I went to Midnight soccer and it was bizarre

A big yellow school bus picked us up at 12am

Midnight soccer, often called “Midnight,” is something I’ve been hearing about since I came to Brown. I never knew if it actually existed, and I was skeptical until I experienced it firsthand. On a cold Thursday in February, I decided to see what midnight soccer was all about.

All I knew about Midnight was that the bus picked us up in front of the RISD store at 12am. I walked down College Hill at 11:50pm to find a motley gathering of RISD and Brown students. I recognized a few of the players from previous pickup games, so I figured I was in the right place.

Naturally, I expected a public bus to come pick us up at around 12. You can imagine my surprise when a big yellow school bus pulled up in front of us. I got on the bus.

“Who pays for this?” I asked the guy standing next to me.

“Some Korean guys from RISD. They have a team.”

I later found out that the Korean team or “K-Team” not only provides transportation to the indoor soccer fields in Warwick, Rhode Island, but they also rent out the entire complex. As the night went on, I had more and more questions. Who was the K-Team? Why were they spending their own money to transport 50 soccer players to an indoor soccer complex that they rented out every week? (Spoiler alert: these questions are still unanswered).

We pulled up to a large, warehouse-looking building next to an auto-supply shop.There were three large turf fields in the building. When we entered, the people playing on the fields left. We lined up and were split into teams of about seven. Half of the players looked like they were thinking, “Why are you here?” and the other half looked like they were thinking, “Why am I here?”

Within the first 15 minutes of playing I was reminded that the human body is not supposed to be doing vigorous exercise at 1:00 in the morning. This, along with the thick, rubbery air of a corrugated steel building containing three synthetic turf fields, makes aerobic exercise quite a bit more challenging than usual.

At about about 1:30 they switched off half of the lights. A subtle, non-verbal way of communicating “Get out of here. I want to go home.”

I don’t know If I have ever been sweaty at 1:34 in the morning, but it was a disconcerting feeling.

By 1:45am, we were back on the steamy school bus. Walking back up college hill in the freezing cold at 2:00 am is a fitting end to an adventurous night. If you want to have a unique experience and don’t mind sacrificing a little sleep, Midnight may be for you. 

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