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    LGBT Sports 2017

    JohnChenBy John Chen

    Now that 2016 is over, we look forward to a new year filled with pitching, catching, pounding, butt patting, fist bumping, swinging, sweating, stroking, panting … wait, what was I writing about? Oh, yes, LGBT sports for 2017! Thanks to a series of atmospheric rivers sending waves and waves of rain storms to Northern California, we are making a major dent in our historic drought. It’s a good thing that most sports are highly adaptable, where die-hards brave the elements and compete in the rain (i.e. rugby and football) and “melt in the rain princess” hacks like me simply move indoors (i.e. volleyball, soccer, water polo, and basketball) to get their sports fix. For this article, I’d like to focus on 1) indoor volleyball and 2) a 2017 LGBT Sports Guide.

    One of the most versatile global sports is none other than volleyball, with multiple playing surfaces and player alignments. In the dead of winter, indoor volleyball is the sport of choice for many LGBT athletes here in the Bay Area. With open gyms available virtually every day of the week, there’s no shortage of play. Over President’s Day Weekend (February 18–20, 2017) one of the most historic volleyball groups in the country, South Bay Volleyball Club (blog.SBVBC.org), will host on the peninsula The 29th NorCal Volleyball Classic, a NAGVA (North America Gay Volleyball Association) sanctioned tournament. Teams of all levels and from all over the West Coast and across the country will vie for this coveted championship. Club President Jim Moore tells me that SBVBC will also run an inaugural tournament in Hawaii (!!!) later this year, and will additionally hold several local one-day indoor and outdoor tournaments over the course of 2017. Start practicing your bumps and spikes, boys and girls!

    In San Francisco, the Balls of Furry (yes furry, not fury) bear, cub, friends and supporters volleyball group is recruiting players for their upcoming winter/spring league (March–May, 2017). Currently, the only LGBT volleyball league in the Bay Area, Balls of Furry (ballsoffurryvolleyball.org) has become a volleyball enthusiast household name. Co-Presidents Adam Keim and Rich Sucre proudly built one of the largest gay volleyball groups on the West Coast that welcomes beginners to clinics and open gyms, and intermediate to advanced players to the league.

    LGBT Sports 2017

    If you would like to join or explore volleyball and other LGBT sports in 2017, I encourage you to look at some of the available LGBT sports groups in the Bay Area (below). It may be wet outside now, but you can still play with balls of all sizes, both smooth and fuzzy!

    Basketball

    San Francisco Gay Basketball Association (sfgba.com)
    Year-round open gym
    Fall: league

    Bowling

    PRIDE Bowling League (Contact Tony Hoey at Anthony.t.hoey@gmail.com)
    International Gay Bowling Organization (igbo.org)
    Year-round league

    Football (Flag)

    San Francisco Gay Flag Football League (sfgffl.org)
    Aloha Classic tournament (Feb 18–19)
    Fall: open play and league

    Grappling

    Warrior Brothers (Facebook; Contact Michael Fuhrman)
    Year-round

    Ice Hockey

    San Francisco Goaldiggers (Facebook; Contact Don Otvos)
    Year-round league

    Rugby

    San Francisco Fog Rugby Club (sffog.org)
    Jan–April: league, practices (Tuesdays and Thursdays)
    Monthly: Sunday fundraisers/socials at Pilsner Inn
    May: Memorial Day Tournament

    Soccer

    San Francsico Spikes Soccer Club (Facebook)
    Winter: indoor league
    Spring: all Spikes indoor tournament
    Spring & Summer: outdoor league
    Fall: Spikes Folsom weekend tournament

    Softball

    San Francisco Gay Softball League (sfgfl.org)
    Jan 28: player clinicFeb 19: new player evaluation
    Mar 5: bowling fundraiser
    Spring: league (starts March 12)
    Jun 10: Switch Hitters Ball
    Silicon Valley Softball League (svsl.org)
    Spring, Summer & Fall: league in Sunnyvale

    Swimming and Synchronized Swimming

    Tsunami Aquatics (sftsunami.org)
    Year-round

    Tennis

    Gay and Lesbian Tennis Federation of San Francisco (gltf.org)
    Monthly: social doubles (3rd Friday at Bay Club SF)
    Spring: league, beginner’s academy
    Memorial Day Weekend: United States Gay Open
    Summer: Holleran and Sissenstein Club Championships
    July: Bank of the West Classic Pride Night
    all: league, Tennis Palooza

    Volleyball

    Balls of Furry Volleyball (Facebook or ballsoffurryvolleyball.org)
    Winter & Spring: league (intermediate-advanced levels)
    Fourth of July Weekend: Red, White and Blue Tournament
    East Bay – LGBTQA Volleyball (Facebook)
    Spring, Summer & Fall: outdoor volleyball in Oakland (Sundays)
    Rainbow Recreation (Facebook)
    Spring & Summer: outdoor volleyball in Mountain View (Tuesdays)
    South Bay Volleyball Club (blog.sbvbc.org; Contact Jim Moore)
    Feb 18–19: NorCal Volleyball Classic
    Spring, Summer & Fall: clinics, local one-day tournaments in the South Ba

    Water Polo

    Tsunami Water Polo (tsunamipolo.org)
    May: Tsunami de Mayo Tournament
    all: Splish Fundraiser
    Year-round league

     

    Wrestling

    Golden Gate Wrestling (ggwc.org)
    Year-round

    John Chen, a UCLA alumnus and an avid sports fan, has competed as well as coached tennis, volleyball, softball and football teams.