The field at TM Baseball & Softball Academy extends both inside and outside letting players play during warm weather, cold weather, or nonexistent indoor snowstorms. During daily training sessions, the TM Baseball & Softball Academy coaching staff helps high school and college-level players–as well as children as young as 3 years old–hone their hitting, defense, and fielding abilities. They also infuse sessions with strength, conditioning, and agility exercises so that players can field line drives and beat mascots during 7th inning dizzy-bat races.
During the Big Apple Beatdown, an all-day roller-derby tournament hosted by the New York Shock Exchange, spectators arrive to the rink with chairs under their arms to watch six notable MRDA teams battle for the National Champion title. Bouts begin at 10 a.m. with the Dallas Deception taking on the Magic City Misfits in a storm of skates, helmets, and trampled 10-gallon hats. Other teams battling for supremacy include the St. Louis GateKeepers, Puget Sound Derby Outcasts, and Pioneer Valley Dirty Dozen. A special women’s game will also be held featuring the Long Island Roller Rebels taking on the Jersey Shore Roller Girls. The championship bout commences at 7:30 p.m., and the day ends with a presentation of medals at 9:15 p.m., where one team is deemed the victor. Matches occur on two separate tracks, allowing smooth transitions between bouts and enough time for padded pros to finish a game of Connect the Bruises.
One of New York’s first all-girl, flat-track roller-derby leagues, Suburbia Roller Derby fells female athletes for sport during fast-moving bouts. Adrenaline-pumping roller-derby games run as two-minute races, or jams, between two opposing teams and one swiftly roller-skating rabbit. Skating in laps, each team’s point-scoring jammer tries to bust through three oncoming blockers tailed by a pivot player to maintain the jam’s pace and yaw. The aggressive game bashes blockers and hammers jammers in close proximity to spectators, forcing onlookers to confront their fears of helmets and kneepads.
43,000 square feet await airsoft players at Strikeforce Sports' indoor, close-quarters combat field. Once games start, that space starts to feel like an entire city. Foam boards have been transformed to look like buildings of brick and stone. Among them, obstacles such as trash cans and cars are the only things standing between players and their opponents. Strategy plays a key role here, as players choose whether to sneak slowly around corners, go through crawl spaces, or storm in and face their challengers head-on.
Away from the competitive space, Airsoft pistols and rifles, along with other gear, blanket the walls of the onsite pro shop. Here, staffers help players customize their airsoft guns with add-ons, including red dot sights. In addition to restocking their equipment, players can refuel between rounds at the full-service restaurant and sports bar.
Under the friendly, watchful eyes of BoulderBird, boys and girls aged 7 through 14 get baseball training from current and former Boulders players. It all goes down in the Boulders' home stadium, Provident Bank Park, so little leaguers get a taste of real-life professional baseball. After an afternoon of practicing their pitches, working on their swing, and crafting their signature home-run shuffle, kids settle in for lunch before being picked up by their parents or guardians.