Front Runners and Walkers of Fort Lauderdale

Being the annual Sports Edition, I thought I would put together a list of the Gay Sports Leagues in South Florida. For those of you who know me, you know I am definitely not a sports aficionado, so I have done my best, but if I forgot a league I apologize in advance and please let me know at Scott@hotspotsmedia.com.

Softball

The South Florida Amateur Athletic Association

The South Florida Amateur Athletic Association (SFAAA) is located in Fort Lauderdale, and is an LGBT softball league committed to providing an opportunity for both gay and non-gay participants to compete in an environment welcoming and open to the gay community.

Founded in 1994 as the South Florida Softball League, they emerged as the premiere softball league for gay and lesbian athletes with over twenty-five teams and almost four hundred members. Two seasons are held annually, one beginning in late February and the second at the beginning of September. A draft and tryout clinic is held prior to each season to help new members find teams on which to play. Four competitive levels afford the opportunity for anyone to play, regardless of their athletic ability or skill level.

On a broader level, the SFAAA is affiliated with the North America Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance (NAGAAA) and plays in accordance with the playing rules established by the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA). In maintaining these affiliations, SFAAA is afforded the opportunity to compete on a national and international level with other slow pitch softball leagues across the country and around the world. sfaaasoftball.com

The SFAAA puts on the annual Hurricane Showdown, which will draw hundreds of LGBT softball players to the Fort Lauderdale area over Thanksgiving weekend. The tournament places the teams into three divisions: B Division, C Division and D Division. All teams play three round-robin games to determine seeding for the double-elimination tournament. Trophies will be awarded to the top teams in all three divisions. For more information on the Hurricane Showdown, go to: HurricaneShowdown.net.

Flag Football

The South Florida Flag Football League (SFFFL), and members of the National Gay Flag Football League (NGFFL) and the International Women’s Flag Football Association (IWFFA), have grown from a handful of individuals tossing a ball around in 2007, to a league with over 100 active members and multiple national touring teams. Through the promotion of diversity, inclusion, competition and friendship, they have built a family of footballers from Fort Lauderdale to Miami. They are an LGBTQA organization that encourages players of all skill levels to participate, while also testing their elite athletes on the national stage. They strive to put on a competitive, but always fun league that stresses camaraderie and personal growth. They welcome all skills, shapes, and sizes, so don’t be shy. Your football family awaits you! sfffl.org.

Bowling

The South Florida tournament is called F.L.I.R.T. and is affiliated with the International Gay Bowling Organization (IGBO), and is a LGBTQ and invitational bowling tournament that welcomes all bowlers which is held on Martin Luther King Jr. weekend in sunny Fort Lauderdale, FL. They will be guaranteeing $500 to all first-place finishers.

F.L.I.R.T. has sold out for 11 consecutive years and they are expecting F.L.I.R.T. 2019 to do the same, so make sure you register by November if you don’t want to be left behind. FLIRTbowl.com.

Tennis

Miami Mavericks Tennis Club

The South Florida Tennis Club, also known as SFTC, is a nonprofit organization founded in 1987 to develop and coordinate tennis activities for the GLBT community and friends in the South Florida area. SFTC is dedicated to supporting competitive and social tennis activities. Membership is open to players of all skill levels. The SFTC also contributes to charities within the South Florida community each year.

They offer a competitive spring and fall Tennis Ladder for singles and doubles, team tennis, tennis socials, regional tournaments and two annual GLTA sanctioned tennis tournaments. SFTC’s annual Clay Court Classic will be held over President’s day weekend at the Tennis Club of Fort Lauderdale. Even if you are not playing, come out and watch all the great tennis and welcome all players from around the globe to our signature event of the year. sftc.us

Miami Mavericks Tennis Club is a not-for-profit organization promoting tennis and a healthy lifestyle for the Miami-Dade Gay and Lesbian community. Established in 1989 by John Rubi (RIP), Miami Mavericks Tennis Club (MMTC) was founded on the principle of creating a safe and fun outlet for GLBT tennis enthusiasts in Miami-Dade County. It has evolved to become a great social outlet as well as providing ample opportunities for competitive tennis at all levels. They realize that their organization is judged not by the quantity of members they enroll, but by the quality each individual experiences as a member.

