This post is part of a series of posts about pickup basketball in Beijing.
Click above for the Baidu Maps link if you don’t have a VPN and can’t see the Google Map below.
Cost: 20 RMB
The courts are located directly west and across the street from Hooters in Sanlitun. The entrance is on the north side of the courts, on Worker’s Stadium North Road. Closest subway stops are Tuanjiehu 团结湖 (Line 10) to the east and Dong Si Shi Tiao 东四十条 (Line 2) to the west.
There is the main court area where most of the pickup games happen (it’s 6 or 8 baskets, I’ll count again next time I go).
Then there are a few separate caged areas in the back with half court baskets, but they’re really small. Good for shooting around but too small for competitive games.
Overall, while the courts and baskets are decent (three point lines are at least US college range), the courts are pretty dusty and I often find myself slipping when I make hard cuts. I’ve rarely played at 100% at these courts because it’s too easy to slip during a drive and you lose your footing. Make sure you have good shoes with some grip.
When I used to live in Sanlitun, I would play almost every week. I haven’t played here in about a year and a half, but below are my prior experiences with the courts.
Weekend mornings: Generally the courts are pretty empty. It’s pretty good to go if you want to shoot around by yourself and dodge the heat during the summer months. There’s usually at least one court with a decent game going, typically with older guys. However, they’re all either relatively tall, or pretty stocky. Sometimes they can get pretty physical. But I would say they have above average bball IQ.
Afternoons / Evenings: Tons of people. It’s not China if there aren’t a lot of people everywhere. This is typically true of all the popular basketball spots in Beijing. On the weekends, there’s generally even more people than weekdays. Expect 3 – 4 teams per basket on a normal day. The most I’ve encountered is 5 teams playing under one basket when it was super packed, but it’s pretty rare.
On some weekends in the summer, there are leagues that host full court games here. So if you want to play pickup try to avoid those weekends here.
In most cases, there are only a few teams / players that are really good here. They typically play in the first court when you enter (closest to Worker’s Stadium North Road). I’ve only run into one team that knew how to play team ball and ran plays (we got completely crushed), and another time when I ran into two guys who were at least 6’4”, knew how to dribble and shoot, and completely dominated the games. If you can hit a few open shots, play a bit of defense, and generally don’t do stupid shit, you’ll be better than most of the players here. However, unless you can dominate, most games will be relatively competitive.
There are another set of courts directly south of the main courts as well. It’s much cheaper to get into those courts, it’s like 5 RMB. But those courts are pretty shitty (the ground is uneven, cracked and poorly maintained). If you just want to shoot around and the main courts are full you can go there instead. You have to go inside the Worker’s Stadium gates. There is a small road south of the club Vics. Walk by some ping pong tables and go through the tennis courts and you’ll get to the small crappy courts.
Lastly, there are another set of courts that are also within walking distance to these courts. It’s to the west of the courts mentioned above. It’s called 工人体育馆 – 篮球公园 which translates to the Indoors Worker’s Stadium basketball park. The courts are located on the northwest side of the smaller indoor Worker’s Stadium, with the entrance to the courts on the west as well.
The courts are also outdoor courts, and it also costs 20 RMB to enter. I would say everything about those courts are similar to the main Worker’s Stadium courts, except that the average skill level is lower. I’ve only played here a few times, but the competition is a lot weaker and it was pretty boring playing on these courts. However, when I was living in this area, these courts were new and I went when they just opened. So at the time, maybe not too many people knew about them, and the competition has gotten better these past few years.
Back to the main page on Pickup Basketball in Beijing.