Five Unique Sports You Can Do in Boston
You can’t go 10 feet in Boston without seeing someone wearing athletic clothes. And while many of our spandex-clad neighbors are likely en route from yoga, a run, or the gym, we found five Bostonians who work out a little differently.
Name: Charlotte Fagan
What I do: Bike polo
Why I do it: “You learn how to move on your bike and how to handle your bike in a really different way,” she says. Plus, “It’s not just exercise—it’s also my group of friends.”
Details: Fagan says bike polo is actually more akin to hockey on a bike than it is to traditional polo. Athletes try to score goals with a mallet as they ride—and as if that’s not hard enough, players are forbidden from ever putting a foot on the court. Fagan’s organization, Boston Bike Polo, plays at Smith Playground in Allston.
Name: Christian Rizk
What I do: Trampoline dodgeball
Why I do it: A friend introduced Rizk to the sport on a whim two years ago; he never looked back. “I instantly became addicted,” he says.
Details: The game follows the usual rules of dodgeball: Any player hit by a ball is out, catching a ball eliminates the thrower, and there’s a line in the middle of the court that can’t be crossed. Playing on a trampoline, Rizk says, just adds difficulty and excitement. Want to try it? Head to Sky Zone trampoline park in Boston or Everett.
Name: Matt Distefano
What I do: Bubble soccer
Why I do it: Put simply: It’s fun. “Everyone playing is a pretty good sport,” Distefano says. “You just hear [other players] hit each other and then everyone’s laughing.”
Details: Bubble soccer is just like regular soccer—except that every player wears a giant plastic bubble that covers almost the entire body, there are no positions or goalies, and players are constantly bouncing off of one another. MA Sports Leagues and Social Boston Sports both field teams.
Name: Dylan Polin
What I do: Parkour
Why I do it: “It’s one of those urges I think we all had when we were kids,” he says, “and some of us grew out of it.” Polin didn’t.
Details: At its core, Polin says parkour is about “efficient movement from point A to point B.” Examples range from simple movements, like jumping over a bench instead of walking around it, to challenging tricks, like scaling walls to travel upward as fast as possible. Parkour can be done anywhere, but Polin is part of Project Freerun, a network of parkour training sites around the state.
Name: Maria Skinner
Hometown: West Concord
What I do: Nia
Why I do it: Skinner signed up for teacher training immediately after taking her first class in 1997. “I knew it was a vessel through which I could share my love of dance and my love of music,” she says.
Details: Skinner describes Nia as a blend of dance, yoga, and martial arts that incorporates spirituality and mindfulness into the workout. Having trouble visualizing? Picture a classic dance class that also folds in martial arts-style kicks and yoga-esque body positioning. Skinner’s studio, West Concord’s Yoga and Nia For Life, is one of many places to try it out.