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[The List]: Sports Leagues and Clubs in Shanghai 2022

Whether you're looking to meet new people or stay active through sport, here's a list of people who play ball in Shanghai.
2022-08-26 17:00:00

The end of the school holidays usually also means the beginning of new seasons for sports leagues in Shanghai. It's not too late to join, and with the mass excodus of foreigners and many still stuck abroad, most leagues are very open to new members.

There are quite a few, and they vary wildly from semi-professional leagues to casual weekend get-togethers to smack a ball around. We haven't included prices here because they tend to change from season to season but we've included contact information for every club so you can ask for more info before you break out your badminton racket and hockey pads.


Archery Battle

What is it: ASAS Archery Battle has a fairly small but pretty active Archery Battle community, which sometimes engage in ranked games. Usually meet-ups will involve several games, with a final winner being

How often they play: Depends on the availability of pitches and teams, but usually it's every Sunday.

How to join: Teams are semi-organized (with appropriately silly names), but there's almost always space for a new player to either join casually or regularly. They usually organize via a WeChat group.

How do I find out more: Write to them at


Shanghai Badminton Club

What is it: Meet-up group with nearly 700 members, organized around casual or intermediate players looking to get some badminton on. It seems like they attract between 15-30 people depending on the day. We wrote a full feature about them here.

How often they play: Wednesdays (3 courts) and Sundays (6 courts).

How to join: You can join their MeetUp but it seems like they have a "Premium Members" group where you can get more info.

How do I find out more: Check out their MeetUp page.


Shanghai International Basketball League (aka SIBL)

What is it: B-ball. Hoops. Just straight-up "ball." From the organizers behind Archery Battle and the ASAS7 football league, the SIBL has roughly 30 teams with between 7 and 20 players each. They aim to have stat sheets and game videos up for each of the games, available on their website and through their WeChat groups.

How often they play: They usually have two or three seasons every year, and every season lasts between three or four months.

How to join: They're cagey about releasing the contacts for individual captains, so your best bet is to fill in the individual member application form, get in touch with ASAS, the organizers, and they'll put you in touch with the different teams. Or you can register your own team by filling in the team application and sending it in. There's a pretty hefty team fee to cover the cost of court rental and so on.

How do I find out more: Write to them at, and check out their website.


Shanghai Cricket Club

What is it: Shanghai Cricket Club has a proud tradition dating back to (according to them) 1858, with some breaks in between. Pretty long breaks, actually, until about 2004. As the main organizing body for cricket in Shanghai, they've got 3 Divisions, and some of the teams compete nationwide. It seems like there's something for everyone.

How often they play: Seems like there's a game between the teams every Sunday, but the teams themselves may organize their own get-togethers. The club games seem to happen either at SCSC or at Wellington College.

How do I find out more: They've got a pretty comprehensive website outlining most of what you need to know here, including all the teams involved in club games.

Bashers Cricket Club

What is it: Possibly the most Shanghai-iest of the cricket clubs, they host regular club events (wives, children, girlfriends, and dogs welcome) and don't take themselves too seriously. They have two teams ("Business" & "Pleasure") so you can play competitively or casually (or both).

How do I find out more: You can find them on WeChat by searching for bashers_cc, or check their website here


Cages Dodgeball League

What is it: Cages Dodgeball League runs the gamut from pick-up games to super-duper serious league games with tables and everything. League teams are 8 players per team, minimum two ladies on the field at all times.

How often they play: Monday nights are casual pick-up games, running from 8-10pm, with teams made up of just whoever shows up. It's They might turn that into a fully functional league if enough people start showing up, but for now, it's just for giggles. Thursday night is when the big balls get thrown around; 8-10pm, 10 teams, 8v8, each match is best of five so the first to three games wins.

How to join: There's a free agent system that allows uncommitted players to sign their name up and get put on a waiting list in case a team needs an extra player. Best bet is to show up for a Monday night game first and then get involved a bit more with the community before picking a team to play with regularly.

