Want to Go Out and Play?

May 10, 2012
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Corey Wagner, left, of Rumson and Patrick Finan of Fair Haven have established joinagame.com to match area residents looking for pickup games to games being played at local fields and courts.

By John Burton

Website launched to help match players with games

Sometimes it’s tough to find people who want to shoot some hoops, play a little softball or toss around the football.

“For adults, once you leave your college group or your high school group of friends, your network, you have a tough time finding people to fill out a game, especially like a soccer game or a baseball game, even a basketball game,” said Corey Wagner, who thinks he has a solution.

Wagner, a 26-year-old Rumson resident, and his friend, Patrick Finan, 23, of Fair Haven, see the solution to finding others looking to play sports in a new social-media website they have developed.

“We tossed the idea around and a lot of our acquaintances seemed to have the same feeling, you know, it’s a good idea to create a website to connect everybody,” Wagner said.

“You build it, they’ll come, right?” Finan said.

Wagner and Finan launched their website, joinagame.com, this week.

The two are acknowledged sports enthusiasts, who are ready to play anytime, anywhere, jumping at a chance to join a volleyball or basketball game. But, “Even with my friends, I think we just accepted there is nothing out there. Nobody is willing to put the work in to arrange it,” Finan said, who concedes that calling others to get a game together takes a lot of work.

“There’s a 101 social networks out there but nothing really facilitates sports playing,” Wagner said.

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“We wanted to simplify that process with just a click of a button, instead of calling everyone,” Finan said.
What joinagame.com does is list eight local towns – Atlantic Highlands, Fair Haven, Rumson, Little Silver, Red Bank, Oceanport Sea Bright and Shrewsbury – and the towns’ fields and parks. The site allows individuals to sign up for accounts, establish their profiles with pictures if they wish, as with Facebook or other social media sites, and list what sports in which they have an interest. There is a “find games” feature where members can click their way through, “and, if something interests you, you click ‘join,’ ” Wagner said, and get the time and location.

The site will have maps to show participants where the fields, courts or parks are located and lists the others participating in the game.

Participants also can start up their own games and specify how many are needed to play. Potential players have a choice of about nine different sports.

“I know a lot of people who are like, ‘I’d like to play here and there but I’m not really willing to sign up for league,’” and this is the answer for those people, Wagner said.

The two have contacted the various municipal recreation departments to find out what would be required. Some towns require fees, as much as $40, for organized leagues, but don’t charge for a pickup game and will take reservations for court or field time. That information would be available on joinagame.com.

Most of the recreation directors “are really excited about it, actually” and thought it was a good idea, Wagner said.

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Finan and Wagner have decided to make the service available for no charge.

“We feel a lot of people would be turned off by having to pay $5 a month or whatever,” Finan said.

They hope that down the road, the site will attract enough attention that it will entice businesses to advertise with them.

“If it works,” and they attract attention and participants, “we’ll go to the next town,” and expand, Wagner said.

“It’s easy to replicate once it’s started,” he said.

Additional information is available by logging on to joinagame.com.

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