5 Things To Know Before Joining An Adult Softball League
When I was a kid I played softball for nearly ten years. Those years spanned countless league teams, travel teams, and all-star teams, which meant that a huge part of my life was spent in the dugouts throughout the entire year. Now, as an adult many times over, I find myself reminiscing frequently about those years spent on the field, mit at the ready, with my cleats kicking up dirt. It’s not as easy these days to find someone who’s willing to help you live out your childhood memories at the drop of a hat and even more unlikely to find someone who has the time. When I expressed my concerns to my husband, his response was not only mind-bending, but totally realistic: Adult Softball Leagues. The answer was so simple and required less on my behalf than I might’ve otherwise realized.
Find A League
Finding a league is easier than you might think and even more than that, they’re incredibly easy to join. Back in the day it required a lot more groundwork, but with the advent of the Internet it has become a piece of cake to figure out. Try typing in your location with the desired adult sport league you’re looking for into Google (yes, while I might be focusing on adult softball, there are many other leagues you can look into joining), this will often produce the most optimal results for leagues in your area. These sites will often list when registration begins, how much registration costs, and whether or not they’re looking for new teams to join.
If you’re looking for something happening in your area quickly, try looking at Craigslist under the “events calendar” link. In the search bar you’ll want to type as succinctly as possible to provide optimal results. Try using terms such as “adult league”, or the name of the sport followed by league. Many times people will place ads searching to fill a spot missing on their team, meaning that you are likely to find a pickup spot to fill on a day of your choosing.
League seasons usually begin in April and end in late-July or early August. If you’ve missed registration, you still might be able to find a team with too few players, or games posted on Craigslist, who are seeking a filler player for the weekend.
What About You?
Why Are You Interested In Joining An Adult League?
Get A Physical
So you’ve found your league, now what? You’ll need to get prepped and ready for practices and game day. As much as I hate to say it, if you’re looking into an adult sport league than you—and myself included—are probably pretty far away from the peak physical condition we all were in high school. Because we aren’t all in our prime anymore, it’s especially important to get a physical with a reputed physician. Find someone you trust and who will provide you with accurate results in a decent amount of time (after all you’re ready to get playing). Choose a doctor who specializes in physicals and who will take the time to ensure that you’re in great condition to play the sport of your choosing. Be sure to get a blood test done as well, as this will cue you into any health concerns that don’t appear physically, but still might need to be taken care of prior to exertion on your bones and body.
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Find Your Equipment
The thing about sports is that they can run a pretty heft penny. Unless you’re lucky enough to have held onto a lot of your equipment from when you were younger, you’ll need to be willing to invest in new pieces as an adult. Double check with your team’s association on what is provided and what might need to be purchased to complete the set up of your team. Chances are high that because you’re in an adult’s league and not a child’s, you’ll be paying for a lot more than you might have when you were younger.
Common pieces of equipment that will need to be purchased:
- Shin Guards (Soccer)
- Padding (Football)
For those interested in softball and who happen to have their old helmet, glove, or bat at the ready, make sure that you try them on before the start of the season. You don’t want to be caught with your hand stuck in a too small glove, or with a bat that now won’t reach over the plate on short notice. Instead, take stock of your inventory prior to game day and ensure that you’re in the clear.
Keep in mind that while it may not be a piece of equipment, most leagues will ask for a registration or donation fee to keep the league running, which means you will also need to spend money there. If you’re unable to spend the money, however, you’re always able to find a non-league related game that only requires that you show up ready to play.
If you’re joining a league that requires you to have gathered your own players together to form a team, then you’ll likely be in charge of finding your own uniforms. Uniforms should be clean, easy to read, and promote unity in your team. While some leagues assign team names for you, others will ask that you provide a team name, giving you ample opportunity to make your custom silk-screened or embroidered jerseys one-of-a-kind. Promote sportsmanship among your team by finding a design shop who will not only work on your jerseys, but who can also provide you with hats, sweatshirts, mugs, and anything else you might want to display your new team name on. The point of a uniform is in the name: it promotes uniformity and as such helps your team feel more solid and complete, making you likely to go out and kick butt on game day.
Form A Team
As mentioned above, many leagues will ask that you join the league with a full team already lined up. Don’t limit yourself to who you’d like to play on your team. Put a note out on your social media asking for friends, family, or coworkers who might be interested in playing a sport a few nights a week. Because the whole point of an adult league, is that you know, they’re adults, you’ll need to be prepared for frequent last minute cancellations. Though many people are sure to use these few hours in the week as a break from their daily hustle and bustle, it’s still important for you to remember that things happen and do come up. For this reason, always be sure to find the right amount of players per game, plus some extras who might help supplement when part of the team takes the weekend off. For softball, you’ll want to find at least twelve players who are willing and able to play.
Joining an adult sport league is both exciting and fulfilling. It can bring a sense of sportsmanship to an otherwise humdrum life. It’s a means of meeting and making new friends, or of bonding with old ones. Not to mention that it’s a great form of exercise without making it feel like actual exercise. Instead of hitting the gym or groaning about going for a run, join an adult sport league and get to playing a game of ball with your teammates.
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