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Healthy Living - Athletics at the YMCA of Greater Charlotte


Though we’re so much more than a gym, offering sports and recreational programs is foundational to our mission of encouraging healthy lifestyles. For athletes and newcomers to team competition, our leagues and clinics provide fun opportunities for adults to exercise their passions, gain new skills, connect with others and stay fit. The health benefits and positive impact of playing together on a team extends far beyond the basketball court or soccer field into relationships, homes and communities.

A Pioneering Force in the History of Sports

As the inventor of some of the world’s most popular sports like, basketball, volleyball and racquetball, and the sponsor of the first pro football game, the Y has a long and impressive legacy with athletics. In 1891, what began as a YMCA indoor group activity to help keep young men fit during the colder months has grown into extensive sports and recreational programs with our doors open to all.

Improving Health and Well-Being

Offering a large variety of sports programs and athletic opportunities at the Y is a big part of how we fulfill our commitment to the mission of encouraging healthy living. From basketball to pickleball, participating in organized sports restores our spirits, strengthens our bodies and tests our limits. And for many of us, it offers the needed accountability to live a healthier, stronger and connected life.

Enhancing Lives and Building Community

One of the visible strengths of Y athletics is the supportive, enthusiastic community within our recreational and competitive sports programs. It’s what sets us apart and is a big draw for many adults. Being active, gaining strength and enjoying the sense of belonging from being part of a team is what encourages members and participants to stay involved year after year.

For Healthy Living


If you are missing your old intramural sports days or you are looking for a little healthy competition, our adult basketball leagues will allow you to enjoy a sport you have always loved.

Leagues are a great place to get a good workout, improve your game and meet new friends.

Flag Football

For fitness-focused adults who love playing football, but prefer the no-tackle option, flag football takes the game to a safer level.

Our recreational and competitive flag football leagues offer fun, fellowship and friendly competition.


The joy of recess lives on at the Y with our co-ed adult kickball leagues — it’s not just for school-aged kids. Those who have a little competitive edge enjoy the social sport of kickball.

It’s a fun, fast-paced, action-packed game that brings out the kid in all who play.

Martial Arts

Martial arts combines different traditions of combat practice existing in many cultures around the world. It teaches self-defense, competition, mental discipline and personal development.

Martial arts classes at the Y consist of warm-up stretches, kicking, forms, cool-down stretches and meditation.


As fun as its name, pickleball is a racquet sport combining badminton, tennis and table tennis. The court dimensions are the same as a doubles badminton court with a net similar to tennis.

It’s a great way to enjoy healthy competition on the court, meet new people and get a good workout.


In 1950, YMCA volunteer Joe Sobek invented racquetball in Greenwich, Connecticut, as an alternative to squash and handball. Rules were distributed to all YMCAs in the U.S. to help spread the popularity of the sport.

This mentally and physically challenging indoor game is simple to learn and improves agility and stamina.

Sand Volleyball

Experience the sets, spikes and thrills of volleyball combined with the aerobic challenges of playing on sand! You'll compete on our pristine court and practice the serving, passing, spiking, setting and team strategy this sport requires.


The Y offers both recreational and competitive leagues for all ages and skill levels, providing a healthy, fun environment to enjoy the physical benefits and camaraderie of this exciting game. Organized soccer teams rediscover that true determination and game-time adrenaline as they put their endurance and skills to work in competitive matches.


For adults looking for a social and athletic outlet, softball is a fun, team-building sport for men and women. A less intense activity, softball is perfect for those wanting a social sport without a lot of sweat.

The Y offers plenty of fun and fellowship in our recreational softball leagues for both seasoned and inexperienced players.


In 1895, William G. Morgan, a YMCA instructor in Holyoke, Massachusetts, sought to invent a game for his classes that would involve less physical contact than basketball. Volleyball quickly became extremely popular across the U.S. through the Y network and was played in over 60 countries by the 1950s.

Well over a century later, volleyball is still going strong at the Y on sand and on the court with competitive leagues and skill-boosting clinics.