From The Telegram & Gazette
By Rushmie Kalke
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WESTBORO— As winter gives way to spring, a man’s thoughts begin to turn toward the promise of new love—and to the start of baseball season.
This combination is the perfect backdrop to bring together singles looking for romance, said Paula F. Pogorzelski, executive director of A Match Made in 7, a speed dating and networking company in Westboro. The company has teamed up with minor-league teams in New England to offer speed dating events during weeknight games.
Traditional speed dating is often held at restaurants or bars where participants chat with someone for seven minutes or other timed intervals before moving on to meet someone new. If both people mark on their scorecards they want to get to know each other better, the company coordinates the swapping of information. At the baseball games, singles will have the opportunity to talk for a full inning before meeting someone else.
There are a couple of variables that will make this setup challenging to pull off. For example, consider:
1) Inning length. The average nine-inning game takes three hours to complete, but each inning can last as much as 35 minutes or as little as six minutes. How many different ways are there to ask, “Where are you from?” and “What do you do?” while still feigning interest?
2) Extra innings. Sure, a game typically lasts nine innings, but what about real nail-biters that go 11, 12, or 17 innings? Will there be extra singles waiting in the bullpen? These issues could all be remedied by a very clever MC.
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A Match Made in 7 intends to make the speed-shuffle discreet in order to minimize disturbance to other fans. But how will they do that? What will a woman’s neighbors think when a new man sits down every inning and asks the same questions? Fine, we’ll quit nitpicking. They’re just trying to get people together and drum up support for America’s pastime. Maybe they could eventually start a service for swingers called Double Plays.