A Brief Guide to the Denver Basketball Scene

Wanna ball in the Mile High city? Don’t know where to start or what to expect? Allow me to shed some light.

There’s a few major recreational sports leagues operating in the greater Denver area:

Denver Citywide Sports

Denver Citywide is one of the better leagues. It’s a subsidiary of Denver Parks and Rec, and it runs like a well funded public operation. Generally very organized, courteous and polite coordinators. Most leagues are held in Denver’s publicly funded rec centers and are reasonably priced, comparatively ($550 per team). You’ll have two refs that work local junior high and high school games. Seasons are typically 8 weeks long plus playoffs.

Sports Monster

Don’t do Sports Monster. I’ve played in one and a half of their leagues and I sure hope I don’t play in another. Sports Monster wants your money and doesn’t really care about the product of the league. You’ll get one uninterested referee and an elementary school gym that hasn’t been dry mopped in three months. It’s not fun basketball.

South Suburban Parks and Rec

Another solid option for paid recreational ball, especially if you live on the south side of town. Also $550 per team. All of the positive things that applied to Denver Citywide apply here.

Play Mile High

Play Mile High is easily the most popular rec sports company in Denver. They market heavily and in the direction of socialization and good fun. They offer a wide variety of sports, several with drinking explicitly involved (kickball + flipcup). This drives bars to sponsor teams and all that. Good fun. Only drawback is the price. You’ll pay about $600 for 6 or 7 weeks of competition.

Pickup?

Good luck. On the whole, Denver does not have a strong basketball scene. Seeing as it competes directly with the ski season, it makes sense. So, there’s Wash Park on warm week nights or weekend afternoons for outdoor, as well as indoor on their designated Friday nights (<$10 one day fee for non-members). Otherwise, you’ll just have to call your local rec center and ask. I’ve popped into a couple of 24 hour fitness’s and played, but it is very hit or miss on whether 10 people show up and want to run.

Other great options are organized by your work, or your buddy’s employer.

If you spend enough time playing ball in the area, you’ll start to run into the same people, and you’ll realize that the community is quite small. Which I think is a pretty cool thing.

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