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Chicago Daily Herald


Fitness comes in many forms, and for a growing number of people, sports is one of the most appealing ways to stay in shape. Health and socialization are the driving forces behind the growing popularity of adult recreational sports leagues, particularly among millennials. According to Sports Marketing Surveys USA, a research company that provides data for the Sports and Fitness Industry Association, millennials are twice as likely as their Generation X counterparts to participate in team sports as adults.

However, adult leagues attract people of all ages and from both genders. Adults who played sports as children may be particularly drawn to adult sports leagues, which offer a way for them to maintain connections to sports they love. And Eric Willin, COO of EZFacility, a sports business software provider in Woodbury, NY, offers that adult leagues are the ideal fit for communities and especially appealing to millennials who grew up playing sports.

"Members of the millennial generation tend to have grown up with schedules packed with extracurricular sports," Willin says. "It's no surprise that this group is enthusiastic about competing in adult recreation leagues, and the supply is developing to meet the demand." In addition to leagues sponsored by local governments, the YMCA offers a number of adult programs across the country.

The YMCA says that their sports leagues provide a perfect opportunity to be active and social and to reconnect or start fresh with a sport. Some of the organization's most popular adult sports leagues include basketball, soccer, hockey, tennis, volleyball, and golf. Many community centers, churches and even local businesses sponsor adult sports leagues, which help build a sense of community among residents and often connect players with local businesses and charitable or goodwill organizations.

Although some recreational leagues are free to join, many are for-profit businesses. Costs for players can run anywhere from $50 to $90 per person for a season. These fees help cover the costs associated with setting up teams and the fees necessary to compensate referees and rent facilities where games will be played. Adult recreational sports leagues provide great alternatives to the gym for people who want to be physically active.

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July 11, 2018


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