How do I find out more: You can get in touch with Jared Sussman for more info and help with getting yourself involved; his WeChat id is cagessports, or you can reach him at 186 1636 7093.


There are two major soccer leagues in Shanghai. ASAS7 in Jing'an and Shanghai Premier League (SPL) in Waigaoqiao. Both leagues have around 30 soccer teams (down from roughly 40 a few years ago) with the most well known probably being the Shanghai Lions (

Some of the teams are grouped around certain communities or bars, e.g. "Borrusia Shanghai" has primarily German players and frequently meets at Zeitgeist. Best way of joining in is by visiting some of the games and directly contact a team that you like. With many expats leaving, most teams are open to new players at this point.

ASAS7 Football League

How often they play: They usually have two seasons every year, and every season lasts four months, depending on the number of teams per season. Games take place on Saturdays or Sunday afternoons.

How to join: One way is fill in the individual member application form, get in touch with ASAS, and they'll put you in touch with the different teams. Or you can register your own team by filling in the team application and sending it in. There's a pretty hefty team fee to cover the cost of pitch rental and so on. Or, again, just show up at one of their games and contact a team directly.

How do I find out more: Check out their WeChat account at ASAS体育大联盟 or their website.

Shanghai Premier Football Leagues (SPL)

SPL is the other amateur leage and has been around since 2003, based out of Waigaoqiao, with matches on Saturday and Sunday of their SPLV, the veterans league. The league's season runs from October to June, with a start tournament to kick off the season and an end tournament to close the season, and occasionally special tournaments and events are held.

How do I find out more: The league itself doesn't seem to have a WeChat account and stopped updating their Facebook a while ago.

Indoor Soccer

Indoor Cages

What is it: Also at Cages, they do 12-minute indoor football matches twice a week. You might chuckle at 12 minutes, but this is 4v4 in a tiny cage, there's no standing around catching your breath here. They don't do pick-up games, you have to be part of a team, and they're planning on splitting the games up into an A league and a B league starting next season (current season ends April 26). The game is run with help from Azzurri Football Club from the Shanghai International Football League, they do most of the organization and refereeing and the like.

How often they play: League games happen on Tuesday from 8-11pm and Wednesday nights from 8-10.30pm.

How to join: You can probably rock up to one of the games and talk to the team captains afterwards, but it's probably best to get in touch with Jared (below) and he can get you sorted out.

How do I find out more: You can get in touch with Jared Sussman for more info and help with getting yourself involved; his WeChat id is cagessports, or you can reach him at 186 1636 7093.

Gaelic Football

Shanghai GAA

What is it: Gaelic football is Ireland's national sport. It is best described as a cross between soccer, basketball and rugby even though it is much older than all of those sports. Players kick a round ball with the aim of scoring goals and points. The club has been going in Shanghai for over 20 years with a great mix of nationalities from all over the world getting a taste of Irish culture and sport. Players have a broad range of abilities from beginners to people who have played since they were 3/4. All are welcome - we are roughly half and half male and female. They have beginners every week so don't let that stop you.

How often they play: Training occurs every Tuesday at 8:15pm in Luwan Stadium. They try to have tournaments every month in Shanghai with teams from Suzhou, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. They also travel to these cities once or twice per year to play (depending on travel restrictions)

How to join: Show up to training on Tuesday or follow GAAShanghai on WeChat for info on what's coming up. Also ShanghaiGAA on Instagram for more regular updates!


Shanghai Hockey Club

What is it: These people are serious about their ice hockey, with plenty of options for madhat shenanigans. Sound like a bunch of lovable maniacs who could feed you into the business-end of a Zamboni at a moment's notice. So yeah, it's a hockey club. They've got around 200 players and they run everything from casual sessions on the ice to serious national-level games, like the annual Team World vs. Team China competition, which reportedly gets very intense. They've got players in the club who've represented countries like Finland, Sweden and the Czech Republic in international games, and the club itself is pretty multinational. Canadians maybe a bit over-represented. They've got about 10 teams at the moment, with names like "Lowered Expectations" and "Hamburglars." Some are less kid-friendly. They're both laidback and very passionate about what they do. And what they do is slap pucks around. It's a beer league, and this year they're sponsored by Budweiser.

