Never mind painting sidelines, because the chain link fence is out of bounds. Between the trees is the end zone and out of the vacant lot is a home run.
There are classic urban fields, courts and natural skateparks all around us. Here, sports evolved and legends earned their name.
Check out the best urban street sport spots, courts and lots.
Basketball – Barry Farm, Washington, DC
Unlike football or hockey, basketball is a true street sport. All you need is a single ball, a hoop and enough guys to get a game going. Solid street courts with high levels of competition are sprinkled across the country, as seen in our Best Streetball Courts feature.
Barry Farm, however, is where the best players call home. Barry Farm is located in the nation’s capitol, and the ballers here don’t often call fouls. The refs only show up for when the George Goodman League takes over for two months every summer.
Stickball – The Streets of the Bronx
So much of America’s sporting heritage has it’s roots in New York. Stickball, a street version of baseball, played with a rubber ball and broomstick, utilizes cars, walls, fences, fire hydrants and anything else that can get in the way.
Stickball first appeared on the streets of NYC in the early 20th century. Although it’s not as popular today, the sport is still played in the outer boroughs, in the shadows of the new billion-dollar stadiums.
Soccer – Times Square, NYC
Soccer may have been invented in the English countryside, but the sport has since gone worldwide, played everywhere from the slums of Rio to the monasteries of Tibet to even Times Square in NYC.
Earlier this year, Street Soccer held its annual championship under the flashing lights and huggable super heroes of busy Times Square. Zimbabwe won, proving soccer really is an international sport.
Skateboarding – Del Mar, California
You can’t skate without the street, and no street is more essential in skate history than the asphalt of Del Mar, California. Skateboarding emerged from SoCal surf culture when surfers started screwing roller skate wheels to the bottom of planks in the 50s.
Nearly two decades later, skateboarding came into its own at a skate competition in a breezy affluent beach town. It was the 1975 Del Mar Nationals, and it was a first glance at things to come. Southern California continues to be a hub of stylish skate activity.
Parkour – London
Parkour is a street sport and London is the city of never-ending streets. The sport didn’t catch on until 2003 with the release of the documentary, Jump London. London is one big free running playground.
From the huge stairs at Wembly Park, to the diving kong tabletops at The Furness, to the various obstacles at Vauxhall Walls – London really does provide infinite lines. Some sports require an entire city to perform, and Parkour is one of them.