• 2011 Facility of Merit Winner: California State University, East Bay, Recreation & Wellness Center

    by Andrew Cohen October 2011

    Described as the last piece to the campus life puzzle at California State University, East Bay, the Recreation & Wellness Center was purposely located at the edge of the academic zone and across the street from student housing, effectively becoming a transitional space between the two. Providing what one judge called "a strong visual identity through the use of strong forms and bold color," the building's most recognizable exterior element is an aluminum perforated screen veil devised to minimize direct sunlight, diffuse daylight and maximize vistas to San Francisco Bay. This is both an aesthetic touch and symbolic of the building's (and campus') broader mission of sustainability. The roof plane is shaped to funnel all rainwater to a series of bioswales, where a combination of native plants and climate-appropriate species absorb 100 percent of all storm water, avoiding city storm-drain systems. In addition, a ventilated trombe wall allows for passive heating of the gymnasium by capturing the sun's heat within the exposed western-facing concrete wall and glazing assembly, which then radiates into the gym during the night. In all, 70 percent of interior spaces are naturally ventilated and passively heated, which eliminated the need for active mechanical heating or cooling systems.

  • Team Sports Participation Up Among 13-, 14-Year-Olds

    by Michael Popke — AB Managing Editor September 2011

    The growth in youth team sports since 2009 is now being fueled by America's 13- and 14-year-olds. That's just one of the key findings of the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association's annual participation study on team sports, "U.S. Trends in Team Sports." In 2010, sports participation among 13- and 14-year olds increased 22 percent and 14 percent, respectively, versus 2009.

  • Blog: 9/11 Anniversary Run A Fitting Tribute

    by Mary Helen Sprecher September 2011

    The 10-year anniversary of 9/11 has prompted a lot of memorial services, days of remembrance and other commemorations coming up. The fact that Sept. 11 this year falls on a Sunday means that a lot of people who might otherwise have to work can participate.

  • Columbus, Ohio, Seeks to Keep Teens Off the Streets

    by Emily Attwood September 2011

    The opening day of the 2011 Wisconsin State Fair in Milwaukee had all the elements normally associated with state fairs - hot weather, carnival rides and games, and barns filled with cows.

  • Slow-Pitch Softball's Participation Decline Challenges Rec Professionals

    by Paul Steinbach July 2011

    The end didn't come all that suddenly. In its glory years, the Jock's Nitch Softball Classic drew 140 slow-pitch teams to Pittsburg, Kan., for three days of camaraderie and competition.

  • Blog: Getting the Bocce Ball Rolling

    by Mary Helen Sprecher July 2011

    The way some people are about trying the newest wine bar or restaurant? I'm that way about sports. If you offer an open house or a chance to try something new, I'm there. And while I haven't stuck with everything I tried (I was epically bad at curling, for instance), I'm always grateful for the opportunity to investigate another activity.

  • Recreation Department Is First to Require Concussion Testing

    by Joe Bush July 2011

    Vinny Ciurciu, a linebacker for the NFL's Detroit Lions, suffered two concussions during the 2010 season. He sat out two games after the first one, and then a glancing blow to the head on his return was all it took to trigger renewed symptoms.

  • Blog: Hook Rec Program Participants with Fishing

    by Mary Helen Sprecher May 2011

    We're perched on the edge of another summer, and while that surely means Little League games and days at the pool, it also brings an opportunity to get kids outside and involved in another activity: fishing.

  • Blog: It's OK to Be a Beginner

    by Mary Helen Sprecher April 2011

    The other day, I was passing through one of the city's parks when I saw a group of people who had set up a badminton net and were teaching their kids to play. Badminton, like all sports, takes practice, meaning a lot of near misses, and not so near misses, were going on. Right on cue came some passersby who made comments that the scene belonged on America's Funniest Home Videos, and they kept yelling "A swing...and a miss!" and other rude stuff. You can pretty much guess what happened next: The kids didn't want to play anymore.

  • Blog: In Search of a New St. Patrick's Day Tradition

    by Mary Helen Sprecher March 2011

    St. Patrick's Day is on the horizon, meaning that soon, a huge number of people will feel compelled to immerse themselves in what they fervently believe is a great example of the Irish culture.