Most sports are played on a field or a court, but some are played at Charleston's neighborhood bars.
Bocce, ping-pong, shuffleboard, pool, cornhole, foosball, ax throwing, skee ball and even flip cup karaoke are a few favorites that require little space and can be played casually, often with a drink in hand.
And while maybe these bar "sports" require less athleticism than those played in a stadium, some participants are members of competitive local leagues, and they're in it to win it. Chucktown Social is one of the organizers of Charleston's bar leagues, with multiple games going down almost every night of the week at venues ranging from Mount Pleasant's My Father's Mustache to downtown's Fuel.
Chucktown Social was founded in 2012 by Fred Frederick, the fearless leader of fun. And it was meant for those who had just moved to town and were looking to meet new people and make friends.
"We get a lot of transplants in Charleston," Frederick says. "And there's always happy hours for meeting people, but those are almost like an elevator pitch sometimes, or like speed dating. And you have to talk about your job. This is a different way to meet people, while enjoying a drink if you want."
She founded the organization with the help of a friend up North who started Baltimore Social with a similar concept. That branch has since expanded to around 20 different sports, including outdoor activities like kickball, soccer, football, dodgeball and even sailing, in addition to traditional bar sports like darts and flip cup.
It's sports for adults, after high school athlete careers have fizzled out and college social clubs have faded into full-time jobs.
"Some people take this very seriously," says Chucktown Social referee Kevin Kaiser, who started as a participant a few years ago and has since become heavily involved.
Many people join just to get out of the house and potentially find some new friends. It's equally about meeting new people as it is about the competition.
"It's really a social thing," Kaiser says. "It's not just to play bocce. It's much bigger than that. It's to mingle and make friends."
Chucktown Social hosts leagues seasonally (for about 7-8 weeks) Monday-Thursday nights, and folks can register as individuals or as a team if they have a group of friends or coworkers who are interested. Frederick says most leagues are around $35 and come with a free T-shirt.
One bocce group consists only of women who met via a Facebook page dedicated to their favorite podcast. They wanted a way to get together more frequently and learn more about each other.
A cornhole player joined Chucktown Social for his love of sports. Adam Ferrara, 43, had three knee surgeries from basketball, which he played through high school and college. That took a toll on him physically, but cornhole is a lot less strenuous and still lets him be competitive.
"My wife has book club and I have cornhole," Ferrara says with a laugh before tossing a beanbag at My Father's Mustache.
Drew Holly, 58, and his wife Merrie Holly, with their dog in tow, also are part of the cornhole league. They moved down to Charleston from New Jersey, where Drew Holly says they were part of a similar league. They wanted a way to make new friends in a new city, and they both love bar sports.
"It's a nice thing to look forward to on Thursday nights, and it's something more interesting to do than just go to the bar," he says.
Another participant, 34-year-old Craig Lemieur, says he was terrible at cornhole before he joined the league, but now he's gotten pretty good at it. His team, which was first comprised of random individuals who then rejoined for future seasons, was in the top eight for the playoff rounds, which come at the end of each season.
While Chucktown Social hosts a significant variety of bar leagues each week, individual bars also have their own leagues. The Alley, for example, hosts its own ping-pong tournament, as well as arcade game tournaments, and has teamed up with Chucktown Social for a bowling league and skee ball league.
The ping-pong tournament is relatively new, just kicking off a couple of weeks ago with 16 avid table tennis paddlers. It costs $60 per person to participate in an eight-week bracket.
Ronnie Bailey, 23, says he first started competitively playing ping-pong through the Navy and wanted to get back into it. He took a loss during the second week of the league to 30-year-old Michael Nasto, who grew up playing the bar sport with his dad.
"I'm competitive with anything," Nasto says. "I like to win."
It was an intense game, with sweat dripping from concentrated foreheads and hard shots.
"We're hoping to do a sports decathlon, with all our games soon," says The Alley general manager Sean Terry.
Other bars, like the Recovery Room Tavern, also host their own leagues. Rec Room's focus is on bocce.