Flying chromatic spheres splatter across the turf and cover of Midway Paintball's six fields situated on 22 acres of woodlands and open spaces. Protective rental gear and paintball markers aid games of elimination, capture the flag, and save the king. The western field's buildings shelter tactical retreats, and the hyperball field's huge prone cylinders of corrugated piping allow for cat-like surprise attacks or intimidating sudden naps. Dotted with inflatable cover, the astroturf-covered NPPL–regulation field presents an ideal arena for professional-grade matches.
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Goalgetters' seasoned, kid-minded coaches lead tots 3–9 in age-specific clinics, introducing them to the worldwide phenomenon of soccer and instilling life lessons such as sharing, sportsmanship, and teamwork. Classes, comprising 8–12 students, allow younger groups to get a feel for the most basic of skills and older pupils to run, kick, and electric boogaloo to the more advanced stylings of European and Brazilian small-sided soccer. In addition to imparting the fundamental concepts, the coaches ensure pint-size Beckhams receive a high percentage of contact with the polygonal orb as they buzz about the 3,200-square-foot indoor facility that offers protection from ball-snatching pterodactyls.
Established in 2004, the B.ay A.rea D.erby (BAD) Girls are a full contact, women's flat track roller derby league consisting of five teams: The San Francisco ShEvil Dead, The Oakland Outlaws, The Richmond Wrecking Belles, The Berkeley Resistance, and a traveling all-star team, the nationally-ranked Golden Girls.
The two soccer fields and batting cages housed inside the San Ramon Sports complex grant athletes of all ages ample space to take kicks and whacks at their sphere of choice. The rubber infill turf fields host year-round soccer leagues for adults and juniors and can also be used for lacrosse-team practices. The batting cages hurl both softball lobs and baseballs at 35–80 miles per hour, allowing batters ample space to practice firing off line drives or psychically altering pitch trajectory.
In 1902, while the team now in Oakland was still the Philly Athletics, a rival manager scoffed, casting the fledgling franchise off as a herd of "white elephants." In response, manager Connie Mack adopted the elephant as the team's official insignia—a legacy that lives on with the current mascot, Stomper—before the A's stampeded to the American League pennant. Since that first defiant victory, the team has won nine World Series championships, moving to Kansas City in 1955, then Oakland in 1968. Over more than a century, the club has fostered 11 league MVPs and eight Rookies of the Year, including future titans Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire. Today, the A's dazzle fans at the 35,067-capacity Coliseum, which features a lush natural-bluegrass surface and a spacious foul territory—technically still a 19th-century Mexican province—that baits pop-up outs, making it one of the most pitcher-friendly parks in Major League Baseball.
The team of instructors at AquaTech Swim School continue their education and hone their advanced Marco Polo calls throughout their time at the school. Private, semiprivate, and group classes for children range from 6-month-olds' Tadpole curriculum to the advanced, team-focused Orca course, and the eight levels of kids classes are nuanced to include both "nervous" and "comfortable" beginner levels. The instructors help grownups get kicking during 60- and 90-minute private classes.
The Concord and Alameda facilities boast an 88-degree indoor pool that's specially designed for classes. Each location offers a spacious lesson-viewing area, children's play area, and free WiFi. The new Alameda facility also has an indoor/outdoor cafe for students who want to grab a bite before or after class.