Stonewall Kickball held the third annual “DragBall” game between the JR’s and Cobalt divisions on Sunday in Stead Park. JR’s won the day by a score of 10-7. The halftime show included a game of tug-of-war, a food-eating contest and a run around the bases while putting together a drag outfit. Local performer Ophelia Bottoms served as the emcee. (Washington Blade photos by Michael Key)
Every spring, the LGBT athletes of the Washington sports community come together to host the Team D.C. Fashion Show and Model Search. This year, it’s on March 9 at Town.
This year’s show features donations of latest fashions from Skiviez, UnderBriefs, Body Aware, Fireboy, Underwear Station, Adam & Eve and Universal Gear. You can purchase the apparel right off the models during the auction.
The event is a fundraiser for the Team D.C. College Scholarship Fund which provides scholarships to local, openly gay student athletes. You can vote for the models before the show online at teamdc.org.
Stonewall Kickball will kick off its spring season on March 17 with games being contested every Sunday through May 19. Registration will close once they reach their max of 480 players. More information is at stonewallsports.org/kickball.
The District of Columbia Aquatics Club will compete in regional tune-up meets leading up to the International Gay & Lesbian Aquatic Championships in Seattle to be held Aug. 12-17. The swimmers will be looking to take back their world title from Team New York Aquatics. They are online at swimdcac.org.
The Chesapeake & Potomac Softball League (CAPS) will be holding early registration events in March with the spring season beginning on May 5 at Watkins Regional Park. Later in the summer, the CAPS will be looking for volunteers as they host the Gay Softball World Series Aug. 26-31. You can find the CAPS at eteamz.com/caps.
The Federal Triangles Soccer Club will host the annual Women’s Winter Wrapup Indoor Cup on March 24 at the Rockville Sportsplex. Information is forthcoming as the Triangles will once again host the Summer of Freedom League. Details will be available at federaltriangles.org.
Season six of the D.C. Gay Flag Football League began Feb. 24 with play to continue through April 21 at the Carter Barron Fields. Players can still get on the waitlist by going to dcgffl.org.
Lambda Links will begin its weekend golf outings in April with the first golf tournament, the President’s Cup to be held in May. Tee times will be listed at lambdalinks.org.
Registration is now open for the spring season with the D.C. Strokes Rowing Club. You can sign up for the Learn to Row, Club or Competitive Programs. There is a pre-season camp to be held from March 15-17. Information is at dcstrokes.org.
The spring season for the Washington Renegades Rugby Football Club began last month with practices at Cardozo High School. The Renegades will travel to New York City for the Four Leaf 15s Tournament on March 23. They are online at dcrugby.com.
The Ski Bums hosted a great day trip in February to Seven Springs and are not quite ready to let go of winter as they are currently in Niseko, Japan. This August, they will be traveling to Argentina to check out some South American powder. Trip details are at ski-bums.org.
The Rainbow Spinnakers Sailing Club will ramp up their weekend sails in the Chesapeake Bay in the coming months. Meet up with the sailing enthusiasts for some skipper training or just go along for a relaxing ride. You can join their mailing list at rainbowspinnakers.com.
Charm City Volleyball hosts its social play on Wednesday nights and competitive play on Sunday afternoons. On April 27-28 they will be hosting Charm City Invitational XXVIII. Information is at volleybaltimore.org.
The Washington Wetskins water polo team is also gearing up for the IGLA Championships in Seattle this August. You can meet up with the players at the Wetskins Mixer at Nellie’s on March 14. They are on Facebook under Washington Weskins.
For all you hockey fans, there will be a Night OUT at the Capitals viewing party on April 6.
The D.C. Icebreakers will host the event and offer a bonus skate from 6-7 p.m. at the Capitals Practice Rink at the Kettler Iceplex in Arlington. Following the skate, the group will head to Baliey’s Pub to watch the Capitals take on the Florida Panthers at 7:30 p.m. The skaters are at dcicebreakers.com.
The Adventuring Outdoors Group has a great list of hikes planned for the spring season. It’s a great time of year to tag along with the hikers to enjoy the flora and fauna of the Washington area. They will also launch their “If It’s Warm Enough” bike ride series this weekend. The trip list is at adventuring.org.
Registration spring tennis is now open for singles and doubles with the Capital Tennis Association. The outdoor leagues will run from March 16 to May 5 and will be held at the Rock Creek Tennis Center. You can register at capital-tennis.org.
George Washington University, a longtime supporter of the LGBT sports community, has invited all volleyball players to their open courts at the Smith Center. This is open to all levels of players for $5. The next dates are March 5 and March 19 from 7-9 p.m.
You can find more information about spring sports outings such as basketball running, ultimate frisbee, rock climbing, racquetball, horseback riding, scuba diving and dancesport at teamdc.org.
One of the great stories to come out of the LGBT sports community in D.C. over the last few years has been the emergence of Stonewall Kickball.
The group was founded in the fall of 2010 by Martin Espinoza and Mark Gustafson who were both playing in the D.C. Kickball League.
The first season was a huge success with 90 players making up six teams. In about two years those numbers have grown to 550 players making up 20 teams. And that’s just in the Sunday league.
With limited space at Stead Park Field, the only option to expand was to add a league on Thursday nights within the D.C. Kickball League whose members held the permit for that night.
“It was the best option as we did not want to compete for the permit,” Espinoza says.
That league features competitive teams along with more social teams that fall under the Junior Varsity classification.
Along with kickball, the Stonewall Sports umbrella has grown to include Stonewall Bocce and Stonewall Darts.
