Darts to Decathlon: Athletes of All Levels Welcome at Games

(courtesy Gay Games 9)

(courtesy Gay Games 9)

By Bob Vitale

You don’t have to qualify for the Gay Games. They’ll award gold, silver and bronze medals, but they’ll also give an award to everyone who participates.

Don’t think the Gay Games aren’t a competition, though.

This year’s games, scheduled for Aug 9-16 in Cleveland and Akron, will feature 36 sports, the largest collection of events in its 32-year history. About 11,000 participants and 30,000 total visitors from around the world are expected during the week.

Most sports feature separate competitions for casual and more accomplished athletes, and some are divided into age categories as well.

Badminton: Men’s and women’s singles, plus men’s, women’s and mixed doubles at four skill levels.

Basketball: Women’s and men’s/mixed teams at three skill levels. Also, women’s and mixed/men’s teams in 35-plus and 50-plus age brackets (the latter is three-on-three, half-court play).

(courtesy of Gay Games 9)

(courtesy of Gay Games 9)

Beach Volleyball: Two-player women’s and men’s/mixed teams at four skill levels.

Billiards/Pool: Men’s and women’s eight-ball and nine-ball at recreational and competitive levels.

Bodybuilding: Men’s and women’s individual in seven weight classifications and up to six age groups, plus men’s, women’s and mixed pairs competitions.

Bowling: Men’s and women’s individual, women’s and men’s/mixed pairs, plus four-person women’s and men’s/mixedteams at five skill levels, plus a social/no handicap category.

Cheer: Individual, partner and teams in stunt and show/dance/pom cheering.

Cycling and Mountain Biking: Road race, criterium race, and individual (men’s and women’s) and team time-trial competitions in up to seven age groups.

DanceSport: Men’s, women’s and mixed couples in two age groups and up to four skill levels. Styles include international (standard and Latin), American (smooth and rhythm), country western (two-step waltz and swing), line dance, Argentine tango and open.

Darts: Women’s and open divisions, singles and doubles, for recreational and competitive players.

Diving: Men’s and women’s one-meter springboard, three-meter springboard and platform, plus synchronized teams, in six age groups.

(courtesy Gay Games 9)

(courtesy Gay Games 9)

Flag Football: Women’s and men’s/mixed teams at two skill levels.

Figure Skating: Men’s, women’s, pairs and mixed-pairs in five age groups.

Golf: Men, women and teams at four skill levels.

Ice Hockey: Women’s and men’s/mixed teams at intermediate and advanced levels. Individual players will be placed on teams in a separate division.

Marathon/Half Marathon: 16 age categories for men and women in each race. (Registration includes the 5K and 10K races for free.)

Martial Arts: Men’s, women’s and competitions for disabled athletes at up to four skill levels, plus 35-plus blackbelt.

Open Water Swim: Half-mile, mile and two-mile for men and women in 17 age groups.

Power Lifting: Squat, bench and dead-lift events for men and women in up to 12 weight classes and 13 age groups.

Racquetball: Men’s and women’s singles and doubles, plus mixed doubles at five skill levels, plus 35-plus, 45-plus and 55-plus divisions. There’s also a singles competition for athletes who use wheelchairs.

Road Race/5K: Men’s and women’s divisions in 16 age groups.

(courtesy Gay Games 9)

(courtesy Gay Games 9)

Road Race/10K: Men’s and women’s divisions in 16 age groups.

Rock Climbing: Men’s and women’s climbing and bouldering at three skill levels.

Rowing: Men’s and women’s single sculls, plus men’s, women’s and mixed-gender teams at two skill levels.

Sailing: Competitive and recreational team competitions.

Soccer/Football: Women’s and men’s/mixed teams at two skill levels.

Softball: Women’s slow-pitch and fast-pitch, plus men’s/mixed slow-pitch teams can at three skill levels. There also are 50-plus senior divisions for women’s and men’s/mixed slow-pitch teams.

Squash: Men’s and women’s singles at five skill levels, plus divisions for 35-plus, 45-plus and athletes who use wheelchairs.

Swimming: Men’s and women’s individual, plus men’s, women’s and mixed-gender relay teams in up to 17 age groups.

Synchronized Swimming: Solo, duet, trio and teams in up to seven age groups.

Table Tennis: Men’s and women’s singles, plus men’s, women’s and mixed doubles at six skill levels.

Tennis: Men’s and women’s singles, and men’s, women’s and mixed doubles at five skill levels.

Track and Field: Men’s and women’s individual events, and men’s, women’s and mixed relay teams in up to 16 age groups.

Triathalon: Long or short courses for men and women in 11 age groups.

Volleyball: Women’s and men’s/mixed teams at five skill levels and a 40-plus bracket.

Water Polo: Women’s and open divisions.

Wrestling: Men’s and women’s competitions in three age groups and 11 weight classes.

More information – plus registration details – can be found at the Gay Games website, www.gg9cle.com.

 

 

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