Steamboat adult volleyball league was a success; parks and rec eyes wiffle ball next
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Volleyball was the guinea pig, the experiment, the trial run.
Steamboat Springs Parks and Recreation put team limitations and mask mandates in place over the course of the eight-week adult volleyball league. If all went well, they would look into other potential sports for adult leagues to enjoy.
Nick Carelli, sports league coordinator at Parks and Rec, believes volleyball was a success.
“I think we realized there were a lot of things that were involved as far as numbers and what was happening with social distancing,” Carelli said. “We felt like volleyball was going to be a good option just based on team sizes and people present at the courts. It was a bit of a test run to see if our adults could maintain social distancing and follow the rules and be respectful of check-in procedures and what not.”
Parks and Recreation is hoping to continue to offer adult leagues, so long as the local health orders allow. Right now, registration for coed wiffle ball is open, but if not enough people sign up, the league may not continue. The league is slated to run on Thursday nights from Sept. 17 to Oct. 15 on Howelsen Hill’s Vanatta Field.
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Parks and Rec has never offered an adult wiffle ball league before but opted to since wiffle ball doesn’t require a large amount of people on a team. It’s also a low contact sport, making it low risk and feasible under county health orders.
“Wiffle ball was something we thought would be fun,” Carelli said. “It’s new; we haven’t tried it. We typically do kickball this time of year, but kickball poses a problem with participation numbers at the field. So, we tried to abbreviate it and try something else. We’ll see.”
Another benefit of wiffle ball is it can be played indoors. If the league is successful, it could become a winter sport.
Most summers, there are adult softball, soccer, hockey and volleyball leagues, which each bring in dozens of players.
“The goal is to try to provide some opportunity for programming for our adults,” Carelli said. “It was a tough summer. That was one of the hardest parts … to tell our participants that love to participate in these sports every summer that it wasn’t happening.”
As for the spring, it’s still unclear what could occur, but Carelli is confident his staff will find something.
“It’s fun because in this position we do have flexibility as far as what we could offer,” he said. “We could sit here and say we could offer cornhole if we had the materials and the interest — we could do that.”
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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