Making Friends and Fun with Co-ed Recreational Soccer

From kicking up turf to apres-game beers, there are many opportunities to meet new people and get some exercise with Vancouver Urban Rec

Credit: Catherine Roscoe Barr

Catherine Roscoe Barr

Co-ed recreational soccer with Vancouver Urban Rec goes year-round, rain or shine

Make friends, have fun, learn a new sport, and keep active with a sport and social club like Vancouver’s Urban Rec

I’ve moved so many times that I now have settling into a new community down to a science, and joining different groups is a great way to meet people with similar interests. Book clubs, newcomers clubs, social clubs, sports clubs, Meetup groups, networking events, and conferences are all strategies I’ve employed to meet fun and interesting people.

When I first moved to Vancouver and was working at a local gym, a very cool and sporty couple invited my husband and I to join their outdoor soccer team with Urban Rec. Urban Rec is a very well attended co-ed sport and social club that also has leagues in:

  • Basketball
  • Beach Volleyball
  • Beach Volleyball Train and Play
  • Indoor Volleyball
  • Dodgeball
  • Flag Football
  • Floor Hockey
  • Ice Hockey
  • Indoor Soccer  
  • Softball
  • Ultimate

There are also social events and tournaments throughout the year where you can mix and mingle with other players across all of the leagues.

You Can Teach an Old Dog New Soccer Tricks

I regret not playing soccer as a child, but it’s my own fault. My parents signed me up when I was about 9 years old, but I declared that I didn’t know anyone there and wanted to quit. And I was a very willful little girl, so that was that.

So it wasn’t until I was in my late 20s when a friend invited me to play with her through the Southern Oldtimers Football Association that I began playing soccer. Fortunately I had a base level of athleticism and very encouraging teammates and have done pretty well with the steep learning curve of playing with incredible players. 

Now, over at UBC’s artificial turf fields, once a week, year-round, rain or shine, we meet up with our crew of a dozen or so players to battle out two 30-minute halves with a different co-ed team. And once we’ve finished, victorious or not, we celebrate with beers and camaraderie – and we’re usually the last team to leave the field because we’re having too much fun to go home.

The games are non-refereed and participants are required to make their own calls. Sportsmanship is mandatory – the Urban Rec website says “the emphasis in the league is on having fun in a social environment” – with teams giving each other “fun points” at the end of each game. Score low on the fun points scale and you’ll be contacted by Urban Rec management to see why you’ve been labeled a poor sport.

If cool and sporty couples aren’t lining up to ask you to play on their team, don’t despair. You can register as a group or individual for Urban Rec teams and there are a number of seasons, and therefore multiple opportunities to join per year.

For more information, visit