Whether it be recreational tennis, social tennis, competitive tennis, team tennis, or beginning tennis, there is no shortage of events in which to participate. Some of their events include: Miami Art Deco Open – is played over the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend which also coincides with the Art Deco weekend in Miami Beach. The courts are the famed Crandon Park Tennis Center on Key Biscayne, also home to the Miami Open (formerly known as the Sony Open). The tournament attracts GLTA (Gay and Lesbian Tennis Alliance) players from all over the globe. It’s a weekend of top-notch tennis, Arts, sun, beach, and fun. Miami Flamingo Open – is their newest tournament jewel, and will be played at South Beach’s Flamingo Park over Memorial Day holiday weekend. This three day tournament will be held in conjunction with other sporting events. Tennis players, softball players, swimmers, and other GLBTQ athletes will descend on South Beach for a weekend of sports, and fun in the sun. miamimaverickstennis.com

Polo

GPL Polo Club is a 501(c)(3) that promotes the sport of polo as a means to provide equality, pride, inclusion and confidence for those individuals who face discrimination simply due to identifying themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, gay or other non-traditional sexual or gender identities. GPL Polo Club works to create an atmosphere that affirms and supports the understanding and acceptance of all individuals regardless of race, sex or sexual identity and works to promotes goodwill and camaraderie in the community.

They represent a wide range of ages, backgrounds and skill levels – in fact, some of them had never been on a horse before joining. They actively train and compete in mainstream matches and events to test their skills, share their enthusiasm for the sport, and change perceptions about our community.

Polo is a sport rich with history, tradition, speed and skill – they encourage you to join them and GPL’s 10th Annual Land Rover Palm Beach International Gay Polo Tournament will return to the Wanderers Club and International Polo Club on April 4, 5, 6, and 7, 2019. This being a huge milestone for them, they are planning on making the event even bigger, better and more powerful than it has been! gaypolo.com.

Swimming

Nadadores Swim Team of south Florida is a team consisting of members who are Gay, Straight, Young, Old, Male, Female, Aspiring Olympian or Just Learning. Coached practices, Beginning and Intermediate Lessons, Ocean Open Swims and Meet Support – they do it all, and they have a good time doing it. Whether you’re trying to lower your 100 meter time or just trying to get to the end of the pool, go join them!

Affiliated with U.S.M.S. (United States Masters Swimming) and I.G.L.A. (International Gay and Lesbian Aquatics), they hold coached pool practice three times a week (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday), offer swimming lessons every Saturday, and sponsor a weekly Sunday ocean swim.

New to South Florida or just passing through? They welcome short term visitors to join in as their guests. Your first three practices are free! And join them for brunch or dinner after practice – a great way to get to know some like-minded, water loving locals!

The Nadadores Swim Team of South Florida is a Miami-based not for profit 501(c)3 corporation managed by a volunteer Board of Directors including our Captain Luis Comulada and his Co-Captain Juan Lopez. nadadoresswimteam.org/

Hammerhead – Beginning in 2004, with just five members in its initial year, Hammerhead Masters Swimming has grown to over 100 full-time members. Under the direction of founder and head coach John Grzeszczak, their Masters Swim Team competes at the highest level and has won seven IGLA (International Gay and Lesbian Aquatics) World Championships. The first title came in 2007 in Paris, France and was quickly followed up by a championship performance at the World Out Games in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2009. The third crown came at the 2011 IGLA Championships in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Hammerheads also captured titles in Reykjavik, Iceland in 2012, again at the 2013 World Out Games in Antwerp, Belgium. Most recently captured the IGLA title at 2015 Eurogames in Stockholm, Sweden. In 2012, Hammerhead Aquatics, was one of only three USMS Masters clubs to put a swimmer in the Olympic Trials in Omaha, Nebraska. hammerheadaquatics.com

Running

Front Runners & Walkers Fort Lauderdale is a group of people who enjoy running and walking. The group creates a positive atmosphere through planned activities where gays and lesbians can be themselves.

Front Runners & Walkers Fort Lauderdale still has some of their original members from 1989. They have 3 weekly runs…2 at Holiday Park on Wed and Sun evenings, and the Saturday morning run at the Pride Center. After all the runs they go out to eat and socialize. They also have a social every month, which have included kayaking, bar romps, and joint socials with other sports clubs. They also produce a banquet every year.

Front Runners & Walker Fort Lauderdale is a proud member of Road Runners Club of America and is a 501(c)(3) corporation. For more information on the club visit: Frontrunnersfortlauderdale.org.