There are plenty of opportunities to play in any number of tournaments across the sports spectrum this summer (even if summer is a repeat of last year’s endless spring and jump to winter). Or, if you aren’t the tournament type, there are plenty of opportunities to try new things.
For instance, how about a game of kickball? Stonewall Kickball is branching out of Washington, D.C., and starting a league in this fair City of Brotherly Love. Registration started May 6 for the summer league that runs June 15-Aug. 3. That’s for the Thursday-evening league — there is also a league on Sunday afternoons.
Games are played at FDR Park in South Philly. Free-agent fees are $45 and include a uniform T-shirt, or you can form an entire team of 16-20 players on your own. This is a purely recreational organization and will include social events and a fall league. More info at stonewallsports.org.
This is a great way to get involved, make new friends and get out and play!
Meanwhile, Memorial Day Weekend is upon us and that means it’s time for the Liberty Bell Classic soccer tournament, the Liberty Bell Classic softball tournament, the Liberty Belle Invitational bowling tournament and the Philadelphia Open tournament hosted by Liberty Tennis Association. (If anyone has a tournament without “liberty” in the name, see me after the column.)
The Philadelphia Falcons Soccer Club hosts its seventh-annual event for just about anyone who wants to play soccer over the weekend, and that includes some regulars from D.C., New Jersey and various parts of Pennsylvania. Registration starts at 7 p.m. May 23 at Stir, 1705 Chancellor St., with games on Saturday at Skip Wilson Field on the Temple University Ambler campus, 580 Meetinghouse Road.
Saturday night is dinner at Field House and Sunday is reserved for a barbeque and lawn games at Edgley Fields in Fairmount Park. All skill levels are encouraged to join. Teams will be mixed squads of various skill levels. Bring your cleats and remember the water!
The annual CBLSL Liberty Bell Classic is also Memorial Day Weekend, and that means a whole bunch of bats swinging in Fairmount Park. Registration is underway but you can still check-in 7-9 p.m. May 23 at ICandy, 254 S. 12th St., after a happy-hour party 5-7 p.m. at The Bike Stop, 206 S. Quince St. Play is May 24-25 and the always-festive Camac Street block party happens 7-10 p.m. May 24 outside U Bar and Tavern on Camac in the Gayborhood. Closing party is again at Fox & Hound, 1501 Spruce St.; libertybellclassic.org.
The annual Liberty Belle Invitational bowling tournament over Fourth of July weekend has been going strong for more than 25 years! Bowling is at Laurel Lanes in Maple Shade, N.J., and the Loews Hotel, 1200 Market St., is the new host hotel.
Registration is ongoing online and check-in is July 4 on the 33rd floor of the hotel, a great spot to watch the fireworks. The final deadline for registration is June 27. For more info, contact Phil Maceno, tournament director, at 856-889-1434 or [email protected].
Philadelphia Liberty Tennis Association has July 18-20 booked for the third-annual Philadelphia Open tennis tournament. This fairly new event quickly brought LGBT players from around the world and organizers expect a record turnout this year.
Games, sets and matches are played July 18-20 at Legacy YTE (formerly Arthur Ashe), 4842 Ridge Ave., and a draw party the night before at ICandy will kick this thing into gear. The banquet is July 19 at Loews Hotel.
If you like to raise a racket and haven’t played in a while, this is a good opportunity to get into the action again and make some new court buddies to play with in the future. More information can be found at plta2013.ning.com.
As other groups increase activities, the Frontrunners scale back in the heat and humidity. There are a few things going on of interest, however. Memorial Day is the Delaware Races to Run summer beach opening event that draws from several areas. The D.C. Front Runners Annual Pride Run is another event that brings some of our fleet-footed friends to the nation’s capital the second weekend in June. For more information on other running events, go to philadelphiafrontrunners.org.
The Philadelphia FINS Aquatics Club will do a fair amount of running around — er swimming around — this summer. In July, a number of swimmers are going to Montreal for the FINA World Championships and, in August, some are heading to the Long Course National Masters Championships in Maryland.
There are also a couple of open-water events throughout the summer, including the Swim for Life in Maryland July 12 with distances ranging from 1-5 miles. Several FINS will also be competing in triathlons. Look for them in the full and half Iron Man race June 29 in Atlantic City.
Feet, don’t fail me now!
If you think the number of fun runs, mud runs, color runs, obstacle-course runs and nun runs is out of control, you wouldn’t be far off the mark. Last year, I detailed seven various runs over the summer and research this year has revealed almost twice that number, including more color, more mud, fresh obstacles and a new OUCH! 5K, 10K, 15K challenge that I can’t figure out.
Suffice it to say, rather than listing every run, every race and every date, I encourage the running community to find the run that suits your masochism level and enjoy yourself. See you on the sidelines!
Countdown to Gay Games 9: 84 days. Let everyone know when you’re playing, what you’re playing and what team you play for: email [email protected].