Gay sports leagues gear up for the warm weather
Getting through February — Super Bowl and quadrennial Olympics aside, traditionally the sports calendar’s most miserable month —signals an end to winter and the anticipation of spring finally getting here blossoms. And when you think about it, even those sporting events are anomalous. The Winter Olympics are fine if you’ve ever been skiing or snowboarding, or for fantasizing about what those two guys are doing when laying on top of each other in the luge. But for the most part, few in Dallas can participate in or observe those sports throughout the year.
The Super Bowl signals the end of football more than enjoying the present. The NBA, NHL and NCAA are building anticipation towards the playoffs and season-ending tournaments. And spring training — oh, glorious spring training — is kicking into gear.
Which is why spring sports hold allure. Like most people, I prefer spring to the other seasons by a factor of 10. Spring sports reintroduce us to the great outdoors; they re-energize our souls and give us hope of a good season that springs eternal.
So as we shake off the winter blues and scramble to find our cleats, gloves, clubs and rackets, it’s time to take stock of our DFW gay sports leagues and teams.
Dallas Pegasus Slowpitch Softball Association
Hope does indeed spring eternal, and this Sunday the most hopeful and uplifting phrase in all of sports — "play ball!" — becomes a reality for the PSSA. This season, more than 360 men and women will take to the diamond, competing in three divisions, ranging from beginners to highly skilled and highly competitive. Starting Sunday, the league will play a 16-19 game schedule, culminating with an end-of-season tournament in June.
According to Jesse Baker, Dallas PSSA’s spokesperson, the league has been operating since 1982 and attracts mostly a 30-plus crowd that’s about 80 percent male. The regular season champion and tournament champion from each division will represent Dallas in the Gay Softball World Series this fall in Columbus, Ohio.
Registration for spring softball is now closed but PSSA operates a less-formal fall league with registration beginning in late summer.
Different Strokes Golf Association
If you’re looking for other leagues that are still open then consider the DSGA. This league takes on new members throughout the season and schedules matches every two weeks from March through October. According to Colene Drace, DSGA’s president, the league averages about 50 players each year, of which, 70 percent are men with the ages ranging from early 30s to retirees.
The Texas Shootout, the league’s championship tournament, will be held at Bridlewood in September. Golfers are placed in flights based on their USGA handicap and a fun flight is also available for those who just want to play.
Texas Bulls Flag Football Club
If you’re looking for a little more contact then consider hooking up with the Bulls. Locally, the Bulls don’t play in an all-gay league — there’s not one —but they have formed the Lone Star flag football conference with teams from Houston, Dallas, Tyler, Austin and San Antonio. Jere Becker, president of the Texas Bulls, says his players are mostly in their 20s and there’s a separate team for female players as well.
The Bulls play roughly 35 games a season, which runs from February to November. The team also participates in the annual Gay Bowl which is hosted by the National Gay Flag Football League. This year’s event, Gay Bowl X, will take place in Phoenix in early October.
Oak Lawn Tennis Association
Finally, for those who are handy with a racket, the 30th season of the OLTA is hosting their Friends of Tennis weekend event this Saturday and Sunday. New members, or anyone interested in the tennis league, should attend the welcome party at Woody’s Sports Bar on Cedar Springs, on March 20 at 7 p.m.
The league kicks off with their Promiscuous Doubles event the following Sunday at the Samuel Grand Tennis Center. According to OLTA president Chris Jones, the doubles event allows players "a chance to play with a great number of different partners/opponents." The OLTA normally plays Sundays at Samuell Grand Tennis Center (9 a.m.â€“noon) and on Tuesday and Friday evenings at LB Houston Tennis Center. You can contact the leagues or teams at the following websites to get involved.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 19, 2010.