Group photo of NABA adult baseball tournament championship team with guys pointing fingers displaying #1
NABA tournament champions/ photo courtesy of NABA

Don’t have time to commit to a full adult sports season but still want to play sports? Or conversely, do you play in an adult sports league but want to play even more? Adult sports tournaments are the perfect solution to satisfy both scenarios.

Fortunately, there are plenty of adult sports tournaments to choose from locally, nationally, and even internationally. Whether you join as an individual or as a team, the desire to travel and participate in sporting events is becoming increasingly popular. There’s even a name for it–sports tourism.

This post will give you some great insights into adult sports tournaments. More importantly, you’ll get the scoop on the easiest way to find adult sports tournaments near you (hint: it’s by using our sports directory).

Discovering Adult Sports Tournaments

Finding the right adult sports tournaments in the right locations can create lasting memories you’ll cherish for the rest of your life. Some of my favorite memories are from a Las Vegas adult soccer tournament I’ve played in since my twenties.

While my teammates have changed over the years, it’s always been a bonding experience. We’ve played soccer games in blazing heat and freezing cold. We’ve laughed so hard our sides ached. At times, we’ve wanted to cry, playing through pain and injuries. But whether we win or lose, we always come out of those tournaments closer than ever.

Sometimes, the location doesn’t matter–it’s all about participating in the sport. My team goes to Vegas, but we rarely ever see the Strip. It’s all about the soccer.

Other times, it’s about combining the sport with the location. A couple of my teammates and I have talked about playing in Soccer Fest in North Carolina and then hitting Charleston.

soccer women posing with champion banner in front of goal
Celebrating a first-place win at an adult soccer tournament

Organizations like the National Adult Baseball Association (NABA) hold an annual World Series for adults of all ages and even have events like father/daughter/son games.

The International Gay Rugby (IGR) Association hosts their annual Bingham Cup to honor Mark Bingham, an avid gay rugby player who lost his life in the 9/11 attacks.

The great thing about adult sports tournaments is that there are many options for you to choose from. You’ll just need to discover the perfect ones for you.

Finding The Right Adult Sports Tournament

Adult sports tournaments cater to all skill levels, providing everyone with a chance to find a team that aligns with their pace and intensity.

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You’ll also find the full gamut of age ranges for adult sports tournaments. Whether you’re 18 and beginning adulthood or in your seventies or older, there are tournaments for your age group.

Nearly every major sport offers adult tournaments, but some of the more popular are soccer, baseball, hockey, rugby, softball, kickball, volleyball, and basketball.

The easiest way for you to easily find adult sports tournaments is through the Adults Play Sports directory. The directory is regularly updated with tournaments in North America and searchable by sport. You can also find adult sports leagues, lessons, trainers, and clinics.

Join Adult Sports Tournament As An Individual Or Team

Lou Palmer Memorial Adult Baseball Tournament at sunset
Lou Palmer Memorial Adult Baseball tournament /photo courtesy of NABA

If you’re considering participating in an adult sports tournament, you’ll have to decide whether to register as an individual athlete or establish a team. Each choice presents distinct advantages.

Going all in as a team is great for camaraderie and support. As I noted earlier, you’ll probably leave the tournament closer than ever with your teammates.

On the flip side, if you’re an individual joining a team you don’t know for a tournament, it forces you out of your comfort zone. It might feel a little intimidating at first, especially if you’re joining an already established team, but I promise you’ll make some new friends in the process.

 

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Adult Sports Tournament Advance Planning

Deciding to participate in a sports tournament requires careful planning to ensure a hassle-free experience. You’ll need to determine who will play in the tournament. Then, you’ll need to pay and register for the event.

If you’re playing in an out-of-town adult sports tournament, you’ll also need to coordinate travel and lodging.