“We decided to use the Stonewall name because there are a lot of young LGBT transients in the D.C. area,” Espinoza says. “Many of them are unfamiliar with the Stonewall riots and we like to think of it as honoring those who came before us in the fight for gay rights.”
The league operates a spring season that runs from March to May and a fall season from September to November. Both seasons last nine weeks, games last 45 minutes and up to 11 people can be on the field at a time.
For many, the memory of those red rubber playground balls can conjure up painful dodge ball memories. But along with that are sweet childhood kickball memories.
“The whole reason we decided to start this league was because we were not having fun in the other league,” Espinoza says. “They were very competitive and we ran into some homophobia. The goal of Stonewall Kickball is to have fun. It’s human nature to want to win, but we have adopted the attitude of ‘you win some, you lose some.’”
That attitude seems to pervade throughout the players as on any given Sunday you can see a mixture of team colors walking along together in groups on 17th Street.
Giving back to the community is also a focal point for Stonewall Kickball. Registration fees for the league are $40-$50, but teams are encouraged to reach preset fundraising goals.
Their main beneficiary over the last two and a half years has been the D.C. Center. They will also be hosting their third Drag Ball fundraiser this June, which also raises funds for Capital Pride.
Last summer the group paid for the mulching and painting of the tree boxes along 17th Street and Espinoza was the leading force behind the Save Stead Park petition, which sought to stop renovations to the park that would reduce field space by 25 percent.
Coming up for the kickball players is a mixer with the bocce league, the dart league and the D.C. Gay Flag Football League and also a community day that will focus on 17th Street and Stead Park.
You can follow them at stonewallsports.org.
Stonewall Kickball held an ‘All-Star’ game between the best of the JR’s Division and Cobalt Division. JR’s bested Cobalt 13-2. (Washington Blade photos by Michael Key)
This year was another incredible one for the LGBT sports community of Washington. There was an abundance of tournament play, leagues and national recognition.
Also, the continuing support of straight sports allies was bolstered by the creation of the You Can Play Project. The project was founded within the National Hockey League by Patrick Burke of the Philadelphia Flyers and has crossed over into other sports. They seek to challenge the culture of locker rooms and spectator areas by focusing only on an athlete’s skills and not his or her sexual identity. More info is at youcanplayproject.org.
Team D.C., the local LGBT sports connection, continued to set the standards for all LGBT sports communities. In 2012, its members awarded college scholarships to six local LGBT student athletes. Their popular United Night OUT series now includes events with seven Washington professional sports franchises.
Their efforts were also recognized nationally this year by the Compete Sports Network. The organization is at teamdc.org.
The Federal Triangles Soccer Club hosted the Women’s Winter Wrap-Up Indoor Cup in March and the Rehoboth Beach Classic in August. Along with play in various local leagues, members also hosted the Summer of Freedom League. They can be found at federaltriangles.org.
The District of Columbia Aquatics Club traveled to Reykjavik, Iceland in May where members captured second place in the large team category at the International Gay and Lesbian Aquatics Championships. In July they hosted the 21st annual Swim for Life, a fundraiser for HIV/AIDS as well as local watershed organizations. They are on the web at swimdcac.org.
Puck Buddys, the D.C.-based nationally recognized ice hockey blog, continues to entertain with their banter throughout the mess of the National Hockey League lockout. The blog is located at puckbuddys.com.
The Stonewall Kickball league maxed out on their league cap of 480 players in both of their seasons in 2012. Look for continued success in 2013. They can be found at stonewallsports.org.
The D.C. Sentinels basketball team traveled to three national tournaments in 2012 winning the Upper B-Division at the Hurricane Classic in Fort Lauderdale.
In January, they will launch the first season of the Washington D.C. Gay Basketball League. More information on the group is at teamdcbasketball.org.
The D.C. Gay Flag Football League had another stellar year hosting their spring season and growing to 270 players in their fall season. All the league action including videos is at dcgffl.org.
Charm City Volleyball hosted the Charm City Invitational 28 in April with one of their squads winning the BB Division. Their information is at volleybaltimore.org.
The Capital Area Rainbowlers Association continues to offer multiple bowling leagues and in October hosted the annual Capital Halloween Invitational Tournament.
On Monday they will be hosting New Year’s Bowling Eve from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. at Bowl America Shirley in Alexandria. More info is at carabowling.org.
The D.C. Strokes Rowing Club hosted Stonewall Regatta XIX in June. At the end of August, their Men’s Heavyweight B 8+ team brought home the gold at the US Rowing Master National Championships in Worcester, Mass. The Strokes are at dcstrokes.org.
The Chesapeake and Potomac Softball League (CAPS) completed a successful 2012 softball season. In October they hosted their annual tournament, the Mid-Atlantic Gay Invitational Classic.
In August of 2013, the CAPS will be hosting the 37th annual North American Gay Amateur Athlete Alliance Gay Softball World Series in Washington. The CAPS can be found at capssoftball.org.
The Washington Renegades Rugby Football Club wrapped up two successful seasons of league play this year with both squads having winning records. The Renegades compete in Division III of the Potomac Rugby Union and their Reds squad and won Hellfest in Dallas for the second year in a row. More info is at dcrugby.com.
The Adventuring outdoors group continues their summer bike series and weekly year round hikes. This is the “go to” group for anyone wanting to get outside and learn about the rich history of D.C. area. Their schedule is at adventuring.org.
All the local LGBT sports teams and clubs can be found at teamdc.org. Thanks to all of them for a great year.