As sports networking sites haven’t been around for quite as long as the other big-name social networks, it’s natural to have a question or two about how they work. Suffice to say that there’s really never been a more potential-filled service on the web for anyone with an interest in sports, but as is the case with most things, you have to get yourself involved to begin enjoying the benefits.
Got a question about how it works or what to expect? Chances are you’ll find it covered below:
In Simple Terms, What’s the Deal?
Boiled down to its basics, you could call a sports social networking site a sports-focused version of Facebook. But while this might sound a little on the ambitious side, it’s a comparison that actually does the sports network a disservice. The reason being that while Facebook is all about socialising and virtual friendships, sports social networks were created to get fans and followers of sports physically active and involved in the pursuits of their choice. So while there’s plenty of socialising to be done, there’s nothing ‘virtual’ about the action in this instance.
How Do the Sites Work?
Again there are similarities with standard social networks, in that you sign up, create an account and build a personal profile. This is then added to a huge database of other members and flagged in accordance with the sports you’re interested in, the level you compete at (if at all) and where you are located. This way, anyone on the site has the ability to look for and find anyone else that shares their interests at their level and in their chosen area. As mentioned above, the idea is that once these connections are made, it becomes much easier for those wishing to do so to get involved in the sports of their choosing at the appropriate level.
What About Rare Sports?
One of the main reasons these sites and services were devised in the first place was to offer access to a wider range of sports and sporting opportunities than ever before. There have of course been dedicated football, golf and tennis fan sites up and running for years, but the slightly more niche examples of sports have taken a backseat. With sports social networks however, it doesn’t matter whether it’s fencing or full-contact football you’re into, as chances are you’ll find not only plenty of other players and fans, but events you can take part in.
Is It Safe for Members to Meet With Others?
Exactly how safe these kinds of sites are will always come down to the attitudes and approaches of those using them. It’s a bit like any standard dating site in terms of the rules to follow when it comes to meeting up with others for the first time. For example, just as long as you meet in public places with other people around and take someone along with you if necessary, there’s really nothing to worry about. It’s just a case of keeping common sense in the equation at all times and being on the lookout for signs of anything suspicious.
What If I’m Pretty Useless at Sports?
Everyone’s got to start somewhere and there will always be those who are totally in love with any given sport despite the fact that there are 99% hopeless at it. The good news is that with sports social networking, you’ll easily find those that are exactly on your level and share your passions, so there’s no need for any kind of intimidation.
How Much Does Membership Cost?
If you’re looking to sign up as a member and take part in the sporting opportunities being advertised, the answer will in most instances be not a penny. Like all good social networks, membership for standard subscribers is 100% free of charge, though there may be fees applicable to organisers and business users. Costs vary from one sports social network to the next, so it’s important to read the small print and take nothing for granted.
Are There Any Age Restrictions?
Coming to the subject of age last of all, this will again vary enormously from one sports social network to the next so it’s wise to check the specifics. However, in the vast majority or instances there will be strict rules in place that only allow people over the age of 18 to join up. This is of course because of the potential risks involved with arranging meet-ups with new people – safe for sensible adults, not always the same for youngsters.