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Oct 22, 2019

The Curious Rise of Adult Recess Leagues

Today’s adults are seemingly desperate for more playtime. (Photo: Courtesy DC Fray)
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Recent years have seen a surge in adult-recess leagues across the United States. By some estimates, there are now 1.6 million grown-ups participating in these leagues across the country, and they’re only growing more popular. Today’s adults are seemingly desperate for more playtime—and so we’re eagerly bounding outside after work for all kinds of kid-style activities, from kickball and flag football to capture the flag and cornhole. But it’s not all fun and games: some of the leagues are highly competitive, with team names, uniforms, and strict scheduling. To find out what’s really going on, reporter Mimi Montgomery and producer Alex Ward visit rec fields in Washington, D.C., and Portland, Oregon, to observe grown-ups at play.

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Outside’s longstanding literary storytelling tradition comes to life in audio with features that will both entertain and inform listeners. We launched in March 2016 with our first series, Science of Survival, which was developed in partnership with PRX, distributors of the idolized This American Life and The Moth Radio Hour, among others. We have since expanded our show and now offer a range of story formats, including interviews with the biggest figures in sports, adventure, and politics, as well as reports from our correspondents in the field.

The Curious Rise of Adult Recess Leagues Podcast