2021 Play Conference Call for Presentations - NOW CLOSED

The US Play Coalition is now accepting proposals for recorded Educational and Research Sessions for the 2021 VIRTUAL Conference on the Value of Play: PLAY IS SURVIVAL.

The conference will have dozens of recorded educational and research sessions available online from April 1 through June 1, 2021.

“PLAY IS SURVIVAL” will explore play across the lifespan, play in the workplace, play in the classroom and address universal issues of access, equity, inclusion and more.

The latest research and practices in the field of play will be presented at the play conference, which brings together play researchers, park and recreation professionals, camp professionals, educators, health scientists, architects, landscape architects, business and community leaders, psychologists, physicians, museum professionals, students and parents from across the globe.

At the Conference on the Value of Play, we have long relied on scholars, practitioners and industry leaders to share their expertise on various aspects of play.  We hope you will join us virtually in the interest of public health, wellness, safety and education!

Important Information for Prospective Presenters:

  • See “Session Theme Tracks” belowYou will be asked to select two that best fit your presentation.
  • We use a double-blind peer review process for all submissions.
  • We expect our presenters to share knowledge, research and experiences. Sessions are NOT an opportunity to promote specific products or services.
  • Typically, our in-person sessions are 50 minutes long.  For recorded sessions, 50 minutes is still doable for those with a very in-depth presentation or with a panel of speakers.  However, we realize that may not be possible for everyone without the live interactions and Q&A.  Recognizing this, we ask that recorded sessions be AT LEAST 15 minutes and a max of 90 minutes for a panel.  Of course, we welcome anything in between!
  • Accepted presenters will receive more details about how to properly record their session.
  • Accepted recorded sessions must be received by Friday, February 26, 2021.
  • Accepted presenters are NOT reimbursed for conference registration or for expenses incurred to record presentations.*
  • All accepted presenters are expected to register for the conference.*

Deadline for submissions: Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 11:59pm EST.
Notification of acceptance/rejection: Friday, January 15, 2021.

If you have questions or experience difficulties during proposal submission, please email usplaycoalition@clemson.edu


* A special note about registration fees for conference presenters:
Please understand that conference registration fees help to pay for the conference expenses, rentals and all related services as well as fund our operating expenses throughout the year. Unlike many other non-profit professional organizations, we do not have membership fees. We seek to keep costs to a minimum and affordable to as many people as possible. We appreciate everyone’s professional contributions, and our conferences are highly participatory – often more than 50% of all attendees are also presenters or otherwise actively participating in the conference program. In order to keep the US Play Coalition operational, the dollars of each and every participant are needed, too.

Session Theme Tracks

To assist the conference planning team in developing a balanced educational program, please classify your presentation into one of the themes below (You will be given a second choice option too).

Education & Play – Play is a vital part of the learning equation, both in and out of the classroom.  The faces of those learning while at play are some of the most engaging!  Consider play as a vehicle for learning through both traditional and nontraditional settings including schools, camps, afterschool programs, museums, zoos, aquariums, parks & recreation departments, faith-based spaces, and more.

Health, Recreation & Play – Play is a building block for healthy living.  Examine health and physical activity trends related to play, healthy benefits of play, and the intersection of health and recreation to insure a healthy face of play.

Nature Based & Outdoor Play – The faces of play are often wet, muddy, and sun-glistened from hours spent outdoors.   Focus on play in nearby and far away nature–backyards, parks, creeks, lakes, trails, wetlands, and beyond.


Accessible & Inclusive Play – Play should be accessible, available, and open to all.  Advance the field for play for all abilities, all shapes, all sizes, all colors.

Multi/Intergenerational & Adults at Play – Promoting play throughout life is our mission.  Explore how adults (college-aged to retirees) play and how adults share and benefit from play with children.

Designing for Play – Landscape architects, architects, designers, city planners, and civic groups are invaluable experts, practitioners and resources for PLAY.  These sessions will be submitted for LACES and AIA CEU approval.

Emerging Trends in Play – Play is changing!  The Play movement is growing!  Explore the latest in play- technology, social media, politics, policies, and more.

International/Global Play – Play looks very different around the world.  Share play practices, history, and culture from countries across the globe.

Nuts & Bolts – From play basics to play essentials.  Share tips, trainings, techniques and tools for PLAY.

Submit a Play Conference Presentation Proposal

The call for presentations has closed, but we still want you to join us!
Click here to learn more about the play conference.