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Sports & Recreation

Best Soccer Pickup 

Soccer Fours

San Francisco harbors enough soccer pickups to fill Crocker-Amazon and the Polo Fields any given night of the week, but many of them are inhospitable to beginners; if soccer is known for being a somewhat peaceful sport, it still brings out the boorish elements in players' personalities. The best option, for those who seek a near-perfect balance of competitiveness and feel-good sportsmanship, is SoccerFours, a four-on-four pickup run by a nonprofit whose leaders treat soccer as a social cause. (Besides running organized games, they also donate to various charities; each game costs $6-$7.) Though most participants play at a high level, they still have enough humility — or empathy — to pass the ball to a first-time dabbler. Four games happen simultaneously on small partitions of turf; no one keeps score, and fights never erupt on the pitch.

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(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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