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What is Chicago Fire Rec Soccer (CFRS)?


The greatest provider of adult recreational soccer leagues in the known universe! Kidding. Just on Earth. We’re a team of soccer nuts working around the clock to organize the best rec soccer experience we possibly can for 40+ leagues, 350+ teams, and over 4,000 players each season. Over the past 10 years we’ve grown this from pickup games in Grant Park to the largest rec soccer provider in the Midwest!


Beyond running the heck out of some rec leagues, CFRS is passionate about Chicago’s local soccer club! Everything CFRS or Fire Pitch-related is done to support ‘Our Men in Red’.


Where does CFRS play?


The majority of CFRS games are played at CIBC Fire Pitch – on the north-side, couple miles west of Wrigley. A few leagues also play at Clark Park – turf field across the street from the Fire Pitch.


CIBC Fire Pitch, what’s that?


Close. Short answer – it’s the place to play soccer in Chicago. The Fire Pitch features two full-sized fields, a bar/restaurant, outdoor patio, and a state-of-the-art gym space. Each year, a giant dome is inflated and deflated before and after winter to keep Chicagoans playing year-round. Seriously though, it’s the cat’s pajamas!


Can I park there? If so, where?


There is on-site parking, adjacent to the south field. Players may also park here:

  • Automatic Icemakers (3725 N Talman) – weeknights from 5pm onwards and all day on the weekends
  • Flow Products (2626 W Addison) – north or south side of parking lot from 6pm onwards (weeknights) and all day on weekends
  • Tile Outlet (3637 N Talman) – available 5:30pm onwards on weeknights and anytime on weekends
  • For games at Clark Park (corner of Rockwell and Addison) there is street parking


Do you have coed or men’s or both AND what about small-sided vs full-sided?


So many questions in that question! CFRS offers adult coed and men’s leagues for all skill levels (Rec, Intermediate, Advanced, and Elite).


Outdoor, CFRS runs full-sided (11v11) AND small-sided (8v8 and 5v5) leagues Monday through Friday, and on Sundays. Indoor, the dome is partitioned – with giant nets – into 7v7 fields. So, the standard for indoor is small-sided, however there is one gem of a league on Friday nights when we pull back all the nets to create an indoor oasis – 9v9 soccer inside, during the winter!


Say more about the competition levels.


Sure thing! There are four CFRS competition/skill levels:


  1. Recreational (aka Rec)
    1. Fun!
    2. Relaxed
    3. No experience necessary
  2. Intermediate
    1. Mixed
    2. Some former college players but mostly people that played in high school or found out they were pretty good at soccer later in life
    3. Can be competitive
  3. Advanced
    1. Top dawgs
    2. Very competitive
    3. Lots of former college players
  4. Elite
    1. Reserved for a solitary CFRS league – Wednesday Men’s
    2. Pretty much need college or pro experience to hang
    3. Where the top Chicago men’s players go for adult rec soccer


Heard there was a membership system – is there a cost and why?


All CFRS players must have a current membership to participate in league play. A seasonal membership costs $8 and covers you across all current CFRS leagues.


Membership $$ goes directly into improving the quality of it’s leagues. For example, a large portion of membership funds go to pay for part-time and intern staff. The staffer that’s helping you get to the right field, or chasing balls, or literally running you an ice pack if you get hurt is there because of the membership system. Beyond event staff, memberships also help make extra benefits possible – shirts for league players, customized trophies, parties at Heineken Pub97, and even trips to Fire games for teams that win their league. Also, there’s a bunch of insurance costs associated with running a big rec soccer organization like CFRS, but that’s not as much fun to talk about.


TL;DR Memberships help CFRS add more quality to your rec soccer experience.


Do I really have to wear shin guards?




Are CFRS referees actually certified or just some dudes who like to wear yellow?


All CFRS referees are indeed USSF certified. They are vetted by a Level 4 (really really good, like crazy good) assignor. He’s so good he’s even worked as an Assistant Referee for an AC Milan vs Bayern Munich match at Soldier Field.


But it’s not just him; a lot of CFRS referees have college or even professional level experience. They add a sense of professionalism to your rec game!


How long is a season? How many games are in a season?


Generally, each season is two months long. CFRS offers five sessions each year: two indoor (Winter 1 and Winter 2) and three outdoor (Spring, Summer, and Fall).


All CFRS teams are guaranteed 8 games per season, minimum. The first 6 are your regular season. The last 2+ are playoff/consolation matches.


How long is each game?


  • Indoor Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Sun – 44 min.
  • Indoor Friday 9s – 56 min.
  • Indoor Friday Over 30’s – 44 min.
  • Outdoor 8v8 – 44 min.
  • Outdoor 11v11 – 56 min.
  • Outdoor 11s Elite – 68 min.


How have we not talked about the bar yet? Is it in fact real?


Heineken Pub97 is the spot for drinks, grub and laughs with your squad. Mere steps away from your game there is always quality brews on draft and the food, oh the food! It’s WAY more than your standard pub fare. We’re talking flatbread pizzas, tacos with all the meats, and an English breakfast so hearty you’ll be ready for the bulls of Pamplona!!


Every wall is plastered with the highest def flatscreens. MLS? Check. English Premier League? Check. NFL? Check. NBA? Check. NHL? Check. La Liga? Check. The game you want to watch is already on when you walk in. If not, wave down the friendliest bar staff in the North Center.


What or who is Dash?


CFRS uses an online league management tool named Dash (create an account). It’s one powerful system. For example, teams can be replicated and exported from one season to the next. Dash also handles, scheduling, standings, individual payments, memberships, RSVP’s, tournaments, intra-team messaging, and even shows you what color shirt your opponents are gonna wear.


I have around 97 more questions, but we should probably wrap this up right?


Yea… This is reaching ‘War and Peace’ length! If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to reach out to Sam, CFRS Director.