A group of six men stand in a line with their pickleball rackets after finishing a tournament.
Gui Alves (second from left) celebrates after a pickleball tournament at Lakewood Racquet Club. Alves is starting Ohio Social Sports in Mansfield with games beginning in October.

MANSFIELD — Gui Alves said playing sports with other community members was his favorite part of the week when he lived in New Hampshire.

“It’s nice to have an opportunity to play team sports outside of competitive clubs and things like that,” he said. “I created Ohio Social Sports so I could have something to play, and I figured other people would want to try it out too.”

The USA Pickleball ambassador started Ohio Social Sports in August and hopes to launch leagues for court volleyball, soccer and dodgeball in October. He is also organizing an October pickleball tournament at Lakewood Racquet Club in Lexington.

“Those court fees will be a little different depending on whether you’re already a Lakewood member,” Alves said. “But we’ll keep registration fees around $50.”

The Mansfield Liederkranz will host an Ohio Social Sports soccer tournament on Oct. 14-15. Registration costs $50 and will cover a team shirt, four games, food and drinks.

Alves said he is personally most excited about the dodgeball league. Participants can register with friends or by themselves to be placed on teams.

All teams are co-ed and required to have men and women on the teams. Alves said Ohio Social Sports is only insured for adult players, so participants should be age 18 and over.

The dodgeball league will meet at rented space from the Salvation Army at 47 S. Main St. on Tuesday evenings. Court volleyball leagues will meet on Thursday evenings. Alves said he is planning for the leagues to meet once a week for nine weeks.

“I’m really excited to get this started for the community,” he said. “I think it will be a fun way to exercise with friends or meet new people.

“And we’ll welcome all skill levels for the sports, just show up to have some fun.”

The registration deadline for the volleyball and dodgeball leagues is Sept. 30, with the first games scheduled for the first week of October. In addition to the pickleball and soccer tournaments, Alves said he wants to start other recreational sports leagues including basketball, softball, kickball and ultimate frisbee.

Alves’ day job is an executive assistant for Third Street Family Health Services. He used to run a summer camp in New England and is passionate about promoting health and wellness.

“I’m hoping Ohio Social Sports helps engage people in fun workouts and builds friendships,” Alves said.

Interested participants can find more information on Ohio Social Sports on Facebook, at ohiosocialsports.com, or by contacting Alves directly at gui.cr.alves@gmail.com and 954-803-8655.

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