Adult recreation leagues remain popular in Park City
Park City Recreation saw increase in participation this last year
June 23, 2017
It's no secret the Park City community is more active than most.
From skiing to mountain biking to youth programs, every Parkite is seemingly involved with a sport, if not multiple.
"You can talk to one person, and that one person plays 10 sports and mountain bikes," said Cole Johnston, recreation coordinator for Park City Recreation.
In between the ski races and competitions that take place in the area are many other leagues comprised of passionate athletes and participants. The athletes aren't aspiring youth on their way up the ranks, nor are they professionals on tour that occasionally stop in town.
The athletes in these leagues are adults looking for a competitive fix. And the purpose of these adult recreational sports leagues — locally run by Park City Recreation and Basin Recreation — is simply for those participating to enjoy one another's company.
"It's just a really fun environment for them to come and get out of their work," said Lauren Howerter, another recreation coordinator for Park City Recreation. "[They can] go hang out with their friends and have a couple of beers. Basically, just have fun."
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Park City Recreation offers a number of adult recreational leagues, including softball, kickball, basketball, soccer, volleyball and flag football. Within each sport, there are varying leagues, with some containing competitive or recreational divisions. There are some sports that also offer different variations, such as coed competitions.
Meanwhile, Basin Recreation, knowing that the city has a variety of well-established adult recreation programs, has been careful not to duplicate services unnecessarily. With the expansion now complete at its Fieldhouse, Basin Recreation hopes to round out adult sports offerings by adding to its leagues already in place, such as soccer, ultimate frisbee and flag football.
No matter where one plays, however, this town is full of willing participants.
"I think part of it is just the community that we live in," Johnston said. "Park City is just such a very small, but very active and healthy community. The community is willing to try new things and different sports. We're kind of lucky that we live here in this community, because recreation is a part of it."
For those who participate in the adult leagues in town, their job is easy. One simply would have to register, pay the respective fee and show up to the season's games. The quick task of signing up makes it easy for many to forget, Howerter said, how much work is put into running a league.
"I cannot tell you how many times I have made a schedule and then remade a schedule and then remade a schedule, because teams have been signing up late or they register in the competitive division and they want to go over to the recreation side," Howerter said. "I don't think that they really think about how much time we spend putting those schedules together."
Certain teams may only be able to play at certain times. Some teams may compete in two separate divisions in one league, leaving it up to Howerter and Johnston to ensure no team plays on the same night at the same time.
Howerter added that the struggle of getting umpires, officials and site supervisors to each event, as well as scheduling the necessary, can make things dicey.
"There's a lot of moving parts," Johnston said. "It can be stressful at times, getting everything to fall into place at the same time and same place. You hope you have it correct, but obviously there's times where someone is late or a team shows up to the wrong field or a no-show. That's just the stuff you have to deal with on a weekly basis."
While it can get difficult for Johnston and Howerter, the adult leagues are full of good times for the most part, they said. In fact, they want to ensure it stays that way by looking to those who have played in a league for help.
"At the end of every season, we send out a survey to get feedback from the players and the captains," Howerter said. "We really try to take into account their opinions and things they felt like could be improved for the next season. We try to continuously improve the leagues and make sure everybody is having a good time."
For more information on the adult leagues Park City Recreation offers, visit http://www.parkcity.org/departments/park-city-marc-recreation. If one is interested in leagues offered at Basin Recreation, visit basinrecreation.org/adult_recreation.html#top.
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