Traveling in Style : Side Trips : Pickup Shticks

Jogging tracks, public pools and exercise facilities are fine, but sometimes the traveler yearns not just for exercise, but for the chance to get out there and compete . Here's how to find pickup basketball and softball games in four U.S. cities:

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New York. "No matter where you are in the city, it's fairly easy to find pickup basketball," says Ben Schmerler of the New York City Parks and Recreation Department. "Call us at (212) 360-8111 for specifics."

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Seattle. "Pickup basketball here is open to men and women," says Cinnamon Ball, membership coordinator at the Downtown Seattle YMCA, 909 4th Ave., (206) 382-5010. "There's an $8 rate for non-Y members. Out-of-state Y members can use our facilities 21 days per year for free."

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Oklahoma City. "Good bets for pickup softball in metropolitan Oklahoma City are Wheeler Park and Stars & Stripes Park," says Bill Plummer, of the Amateur Softball Association of America. Pickup games are open to women and men, but their frequency varies, depending on the weather. Wheeler Park is at Southwest 17th Street and Western; Stars & Stripes Park is at North Portland Street and Wilshire Boulevard.

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Indianapolis. For pickup softball, try Indy Sports & Fitness at 4002 N. Franklin Road, (317) 898-2285, recommends Orie Chandler, Indianapolis commissioner for the Amateur Softball Association. of America. It has five softball diamonds and other facilities. Another possibility is the Chuck Klein Softball Complex, 4900 Rockville Road, (317) 327-7202, with three lighted diamonds and two without lights.

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