NRPA's Online Community Forums Discuss Trends in Adult Sports

February 1, 2013, Department, by NRPA

Share your opinions on NRPA Connect.“What’s hot and what’s not in adult sports in your area, and how are you accommodating those changes?”

In Bend, we are responding to a wave of pickleball players. In the last two or three years, some 300 seniors have formed an association and have exhausted all available sites. We are now working with their association to provide space for new courts. The association will contribute to the development of new courts.
Ted Schoenborn
Board Member
Bend Park & Recreation District
Bend, Oregon

As far as what’s popular and getting bigger in our area, we have seen trends with the following:
1. Wiffleball: A great sport that anyone can play! You can find a baseball field and play three games on one field. Round-robin weekend tournaments are easy with cheap trophies! Also, who wouldn’t want a giveaway wiffleball tournament shirt?
2. Kickball: This game has actually plateaued in our area. There have been a lot of kickball leagues springing up, which have turned into stepping stones to other adult leagues. Leagues such as WAAR and WAKA have kept people outside, and it’s a great way to meet new people and form a little community!
3. Dodgeball: Also a game that has reached sort of a plateau. Still a very popular sport that’s normally played indoors on a basketball court, or outdoors on a tennis court. Very popular and a great workout for some!
4. Inner Tube Water Polo: A sport that’s in the underground phases and making its debut soon! The game is played much like water polo, but each person, instead of swimming, plays floating on a round inner tube! Sound fun? It’s a blast!
Joshua Watson
Afloat Recreation Specialist
Commander Navy Installations
Washington, D.C.

What’s hot is shortened or abbreviated seasons. We at Morale, Welfare & Recreation (MWR)-Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois, are trying to provide non-traditional leagues which don’t commit the players/participants for 12 to 16 weeks but maybe only four, six, or eight weeks. Our core customer is a transient population (sailors) and for our more permanent population, they only have so much time and also need time for family and other activities in their life!
John D. Prue
Installation Program Director
NAVSTA Great Lakes
North Chicago, Illinois

Network Buzz appears monthly in Parks & Recreation. Questions are posed to members of NRPA Connect, the interactive social media section of the association’s website. It’s a convenient and effective way for NRPA members to connect, collaborate, and communicate. For more information and to join one of the site’s many groups, visit Topics are always welcome: email