URI women’s basketball alumnus creates dating app for athletes

Online dating has become more prevalent in America’s society now than any other time in history. With 40 percent of Americans using online dating, people are using dating apps like Tinder to intermingle with others. While others use websites like eHarmony to hopefully find their soulmate.

Dating outlets like christianmingle.com or blackpeoplemeet.com have paved a way for people to find a potential match in a specific group that they themselves belong to.

There is a new dating app coming in October 2017 that will provide professional or collegiate athletes with an opportunity to mingle with other athletes and it was created by a former University of Rhode Island women’s basketball player.

Amanda McGrew, a member of the Rhody women’s basketball team from 2005-2009, has created the app Playoff. Playoff is aimed at athletes to help them find relationships with other current or former athletes.

Originally from Santa Monica, California, McGrew played at URI for then head coach Tom Garrick. Now, a physical education teacher and middle school basketball coach in Los Angeles, California, McGrew has spent the last couple years created the app.

McGrew said the idea for the app came from her own experience with dating apps and websites.  “All the dating apps were very general,” McGrew said. “It was too hard for me to find someone that I knew was a good fit right off the bat. I don’t like to swipe just based off of what you look like. I felt like I was missing some piece of the puzzle.”

During the beginning stages of the app, McGrew will verify each new profile to make sure they have played at least one season of organized college, junior college, professional or Olympic sports.  Each profile will be linked to the person’s Facebook account for extra verification.

McGrew said that by creating Playoff people will interact and meet with others who share the same background as each other. She also said that any current or former athlete knows what you learn from competing in a sport does not leave you once you step off the court.

“Their daily lives might not be into sports anyway, anymore,” McGrew said, “but I feel like anyone who has played at that level knows it doesn’t really leave you.”

The rarity of playing sports at their highest level will cause current and former athletes to gravitate toward each other. “These people have something in common and have gone through something that not a lot of people have gone through,” McGrew said. “That has shaped the way they work and how they look at the world.”

The app will have a free version and a paid monthly version. The difference between the two will be the amount of interests that a person can search through. For example the paid will allow you to choose which sport in particular you are looking for someone to have a background in, while the free will only allow you to search by the generic male or female and distance.

McGrew said that she has heard positive feedback from athletes within the LGBTQ community. McGrew said she had thought about the lesbian community because they were present in her experience playing college basketball. She said she didn’t think about how much it would help gay males until she had a conversation with a gay track athlete. McGrew said that the athlete told her how there are a lot of gay male athletes that have never told anybody that they are gay. “He told me that it will allow them to move in silence for a bit until they’re comfortable not doing that anymore.”

McGrew has her own personal sales and statistical goals but at least for now she would be happy with what she has created getting recognized. “I want people to be thrilled with what I have put out in the world,” McGrew said.

Playoff will be available as of Oct. 15, 2017 on mobile devices. For now you can find more information on the app’s Facebook and Instagram account, @PlayoffDatingApp.       

 

  

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Stone Freeman
Stone Freeman is a junior at the University of Rhode Island majoring in journalism. He can be found at either the Ryan Center, Boss Ice Arena, Meade Stadium, or Bill Beck Field covering URI athletics for the Good Five Cent Cigar and WRIU 90.3 FM. To contact Stone you can email him at stone_freeman@my.uri.edu or on Twitter @StonePFreeman.