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|Spring Preview: Lots of balls to fly this Spring|
|Written by Ryan Watkins|
|Friday, 16 March 2012 00:18|
Several gay Atlanta sports leagues will kick off their Spring seasons in the coming weeks, including three softball leagues, a flag football league and a soccer league.
The Decatur Women’s Softball League, an all-women’s league, returns to the diamond March 16 for its sixth annual Spring season. This season, the action will take place at a new field, the fields at Blackburn Park off of Ashford Dunwoody Road. The league previously played at Kelly Cofer Park but has moved locations for the season due to field repairs.
Games will be held at 6:30, 7:30, 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. from March 16 through the end of May. The League will take Friday, April 6 off to mark Good Friday.
The league’s commissioner, Anne Barr, says that while the games are non-competitive, all of the teams play quality ball.
“We’ve got some teams that are better than others, but they’re all getting pretty good,” Barr says.
Barr stresses that all women are welcome to play ball. “We’re the opposite of the Real World, we’re 10 percent straight,” Barr says. “It’s all about fun, community, exercise and friendship.”
Aside from giving the women a chance to mix it up on the diamond, the Decatur Women’s Softball League, which is under the umbrella of The Decatur Women’s Sports League, also donates a portion of its league fees each year to The Health Initiative, formerly known as the Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative. Barr says the league has donated around $55,000 to The Health Initiative since it was founded in 2007.
The Hotlanta Softball league, Atlanta’s largest mixed gay and lesbian sports league, kicks off its 2012 season March 17, culminating with the annual Big Peach Softball Tournament May 26-27.
Teams from around the country will descend on Atlanta this Memorial Day weekend to participate in one of the country’s largest annual gay softball tournaments.
The National Flag Football League of Atlanta (NFFLA) also kicks off its upcoming season March 17 at Candler Park.
The chairman of the NFFLA, Lance Burage, says that this Spring’s league is the largest the NFFLA has ever fielded.
“We set a record number of teams, nine, in the league this year,” Burage says. “It’s the largest the league has ever been.”
Some 120 players have signed on for the upcoming season. With 36 of the players being new to the league, Burage says. Each year, a draft determines the players for each team. Burage says this helps keep the league competitive.
The NFFLA will celebrate its kickoff with a St. Patrick’s Day “Margarita Bust” at Zocalo at 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 17.
Winner of GA Voice’s annual “Best Local Sporting Team” Best of Atlanta award, the Atlanta Bucks Rugby Football Club returned to action in February.
The team’s annual “Purple Dress Run” is slated for Sat. April 21. The “Purple Dress Run” involves a dozen or more burly men —wearing purple dresses, of course — drinking at multiple locations before jogging to the next. This year’s event is a benefit for the Bucks and Lost and Found Youth (formerly The Saint Lost and Found Fund).
The Bucks are also preparing for the 2012 Bingham Cup, the largest rugby tournament outside of the IRB Rugby World Cup. This year’s cup will be held in Manchester, England, May 31 through June 3.
Top photo: Gay softball teams from around the country will descend on Atlanta this Memorial Day weekend for the Big Peach Softball Tournament. (by Dyana Bagby)
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