Adult sports education in NYC?

Hello Alice.

I'm a college undergraduate who almost never played competitive sports outside of gym class during high school. Recently, I have played soccer with co-workers from my internship and enjoyed doing so very much. I'll probably take a soccer or tennis class come September. My question is this: Outside of school, are there programs in which adults come together to play and learn competitive sports? I've searched on the web and found several programs run by the city parks for children; but I've found none for adults. I'm interested in both programs that have fees and those that have none, both programs that are formal and drills-oriented and those that are not.


Dear Reader, 

It's great that you want to stay active and try new sports or activities, both at school and in the community! There are lots of resources for adult sports education in New York City and beyond, and with so much online information it's sometimes hard to know where to look. 

Since you mentioned that you're looking to try a new activity, you might want to check out what is being offered at Chelsea Piers. This place has a wide range of competitive, recreational sports, such as basketball, soccer, and hockey. They also have a number of non-competitive sports that meet regularly as a group, such as gymnastics and parkour, among others. Additionally, you can also check out Zog Sports for groups, often organized by neighborhood, that meet up to play a range of informal and formal team sports, from volleyball to softball to ultimate Frisbee. Furthermore, if hitting the roads is more your thing (and you have a bike or are thinking of getting one) you can take advantage of the organized bike rides from the New York Cycle Club that are inclusive of all types of riders. It’s good to note that all of these options have fees associated with participating in their leagues and programs, so we recommend that you check out the details before signing up. 

If you’re looking for options without fees, and you like being active in the great outdoors, you can check out Central Park's list of sports and activities. This site has information on a wide range of activities, from road running to wall climbing, and much more. Additionally, there are plenty of fields scattered across Central Park, used for sports such as baseball, soccer, and flag football, that are available for free to the public. Individuals can also borrow sports equipment from the North Meadow Recreation Center just by showing their ID! So, if you can’t find a program that suits your fancy, you can always gather a group of your peers and head out to Central Park. 

Finally, if you’re looking for programs or recreational leagues outside of New York City, you can always check out your local YMCA and see what kind activities and programs they have to offer. Furthermore, you can download the Park Path app to help you find activities and programs in your specific area! 

There's plenty out there to choose from, both paid and free-of-charge. So, what will it be? Ice hockey? Wall climbing? Baseball? Something else entirely? The choice is yours; whatever you choose, you can be sure to have fun! 

Last updated Sep 24, 2021
Originally published Jun 13, 2008

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