Adult winter leagues big news

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With nearly 900 athletes coming out to play basketball, indoor soccer and volleyball last winter, the gyms in Steamboat Springs were hot spots for adult recreation.

"I think there is a perception out there that we don't have anything going in the winter," said Christina Freeman, Steamboat Parks and Recreational Services sports coordinator. "I've had people ask me, 'What do you do all winter?'"

Last winter, Freeman stayed busy making sure that the 17 basketball teams, 14 indoor soccer teams and nine adult volleyball teams in her department's adult recreational programs ran smoothly. She also helped organize the Steamboat Pentathlon and ran open gym volleyball and basketball programs.

She said the adult leagues, which typically keep her busy from January until April, were designed to mirror the ski season.

"We don't want to compete with people's mud-season vacations," Freeman said.

The three winter sports plus open gym basketball and volleyball programs drew 900 people last winter -- just 200 less than team sports drew in the summer.

Freeman said the numbers don't include individual sports such as mountain biking in the summer or the Steamboat Pentathlon in the winter.

Freeman said she should have a grip on this year's trend in winter sports after a pair of organizational meetings Dec. 9 at the Community Center.

Team captains and new players interested in basketball should show up for a meeting at 5:30 p.m. A similar meeting for adult indoor soccer will follow at 6:30 p.m.

Players and teams interested in adult volleyball should attend a separate organizational meeting at 6 p.m. Jan. 6 at the Parks and Recreational Services building.

"This is the best way to get involved in one of these leagues," Freeman said. "It's also a chance for current players and teams to discuss any changes they might want to see."

In addition to discussing league procedures and rules, players also can sign up for a "free agent" list.

The list is a great way to match teams looking for players with players looking for teams. Free

man said if there are enough players on the list, the department would explore the idea of adding an extra team or two to make sure that everyone who wants to play can.

--To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209

or e-mail jrussell@steamboatpilot.com

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