Adult Athletes Being Offered Competitive Play Opportunities
2 Dec, 2015By: Mary Helen Sprecher
Sports Event Planners Need to Be Ready to Capitalize on New Events
Rec league or grade school athlete? Welcome to high school sports tryouts. High school student-athlete? Don’t miss the varsity or club sports offered in college.
Recent college graduate? Uh…. there’s a health club.
It’s a battle that many sports have been fighting over the past few years: student-athletes exit college and then find … nothing. It can lead to inactivity and disengagement from sports.
Unless, of course, a national governing body takes the lead. And recently, several have stepped up. And that means not only more opportunities for athletes, but for sports event planners as well.
Lacrosse: Women who played on competitive teams in high school and college now have an option to continue competitive play with the formation of the United Women’s Lacrosse (UWLX) league, a semi-professional, post-collegiate women’s lacrosse league. Baltimore-based STX LLC, the maker of lacrosse, field hockey and ice hockey equipment, has partnered with Play It Forward Sport Foundation to launch the new venture. The new league (contact information is here) has teams in Massachusetts, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. Over the summer, each team selected its first five elite-level athletes to create a UWLX All-Star Team that competed in tournaments during the summer and fall. The four teams will draft their complete 17-player rosters before the beginning of the first season, in the spring of 2016.
Football: Major League Football, a new, professional spring-football league scheduled to kick off in 2016, will involve players at least three years removed from high school The league markets itself as a fan-centric organization, with here talented athletes, who still have a desire to play professional football, and says it will deliver a professional football team to cities that currently have no professional football organizations. Information on the organization is available here.
Rugby: The Professional Rugby Organization (PRO Rugby), is sanctioned by USA Rugby and World Rugby, with competition beginning in April 2016 with six teams in major metropolitan areas in the Northeast, the Rocky Mountains and California. Venues and coaches will be announced shortly with playing rosters to follow. Information is available at this site or this Facebook page.
In addition, there are multiple longstanding opportunities for adult athletes, including tennis (the USTA’s league play, with more than 330,000 players ages 18 and up), swimming (United States Masters Swimming offers both recreational and competition swimming to nearly 60,000 individuals age 18 and up) – and of course, senior softball (where multiple organizations exist to serve the population of aging baby boomers.) Then there’s the National Senior Games, and its affiliated state competitions.