No matter the season, Long Island's recreational basketball leagues are looking for free agents of all ages and skills.
You can form your own team, join an existing one or just show up for a pickup game. League play generally involves eight games and a playoff; you also might win a trophy or get a team jersey.
The benefits of recreational team basketball? Well, there's camaraderie, and a chance to see if you've got game. And you may sweat yourself into improved cardiovascular health. "Aerobically, there's nothing better," says Jack Ferguson of the L.I. Hoops Adult Basketball League.
Here's where to get your hands on the ball.
Cost: $50 for three months, plus $165 for an eight- or nine-game season.
The Island Garden Amateur Athletic Union is a 26-team league that plays in a state-of-the-art facility, says Jim Fox, CEO of Island Garden Basketball. The winter season runs through early spring. Free agents can join a team or call ahead to join a pickup game. When courts are open, they send an alert via e-mail, text message or Twitter; you can play 3-on-3 ball.
Cost: $850 per team, usually split among all members
The facility features a new, high school regulation-size court. The fall season generally begins in late-October and the spring season in mid-April, but you may still find a spot as a free agent. Go to the Web site, click on the free agent list and fill out a player profile. If a team is interested, it will contact you. Or sign up for the winter season, which starts in mid-January.
ABA Sports also runs adult kickball slow-pitch softball leagues.
Cost: $120 a person
The league caters mainly to players ages 17 to 50, most of whom join up as complete teams. There are both fall and spring seasons, plus "People can come in a week or two after the season has started," says Jack Ferguson, who runs L.I. Hoops. Fill out a form on the Web site. Once assigned to a team, you'll find schedules there. In addition to regular weekday play, there's a Sunday night league.
Cost: $140 (for new league members, plus $25 shirt fee)
This private, nonprofit league is predominantly comprised of Half Hollow Hills School District residents, but a small number of out-of-district players are accepted. "The majority of the people in our league are parents from the area," says league president Tony DeSabato. Register online, with an application that includes a self-rating. It's distributed to teams, which choose players in twice-a-year drafts.
Cost: $180 for league (includes basic membership)
The Tuesday night Adult League, which plays both fall and spring seasons, accepts free agents to fill open spots, says Tyler Ring, basketball director. You can register online at the Web site.
The facility also hosts open play nights, 7-9 on Fridays ($10- $20). Call to reserve a spot.
They also have adult leagues for indoor volleyball, roller hockey and dek hockey.