Are you looking for a fun way to meet new people in Billings?

Moving to a new town can be exciting and fun. Discovering all the "new" things in a community is great. It can also be lonely for those looking to make meaningful human connections in a new town. That's what inspired Billings resident Sam Hensler to launch Sportsball, a unique idea designed to create an environment that would "attract fun people who are interested in meeting others in a novel way."

Who's down for a round of Inner Tube Water Polo? Credit Jaci Bjorne, TSM
Ready for a round of Inner Tube Water Polo. Credit Sam Hensler, used with permission

Sportsball launched in 2016.

Hensler and his wife moved to Billings in 2015; he is an engineer, and she works in the medical field. They came to the Magic City from Bozeman for career opportunities. One challenge the couple encountered was meeting new friends and making meaningful connections with other people who like to stay active and have fun.

Sportsball creators Greta and Sam Hensler. Credit Jaci Bjorne, TSM
Sportsball creators Greta and Sam Hensler. Credit Sam Hensler, used with permission

The sports are very unique.

Billings has plentiful options for traditional sports leagues. Adult softball, soccer, volleyball leagues, pool leagues, darts, bowling leagues, (you name it), already exist. Many are quite competitive. At Sportball, it's less about the extreme competitiveness, and more about fun, Hensler explained when he stopped by our studios today (12/15). Catch the interview at the bottom of this article.

Inner tube water polo. Credit Jaci Bjorne, TSM
Inner tube water polo. Credit Sam Hensler, used with permission

Participants 21+ can participate in a slew of interesting "sports", many of a goofy mix of existing sports, others invented by (or rules tweaked) by Hensler. The activities run year-round, with both indoor and outdoor events. Some of the fun sport-like games include:

  • Fodgeball (a combo of football and dodgeball)
  • Ultimate Frugby (a cross of rugby and ultimate Frisbee)
  • Inner Tube Water Polo
  • Trampoline Dodgeball
  • Kickball
  • Curling (with modified gameplay)
  • Many, many more.

Sam stressed that you don't have to be a serious athlete in any way, shape, or form to enjoy the sports, and after each match, both the winning and losing teams meet up at a Billings brewery for a few pitchers of free beer. Sportsball draws participants from all walks of life, including singles, couples, and existing groups of friends who want to try a fun activity, get some exercise, and meet people.

Teams playing a round of "Frugby" Credit Jaci Bjorne, TSM
Teams playing a round of "Frugby" Credit Sam Hensler, used with permission

Around 900 individuals are participating in Billings.

With such a variety of interesting, sport-type activities, the group has grown to around 900 people. It's more of a social club that plays sports, vs. traditional sports leagues. As the organization has grown, it's become almost too much for one individual to manage and Hensler is finalizing details on making Sportsball a non-profit entity, that will be able to carry their vision into perpetuity; helping people connect with other people to do fun, social things in Billings. You can learn more about Sportsball HERE and catch our interview with Sportball founder Sam Hensler below.

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