How Sports Fantasy Camps Work

Typical Fantasy Campers

­What kind of person saves up their pennies to attend a sports fantasy camp? A person who is looking for a new experience or is hoping to recapture the athletic success he or she enjoyed in younger days. And some simply want to see what it's like to be a professional athlete. Sports fantasy camps give people the chance to immerse themselves in something they enjoy. After all, how often do you get the opportunity to put down the potato chips, get up off the couch and step right into the game?

The sports fantasy camps we're talking about here are for adults only. Age minimums range from late twenties to mid-thirties for the majority of camps. There's no maximum age, although camps do require participants to complete a medical release. A sports fantasy camp application will ask for your health insurance information, as well as a document of medical clearance from your physician. You'll also sign a waiver saying you won't sue the fantasy camp should you take a spill on the basketball court or get beaned by a foul ball. Typical legal stuff.

And what about your sports skills? Do you have to be an athlete to participate in a sports fantasy camp? Of course not. That's why they're called "fantasy" camps. Sports fantasy camp games are light-hearted and casual, so if your star quarterback glory days are long over, don't worry. The one thing you'll have in common with everyone is that you're all fans of the game.

Sports fantasy camps are more about the schmoozing than the playing. Participants get to hang out with their sports heroes -- players, coaches, trainers -- as well as network among themselves. In fact, friendships forged during fantasy camp may last a long time. Fantasy camp reunions aren't uncommon -- the Yankees hold a one-day formal reunion each year before the Old Timers Game at Yankee Stadium. Reunion ticket fees are usually extra, but most include a pre-game reception where you can catch up with old friends and perhaps some of the staff from your camp experience [source: Yankees].

In case you were wondering, sports fantasy camps aren't for men only. Women are welcome, too. Of course, you'll want to check the details on the particular camp in which you're interested. The Pittsburgh Steelers Fantasy Camp, for example, is men-only [source: Steelers]. Conversely, there are some women-only camps as well, such as a women's soccer fantasy camp featuring Olympic champ Brandi Chastain [source: SportsNet].

Do you really spend quality time with famous athletes at fantasy camp? What kind of swag do you get to bring home? Read on to see what an average day at fantasy camp might be like.