Adult leagues return with four sport options
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — ’Tis the season for things returning for the first time in over a year. Among those are adult sports.
Registration for the Steamboat Springs Parks and Recreation Adult Sport Leagues opens Thursday. Leagues include ice hockey, soccer, softball and volleyball, and kick off May 24.
Last year, the only sport allowed was volleyball, which was spaced out over two evenings and two time slots to allow for social distancing.
Parks and Rec tried to get ice hockey started but had to stop after a week when the ice rink closed.
“It’s been almost a year for some of these sports,” Parks and Recreation Sports Coordinator Nick Carelli said. “We’re hopeful. Just hearing some of the feedback and the locals that play, we understand they were discouraged last year. There was not a lot we could do with programming. I know some thought we should be offering it. That being said, we’re excited to come back and offer these programs and get back to some normalcy.”
After a year without sports, Carelli expects turnout to be high and asks people to sign up sooner rather than later, as it helps with planning and scheduling for the leagues. Registration opens Thursday and concludes May 13.
Participants are encouraged to register online rather than in-person since the Parks and Recreation office is still closed.
There are a few new options this summer. For outdoor soccer, the parks and rec department is offering a 40-plus division. There will also be a grass volleyball option as opposed to sand volleyball. Of course, whether those get going or not depend on registration numbers.
“We put them out there and do the work on the front end to open them up and offer them,” Carelli said. “If five people enroll, it’s probably not worth it. If 50 people enroll, we can move forward with it.”
Within each sport, there are multiple levels, allowing people at different talent levels to participate. A leagues are for the most intense and talented, while C leagues are for the less-experienced competitors.
Carelli said the ultimate goal for adult leagues is to expand the programming and offerings as Steamboat grows.
That expansion is limited by days of the week and field space. Soccer is held at Ski Town Fields by the Tennis Center, ice hockey will be at the Howelsen Ice Rink and the remainder of the sports are held at Howelsen Sports Complex.
However, with fewer events in the fall, there is more room for leagues. Already, Carelli is hoping protocols will allow for a lengthy fall season.
“We’ve always thought our programs have been good,” Carelli said. “We feel like people have enjoyed them, but we’d like to make them great. We know there’s a need. We want to target and accommodate more folks.”
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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