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Jeremy Paul
Jax Daily Record Monday, Aug. 18, 201412:00 PM EST

Bar Bulletin: Relieving stress the old-fashioned way

by: Jeremy Paul

Can you kick a big red ball?

Do you need time away from your desk?

Do you like being part of a team?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are eligible to participate in The Jacksonville Bar Association YLS sports leagues.

As many of you already know, attorneys face an increased risk of developing mental and physical health problems due to the stresses unique to our profession. Imagine a world where you can leave the office and take your frustration, anxiety and anger out on a large red ball in a heated (but cordial) game of kickball.

The YLS Sports Committee has a simple goal this year: Relieve stress through physical exertion and play. This year, the YLS will offer several leagues including a spring kickball league and summer basketball league. All leagues are co-ed and limited to JBA members, their staff and families.

Games take place on weeknights and the leagues include a regular season and post-season playoff. The kickball and basketball leagues will last for approximately eight weeks, including regular season and playoffs.

The games for each league take place within close proximity to Downtown to promote easy access and participation. In addition to the kickball and basketball leagues, the YLS is considering a whiffle ball league, as well as short-term activities such as a fall bowling tournament and beach volleyball tournament.

Keep an eye out for updates about the leagues and other sporting events as the year progresses. We encourage firms and public attorneys to sign up for the leagues as teams, but also encourage free agents to sign up and take advantage of the opportunity to link up with other members of the Bar.

Participation is our main goal and we do not turn down willing participants. If you are interested in joining a team, we will make it happen. We also invite local law students to participate in the leagues to facilitate interaction between the Bar and its future members.

Though attorneys are competitive by nature (whether in the courtroom or on a kickball field), the leagues are casual and we do not tolerate unsportsmanlike conduct. Remember, the goal is to relieve stress, not create more.

To further its goal of increasing attorney health through play, the YLS Sports Committee also hopes to serve as a conduit for the many local sports leagues open to the Jacksonville public.

For instance, the WAKA kickball league, BASL indoor/outdoor soccer league and Florida’s First Coast Softball league offer leagues for all age groups on a continuing basis throughout the year.

Don’t be discouraged if you can’t field a full team, these leagues (like the YLS leagues) accommodate free agents. Fall registration for these local sports leagues is underway.

If you are interested in participating in any of these leagues, please contact me at [email protected] and I will steer you in the right direction. If you are new to the community, these leagues offer a great way to stay active, meet new people and relieve stress after a long day.

As always, we encourage feedback about the leagues and input on what we can do to make existing leagues better. We also seek your input about the possible inclusion of new sports such as soccer, flag football or any other sports you might be interested in.

If you have any questions or comments about the leagues, please feel free to contact me. Don’t be shy, come out and play. I look forward to seeing you out there.

Jeremy Paul is an attorney at Dawson Orr and serves as chair of the JBA/YLS Sports Committee as well as an ex-officio member of the JBA/YLS Board of Governors.

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