How often they play: Fridays and Saturday nights (they can start pretty late), the games are league-level and they can get pretty serious, though they avoid body-checking because people need to work on Monday. During seasons, they sometimes play as many as 6 games per week. On Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, they have "shinnys," which are like casual hockey games with rules to avoid things like concussions or getting smacked in the head with a puck, and are a good opportunity for people to get involved.

How to join: There're two divisions, and you have to do a skate assessment before you're placed in either one. They said they hold a team draft shindig in a ballroom, where everyone gets dressed up and they have a big electronic draft board. Every time the captains pick someone, they have to take a shot. For like 200 players. They might have to play that part down now that they're accepting under-18s to join (apparently not a lot of options available in China for hockey players after they turn 16), but the cool thing is that they put in orders for custom jerseys for team members. You can get in touch with them on their website below to start the process of getting onto the ice.

How do I find out more: We haven't actually be able to get in touch with them, but their website and WeChat account "TheSHCSinBin" are both being updated frequently, so if you are serious about it, you know where to look.


Shanghai Lacrosse

What is it: Dating back to the heady days of 2012, Shanghai Lacrosse runs a spring season and a fall season every year. They've currently got two men's and two women's teams playing each other, but they also send teams to play at national and sometimes even international events. They've got sticks & jerseys available for loan if you're short on equipment. And, crucially, they've got food/drink specials available at their sponsors, Big Bamboo and Pistolera.

How often they play: League games are on Saturdays; current season's going from March 4th to June 10th, with men's games from 11a to 1pm. Women's is from 1 to 3pm.

How to join: Fill out their registration form at the bottom of this page. There's a fee for dropping in, and the first game's free for people who're new to the sport. Also, they prefer you to pay by WeChat, just FYI.

How do I find out more: Check out their website here, or send an email to


There's 8 or so rugby teams in Shanghai playing touch rugby -- the more accessable version of rugby -- in various leagues. Then Shanghai has four teams that play contact rugby 15 a side contact -- the traditional rugby, where they also play in national leagues against teams all of China.

Shanghai Rugby Football Club Dragons (SRFC)

What is it: Probably the most serious rugby club in the city, and definitely the oldest, these guys regularly take part in regional games. There's a real community built up around it, with about 80 regular members, including things like dinners, bar crawls (naturally including special discounts) and regular dos. Getting selected for one of their teams can get pretty competitive. Beginners are welcome but be aware that they'll expect you to be of a certain level before they let you take part in proper games. Otherwise you might hurt yourself, y'know.

How often they play: Depends on what's going on around the country! They regularly take part in the Shanghai 7s, Sino 10s and Sino 15s, as well as bigger events like the Hong Kong 7s, Hong Kong 10s and the Kowloon 10s. so there're plenty of chances to play competitive games as a member. Training takes place on Tuesdays from 8-10pm.

How do I find out more: You can check out their website here for a pretty intense history of the team, a contact form and more information about what membership costs and entails. Their WeChat account (shanghairugbyfootballclub) hasn't been updated for a while, but they frequently post pictures on their Instagram at "shanghairugbyclub".

Dolphins Rugby Club

What is it: Shanghai Dolphins founded in 2015 are an all-encompassing rugby club in Shanghai with a focus on the social and community side of the sport. They play both in the Shanghai Touch League and in the All China Cup, the former is a touch tournament in Shanghai with 7-a-side mixed gender teams, while the latter is contact rugby with 15 players that is played throughout China.

Their team ethos is to take part in everything and have fun doing so, this means for all the smaller tournaments throughout China such as the Qingdao Beach Rugby, Kunming 10s, Beijing 10s the Dolphins will put a team together to go off on tour as players and tourists.

Prior to the border closures in 2020, they went on tour several times as a team throughout South-East Asia to the Philippines, Vietnam, Hong Kong to play in the local tournaments.

