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Join bowlers from all across the country as they compete in the 33rd annual Fort Lauderdale Invitational Regional Tournament (FLIRT). The tournament, affiliated with the International Gay Bowling Organization (IGBO), will be held this year from Thursday, January 15 through Sunday, January 18 at Sawgrass Lanes, located at 8501 N. University Drive in Tamarac.

Bowlers will be competing in such categories as no-tap (where a bowler is given one chance to knock down at least nine pins) and standard bowling (in both singles matches, doubles, and teams up to four people).

The events kick off on Thursday, January 15 with a dinner at 13|EVEN from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Following the dinner, there will be an early bird party at Hunters until bar close. On Friday, there will be a welcome lunch at Flip Flops Dockside Eatery, followed by registration from 5 to 9 p.m. at Sawgrass Lanes. The no-tap tournament will be held this evening from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Afterwards, there will be a payout for the no-tap players at the host bar, Rumors Bar & Grill.

On Saturday, check-in for the singles and doubles players will be from 9 to 10 a.m. at Sawgrass Lanes. The singles event starts shortly thereafter and will last until 12:30. After an hour break for lunch, the doubles event will start, and will go on until 4 p.m. Dinner will start shortly after 4 p.m. at Rosie’s Bar & Grill and a party will begin at 9 p.m. at Village Pub. There will also be a “Friends of Bill W” Social from 7 to 8 p.m. at Java Boy’s.

Sunday’s events start with the team bowling check-in at 9:30 a.m., followed by the team event from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The dinner and awards show will be held this year at the host hotel, the Fort Lauderdale Marriott North (6650 N. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale, 954-771-0440), and will begin at 6:30 p.m., with a cocktail reception held shortly before. Finally, Progress Bar will host the event’s closing party, which starts at 9 p.m.

The host hotel, the Fort Lauderdale Marriott North, is offering a special deal to FLIRT competitors. Call the hotel and mention that you will be staying there during the competition. They are currently offering a rate of $129 a night between January 14 and January 20. This is subject to change as the event draws near.

This year FLIRT is raising money for three charities: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the Yes Institute, and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

If you have any questions about registration, e-mail FLIRTBOWL@gmail.com. For other questions, visit flirtbowl.com.

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Mike Halterman
Mike Halterman has been the editor of Hotspots Central since its launch in July 2016. He joined the Hotspots Media Group family as editor of Hotspots' South Florida magazine in June 2013. A former "40 Under 40" honoree in The Advocate magazine, Mike lives in the Tampa Bay area.