Ideally, if you have one or two teammates who will take the lead on the team’s behalf, it will ensure a much smoother process because there are so many logistics.

man in lime green shirt with one leg raised after just kicking a kickball
CLUBWAKA is big on kickball tournaments/photo courtesy of CLUBWAKA

Register on Time

If you don’t register on time, you’ll likely miss out on playing, so be sure to note registration deadlines.

Some tournaments offer discounts for early registrations. If your team participates in the same tournament each year and you know it offers an early bird discount, take advantage of that and save yourselves some money.

Also, if it’s a popular tournament and they put a cap on the number of participants, don’t procrastinate at the risk of the tournament being booked before you are able to register.

Advanced planning is vital.

Book Travel And Lodging

After you’ve secured your spot in the tournament, the next important step is to arrange your travel and lodging accommodations. Consider whether you want to stay in a hotel or a short-term vacation rental. Determine whether you want to fly or drive.

Hotel Or Vacation Rental

If you’re going to a highly popular destination, you don’t want to wait until the last minute to schedule a hotel or vacation rental house. There’s nothing worse than overpaying for accommodations or staying a considerable distance away from the tournament location because nothing else is available.

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If the tournament is in a smaller town or city, you’ll also want to prepare well in advance because you might have even more limited lodging options than in a larger metropolitan location.

If playing as an individual, a hotel is probably your best bet. If you’re playing as a team, I highly recommend splitting a short-term vacation rental house. It’s another opportunity to further bond with your teammates. If you can find one with a hot tub to soak your aching body after a day of playing sports, even better.

Flying Or Driving

If you’re flying to your tournament location, plan accordingly to check flights for the best prices and times. If some of the team is driving and some are flying, the drivers can bring items their teammates can’t take on the plane, like coolers, chairs, or heavier and bulkier sports equipment.

If everyone is flying, you might need to coordinate rental cars. If the tournament location is close enough to your lodging and you don’t want to rent a car, make sure ride share is easily accessible in the area.

group of soccer women taking shots of fireball
Post-game Fireball shot celebration

Training For An Adult Sports Tournament

Depending on the intensity level of the tournament, you might need to get in some extra training to prepare. Or, if you’ve put together a team that doesn’t normally play together, you might also want to get in some practice sessions together to see how you gel.

Be sure to figure out your game plan for who will play what position at the tournament. Scrimmage at least a few times so you get a feel for the playing style of your tournament teammates. This will make you much more cohesive as a team when you play in the actual event.

For some adult sports tournaments, you might play two, three, or four games in one day, which is very physically demanding. Make sure you prepare your body for the intensity several weeks to months beforehand.

I’ve never played in a tournament where some teammates didn’t get injured, either right before the tournament or during the tournament. Plan your roster accordingly so you have enough players to cover for the loss of some teammates prior to or during the tournament.

Assignment Of Schedules

Shortly before the tournament, you should get your team’s schedule. This is usually a crapshoot, and sometimes you’ll get the best schedule and sometimes the worst. Regardless of which way the schedule turns out for your team, just roll with it and make the most of the tournament.

Remember to take a moment to stop and be grateful for how lucky you are to play the sport you love as an adult, especially in a tournament.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are There Any Specific Age Restrictions or Categories for Participants in Adult Sports Tournaments?

Adult sports tournaments are often categorized by age groups, with some offering seniors or masters classifications. There may be gender-specific categories, as well as all-gender or co-ed divisions.

Can I Participate in Adult Sports Tournaments if I Have a Physical Disability?

Absolutely! In addition to traditional adult sports tournaments, there are also adaptive adult sports tournaments where physical limitations are not only accommodated but celebrated.

What Are the Common Insurance or Liability Considerations When Joining an Adult Sports Tournament?

Most tournaments require individuals and teams to sign liability waivers. You will be responsible for your injuries.

How Long Are Adult Sports Tournaments?

Adult sports tournaments can vary from one-day events to weekend events to weeklong events. Do your research ahead of time to determine the best fit for you and/or your team.