The after match (and sometimes pre-match) socials are a very important aspect of club life with discounts available at the sponsors bars and restaurants, where the club hosts frequent socials and engages in charity drives among the members.

Beginners are more than welcome to join, they have structured training sessions and they encourage everyone to come along to give rugby a shot.

How often they play: The Dolphins train downtown at Luwan Stadium on Jianguo Road every Tuesday from 19:45 to 21:00, on Saturday from 12:00 to 14:00. On Sunday depending on numbers and demand they also play open pick-up touch games.

The league games are played throughout the year and will be publicised well in advance.

How do I find out more: : You can contact the Dolphins via Instagram @Shanghai_Dolphins_Rugby or on their Wechat Official Account at ShanghaiRugby or by contacting Ed_ShanAiDe .


Shanghai Softball League

What is it: The Shanghai Softball league is made up of six teams with roughly 150 active players. It's more of a social affair than a competitive thing, with after-games drinks at the bar a normal occurrence. The league is pretty open to players of all ages and skill levels, both male and female.

How often do they play: They play two seasons every year — Spring and Fall — with games every Saturday during the daytime, and a few early in the evening. Teams compete in an end-of-season tournament, the Cakey Cup.

How to join: New members can fill out an application form here, with this WeChat telling you why you should join. There's also some information on their website You can also follow their WeChat account by searching out "ShanghaiSoftball".


Shanghai Azures

What is it: Like hockey, except played on the bottom of a pool. Flippers, snorkels, fins, gloves, sticks, it honestly sounds pretty intense. The Shanghai Azures are the only underwater hockey team in the city (as far as we know). They apparently had the first underwater hockey tournament in China back in 2015, and the third cup's going to be held in May in Hangzhou. There's also a regional Asia championship that's held every two years. 2017's being held in September in Beijing.

How often they play: Again, depends on what championship opportunities are around, but they've got practice every weekend in the afternoons, depending on the season and pool availability. Sessions are usually 3 hours long, and they've got equipment available to borrow for newcomers, in case they, for whatever reason, don't have flippers, masks, snorkels and shortened hockey sticks lying around.

How to join: They've got newbies courses which they organize seasonally. You can get in touch with them to see about signing-up for one, or, if you're a seasoned UWH (as they call it in the community) player, you can let them know you're ready to throw down and flip the puck.

How do I find out more: Get in touch with them by sending an email to, or by adding them on WeChat by searching for ShanghaiAzuresUWH.

Field Hockey

Shanghai Dragons Field Hockey


What is it: Shanghai Dragons Field Hockey team is a diverse group of hockey enthusiasts from around the globe and around China. Shanghai Dragons welcomes all levels of players and already maintains a mixed level of beginners, former National players and everything in between. Expats and locals alike. Besides playing field hockey we often meet at Cotton's for post-game/training drinks . We also organize regular social activities and mini tournaments around the national holidays.

How often do they play: Mixed men's and women's training and 4 aside games are played on Tuesdays 8pm-10pm at X2 in Xujiahui. The team also plays on Saturday's at the same location but the time is dependent on pitch availability. Due to Covid, we are limited to playing in a 5 aside football pitch as all the hockey pitches are currently unavailable.

How to join: Join the WeChat group via Stephen Ledger: ledger1994 Or Silas343679 Come along and try it out! There are spare sticks available for beginners or those without equipment. Shin guards and Mouth guard are also recommended.


Note: I've done the best I can to make sense of the mess of sports leagues in the city, but while there is lots of info available for some, there's precious little on others. This article, however, will stay open for edits. If your club / league isn't on here (tennis? American football?), you have my permission, nay, my blessing, to besiege my inbox with concise, useful summaries and a contact number so I can get you on this rundown. Email:

Also, an earlier version of this article mentioned the Shanghai Field Hockey Club and the Shanghai International Volleyball Club. We haven't been able to get in touch with them. If you know about them, please ask them to reach out to us.

Please don't flood it with hatemail and dickpics.