Play Ball! Boston

Play Ball! Programs

Programs for positive change

Studies show playing sports can improve children’s school performance, health and fitness, self-esteem, social skills and chances of success. That’s why we strive to bring more sports to more schools and kids in need every day. As of 2009, we’ve privately funded teams for kids who’ve never been in a league before and are likely to live below the poverty line. See programs we currently fund, below.

See Boston Public Schools at-a-glance
Learn about Boston Public Schools’ Athletic Department

How can you help? Donate today.

Play Ball! Baseball

Pitching teamwork

At Play Ball!, we help students learn not only about baseball, but also about teamwork, perseverance and good sportsmanship. It may seem simple, but isn’t to kids who’ve never played before and have to handle making mistakes in front of their teammates. No matter the runs or strikes, our baseball program is all about learning life lessons as much as skill. More about our baseball program:

  • Baseball is a wildly popular sport for students in Boston.
  • Our demand is so strong that Play Ball! could field 20 more teams.
  • Students have to keep their grades up in order to play.

Photo Gallery Join Play Ball! Nation

Schools with a Baseball Program (See all schools)

  • Curley
  • Lilla G Frederick
  • Murphy
  • Orchard Gardens
  • Timilty
  • Edwards
  • McCormack
  • Ohrenberger
  • Sarah Greenwood
Play Ball! Baseball

Serving up confidence

A slice serve, set-up bump or spike at the net are just a few moves that make indoor volleyball an exciting challenge for female student athletes. Many girls played volleyball in gym, not realizing that it can be quite a competitive sport. That’s where we come in. Our Play Ball! Girls’ Middle School Volleyball athletes will impress any spectator with their confidence and skill. More about our volleyball program:

  • We run a competitive league with teacher coaches, many of whom played seriously in high school and college.
  • The league is very popular with new players (no experience) joining every year and past season players excited to return.
  • Many schools are on the waiting list.

Photo Gallery Join Play Ball! Nation

Schools with a Volleyball Program (See all schools)

  • Curley
  • Higginson-Lewis
  • Mildred Ave.
  • Orchard Gardens
  • Sarah Greenwood
  • Edison
  • Lilla G Frederick
  • Murphy
  • Roosevelt
  • Timilty
Play Ball! Baseball

Jumping to success

The best thing about Double Dutch? It’s a sport that anyone can play because everyone can jump rope. It’s easy to progress and go from schoolyard jumping to competitive play. Tournament competition includes jumps per minute, compulsory routines with one and two girls jumping at the same time and freestyle tricks (like cartwheels, splits, push-ups and other exciting moves.) More about Double Dutch:

  • Games include at least three players jumping two ropes turning in opposite directions. Singles teams (three jumpers) and doubles teams (4 jumpers) compete in two categories: speed and compulsory.
  • Dutch immigrants brought the game to the U.S., and in 2009, it became a varsity sport in New York City public schools. Now, two U.S. organizations govern the sport and run tournaments as it gains popularity worldwide.
  • The American Heart Association promotes jumping rope to improve cardiovascular health, muscular endurance, coordination and brain function. Just five minutes of 120 RPM jumping equals 30 minutes of jogging, two sets of singles tennis or 720 yards of swimming.

Photo Gallery Join Play Ball! Nation

Schools with a Double Dutch Program (See all schools)

  • Higginson-Lewis
  • Mildred Ave.
  • Ohrenberger
  • Roosevelt
  • Timilty
  • Lee
  • Murphy
  • Orchard Gardens
  • Sarah Greenwood
Play Ball! Baseball

Driving a winning spirit

It takes both brains and brawn to strategize a winning play on the football field—not to mention a tireless spirit. We instill that drive in our football players from practice to game time. We proudly train, coach and lead ten teams and over 350 boys in a 10-week season that culminates in the Friday Night Lights Football League Championship Games at Harvard Stadium. More about our football program:

  • It’s a great way for students to make new friends in September.
  • Early sign up means starting the school year with grade, attendance and behavior requirements, an important motivator for higher risk boys.
  • Players learn teamwork, discipline and perseverance on the field while building school spirit for everyone who attends and follows games.

Photo Gallery Join Play Ball! Nation

Schools with a Football Program (See all schools)

  • Edwards
  • Lilla G Frederick
  • Mildred Ave.
  • Ohrenberger
  • Timilty
  • Irving
  • McCormack
  • Murphy
  • Orchard Gardens
  • Young Achievers
Play Ball! Baseball

Scoring new skills

We introduced our soccer program in the spring of 2013 to instant success. Many Boston Public Middle School students had never played beyond gym class. Thanks to our teacher coaches, Play Ball! athletes are developing competitive skills both during practice and games. Our first season ended on a beautiful day in May with a soccer jamboree at Tufts University. More about our soccer program:

  • Soccer is equally popular with girls and boys.
  • Middle school athletes are eager to compete.
  • Based upon the success of its introductory season, Play Ball! plans to expand soccer to more and more schools.

Join Play Ball! Nation

Schools with a Soccer Program (See all schools)

  • Curley
  • Hernandez
  • McCormick
  • Murphy
  • Orchard Gardens
  • Edwards
  • Higginson-Lewis
  • Mildred Ave.
  • Ohrenberger
Play Ball! Baseball

Making a Goal

If you’ve never skated, playing ice hockey is tough. Lots of embarrassment and lots of falling and struggling over and over again as you learn. And then, finally you start to skate and handle the stick and you get knocked down! Takes a lot of grit to keep at it. But then you get a goal. Our new skaters score by walking into the rink. They are trying something completely new. Most have never skated and few have played ice hockey. Most had never seen a hockey game. This has all changed. They skate, they score and they win. More about our hockey program:

  • This is the first public middle school ice hockey program in Boston.
  • Girls represent 50% of the players.
  • More than 70% are new skaters and are now playing hockey.

Photo Gallery Join Play Ball! Nation

Schools with a Hockey Program (See all schools)

  • Edison
  • Eliot
  • Umana
  • Edwards
  • Jackson Mann
  • Warren-Prescott