I recently spent the evening bumping and grinding with several other singles. The floor was packed as we all tried to score.

The event was Whirlyball — a mixture of lacrosse and basketball — put on by Meet Market Adventures and the bumping and grinding was from our Whirlybugs, similar to bumper cars. As about 20 singles piled onto the court, we awkwardly learned to steer our vehicles with one hand and hold the scoop — used both to catch and throw the ball — in the other. The rules were simple.

The group was divided up into two teams. Using the scoop each team had to try and hit their backboard on opposite ends of the room. But getting the ball from one end of the court to the other was sure to entail a little block or bump from the opposite team as we tried to knock each other off track. One point was given for hitting the outer edge of the board, and three points for hitting the middle circle. And if you picked up a phone number from a teammate or opponent in the process, so be it.

“These events are made for people who don’t want to die on their couch,” says Mitza Young, director of operations for Meet Market Adventures. “It’s a chance for singles to make new friends, both male and female.”

Whirlyball is just one of the 30 to 40 events Meet Market Adventures puts on each month.

The idea started when Travis Hartley noticed many of his single friends in their 30s and 40s had few places to go to meet new singles.

Hartley wanted to create a destination where singles, who were tired of the bar scene, could meet and have fun without it turning into a meat market. “That’s when a friend suggested Meet Market as sort of a play on words,” says Hartley.

Six years later, Meet Market Adventures now has offices in New York, Vancouver, Ottawa, and Hamilton.

“The market we’re targeting is huge,” says Hartley. “They used to say the biggest markets were death and taxes, but now I think it’s death, taxes, and singles.”

As for the Whirlyball, despite a few valiant efforts to score, on the backboard that is, I walked away from the evening feeling less stressed about my workweek, gaining a few bruises from all the … action, but willing to enter another round of Whirlyball.

• For more info, visit www.meetmarketadventures.com

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