Lord of the Dance. My kids all dance, including my 13, 8 and 6 year old sons. There are competitions, you can choose which to attend though and some are on Friday or Sunday. Regional and national comps are mostly on days other than Saturday (our regional comp had Saturday reserved for team dancing, all solo competitions were on Friday or Sunday).

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My teen does Parkour - has since age 8 or so.  We used to have an amazing parkour gym near us, then moved and feared we’d have no options.  A new gym opened near us, and it’s great.  We do evening classes and there is no obligation to do anything on weekends.  Not a team sport, though.

 

...okay, and I’ll admit our new gym gave me a few, errrr, moments.  They also offer pole dancing and I wondered how that would work, Hahahaha!  But the kids never cross paths with the dancers, so there ya go.

 

They also teach aerial silks and some kind of ninja warrior challenge thing (is that a tv show thing?  I don’t really know, but those students do go to tournaments  all over the place).

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Thanks so much for all of the replies!  Lots of great ideas here and I am going to go through them all carefully. 

The JCC here does offer swim team and meets are optional, precisely because they are on Saturday.  DS13 really does not want to swim (he did it a few years ago) but perhaps I should steer the other two in that direction.  And the school where they attend part-time is a Jewish school so any sports through them also never requires a Saturday, but they just don't offer much year-round.   The kids will definitely do track with them in the spring, though, which will be good.

I signed the kids up for a ninja warrior class starting last week and so far so good, although the class skews really young and there don't seem to be any teen options.  I think I'm going to make more of an effort to get DS13 to the climbing gym, though, and I just contacted a friend's mother to see if maybe the two of them would like to climb together.  

3 hours ago, Bluegoat said:

IAnother possibility might be racquet sports.  Not toward participating in tournaments, but something like joining a squash ladder - you can do it on whatever days you want really that someone will meet with you.  And there is a kind o competitive element for those that enjoy that.  You can usually do squash and racquetball at larger fitness centers, and they have tennis versions often at clubs.  And lots of community centers have pickleball.

 

Squash is actually a genius idea -- we belong to a very nearby gym that has the squash courts in town, and DS10 in particular would absolutely love squash.  Neither DH nor I play, though, (although DH can play tennis) so we would have to find someone to teach them/us.  Hmm.  Definitely something to look into, thanks!

 

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In the elementary grades, DSs took some weekday after-school sports classes with the local Parks & Rec.

In middle/high school they played for a private school (middle school) and public school (high school) tennis team -- no weekend matches, except if you make it to the high school state championships, and that is optional. There are week-day evening tennis classes available for teens at the local tennis clubs in our area.

Not really physically demanding, but DSs also enjoyed the once-a-week after-school bowling league for several years in high school.

Or would your 13yo enjoy a gym membership for weight-training, aerobics, cycling, etc?

What about joining (or starting your own) a community physical activity group/club that meets on weekdays -- Orienteering, hiking, running, dance, martial arts, horseback riding, kayaking...? 

Edited by Lori D.
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