Beantown’s Gay Sports Leagues Launch Spring Season
The motto of Boston's first PrideSports Awards Gala, held Jan. 26, was "If you can play, you can play!" Nothing could be more accurate for the LGBTQ community members of Boston, whether skilled or a beginner. Spring is here, and there is a sport for everyone, and leagues that honor and encourage every level of skill to join.
From the Beantown Soft-Tip Dart League to Tennis4All, and the Boston Ironsides Rugby Club to the Cambridge Boston Volleyball Association, getting your game on throughout the year is welcoming, fun and rewarding.
The PrideSports Award recipients shared common remarks during the gala about being a part of their respective leagues, among them that, "Playing sports makes everybody equal," "I'm dedicated to give back to a team that has given me so much" and "I've met really wonderful people including my partner of the last six years."
Flag Football player of 10 years Craig Haas, was honored with a special straight ally award.
"It has really become about family for me," said Haas. "To have my son see the gay community be so accepting of me is wonderful."
"I'm from Utah and my dad and all my mothers are very proud of me," Jake Culley, a Utah transplant since 2012, quipped during his acceptance speech. "Honestly, to be able to meet people in a group setting like the Monday Night Bowling League has been very helpful in feeling welcome and building good friendships."
Beantown Softball League Ready for Opening Day
Though the weather has been less than accommodating this spring, the Beantown Softball League is readying for opening day on Apr. 20. Formed 35 years ago, the league has grown from four to 25 teams, Kevin Collins, the BSL membership director told EDGE.
The league is coed and allows up to three straight players to a roster, which helps the league maintain its LGBTQ identity, said Collins, adding, "We have two teams [this year] that consist mainly of transgender players. We also have seen a larger number of female players this year which is fantastic."
Season play runs through July 24 and any interested players not yet registered have 30 days into the season to join a team. The league is broken down into divisions for different levels of skill, recreational to competitive, according to Collins. With games scheduled for Saturdays, the league provides each team with off weekends to enjoy other activities.
"We also don’t schedule games for Memorial Day and Pride," Collins said.
"A branch of our league also runs the Minuteman Tournament which will be held July 6-7 this year," Collins added. "It’s open to any NAGAAA (North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance) rated player. That rating is used to make sure players are in the appropriate division based on their skills."
To learn more about the league or to join a team, visit beantownsoftball.com. They also have a BSL Hall of Fame at bslhalloffame.com.
June Will Open Cambridge Boston Volleyball Association
Starting up June 2 is the summer session of the Cambridge Boston Volleyball Association. Founded in the mid-1980s, the amateur athletic organization provides a safe space for currently over 300 recreational and competitive volleyball enthusiasts, ages 18 and over. According to the CBVA Information Officer, John Santa Maria, interested members should sign up and pay a $15 annual fee via the CBVA website. Once registered, members are invited to join in on any and all Sunday sessions through September, 2 p.m. to dusk at Moakley Park.
"We will also probably have play from 5:30 p.m. to dusk on Tuesdays and Thursdays as well," Santa Maria told EDGE.
To learn more about CBVA, to register or to learn more about their annual tournament, the Boston Beantown Classic, visit cbvolleyball.net.
Boston Strikers Soccer Club
Practice/Scrimmages: Sundays, Apr. 21 to Oct. 28, 2-4 p.m.
Summer Doubles League: Tuesdays, June through Aug., 7:30-9 p.m.
Team Tennis: Wednesdays, June through Aug., 7:30 p.m.
Boston Indoor Tennis Classic: June 14-16
Beantown Soft-Tip Dart League
Mondays, Feb. through May
Boston Pride Hockey
Scrimmages: Thursdays, Sep. through Apr., 9 p.m.
Beantown North LGBT Invitational Bowling League
Season runs Wednesdays, Sep. through Mar., 7:15 p.m.
Beantown South LGBT Invitational Bowling League
Season runs Wednesdays, Sep. through Mar., 7 p.m.
Boston Ironsides Rugby Club
Year-round Practice: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8 p.m.
FLAG Flag Football
Fall Season: Saturdays, Sep. through Oct.
Spring Season: Saturdays, Apr. through May
Boston Gay Men’s Basketball League
Season runs Saturdays, Nov. through Apr., 10 a.m.
Boston Gay Women’s Basketball League
Season runs Sundays, Dec. through Apr., 10 a.m.
Liquid Assets New England Swim Team
Year-round Practice: Tuesdays-Saturdays, hours vary
Monday Night (Candlepin) Bowling League
Season runs Mondays, Sep. through May, 7:30 p.m.