Anyone who's watched the Gay Pride March knows that gay jocks have plenty of local options when it comes to finding LGBT-friendly sports leagues. With the 2012 Olympics nearly upon us, perhaps you're feeling inspired to break out the old tennis racket, football jersey or wrestling singlet. Or maybe you're just looking for a fun way to get in shape, so you can show off by the beach or pool. Whatever the case, these fun, friendly NYC gay sports leagues offer a decidedly more authentic sporting experience than you'll find in one of our local gay sportsbars.
RECOMMENDED: Get outdoors in NYC!
Big Apple Dodgeball, Bowling and Kickball
Big Apple offers three different sports year-round and seasonally for coed teams. Teams are assigned randomly to keep the competition and the social aspect balanced. Postgame activities include bar nights and parties throughout the city. For more information, go to bigappledodgeball.com.
Big Apple Softball League
Batter up! A member of the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance (nagaaasoftball.org), the BASL includes both competitive and recreational teams. Games for the spring season are scheduled each weekend from April through August. The fall season runs from mid-September to mid-November. Players of all skill levels are welcome. For more information, go to bigapplesoftball.com or call 212-696-7327.
CRUX LGBTQ Rock Climbing NY
CRUX hosts weekly social climbing events open to participants of all levels. Check out Taco Tuesdays every week at Brooklyn Boulders from 7pm to 10pm, then go to Oaxaca Tacos for postclimb carbo-loading. CRUX also hosts outdoor climbs one weekend a month for members (membership is not required for indoor events). For more information, go to climbcrux.org.
Front Runners New York
You’ve seen them during the Pride March, stopping to do push-ups and sprints, and giving out their “Nice Legs” stickers. Runners and walkers of all paces are welcome to join the Front Runners for their weekly fun runs on Saturday mornings in Central Park or Tuesday evenings in Prospect Park. For more information, go to frny.org.
Gotham Knights Rugby Football Club
Since 2001, the sexy Gotham Knights have welcomed new and experienced ruggers to the scrum. With a spring and fall season, winter training and summer touch rugby, there is always a chance to play. Beginning in August, practices will be Mondays and Wednesdays at Randalls Island Field, 7–9pm. For more information, go to gothamrfc.org.
Gotham Volleyball League
Gotham offers league play, open plays and classes at all levels, and sponsors six tournaments each year. All events require registration or membership. For more information, go to gothamvolleyball.org.
Metro is a gay-friendly freestyle wrestling club. Practices take place each Sunday at the LGBT Center; the cost per practice is $10, and drop-ins and first-timers are welcome. Beginners’ classes are on the first Sunday of each month, while more serious competitors can take part in the club's annual tournament. For more information, go to metrowrestling.org.
Metropolitan Tennis Group
MTG provides year-round opportunities to play recreational and competitive tennis at venues around the city. No membership is required for monthly singles and doubles parties, but you'll need to join to participate in championships and seasonal league competitions. Members also pay a reduced rate for MTG playing events. For more information, go to metrotennisgroup.com.
New York Gay Football League
The NYGFL is a seven-on-seven LGBT flag-football league with approximately 200 participants and 18 teams open to players at all levels of ability. Spring (February through May) and fall (September through December) seasons are available. All games are on Saturday or Sunday in or near Manhattan. Sign up fast when registration is open—spots go quickly. For more information, go to nygayfootball.org
New York City Gay Basketball League
There are six divisions for this LGBT basketball league: men's and women's A, B and beginner squads. All games are played in Manhattan on weekends. Even if you've never set foot on a basketball court, you can learn to play at one of the club's beginner clinics. For more information, go to nycgaybasketball.org.
NYC Gay Hockey Association
The NYCGHA offers several teams for hitting the ice depending on your skill level. Choose from two developmental teams for beginners, three recreational teams for intermediates and the NY Lions for advanced players. For more information, go to nycgayhockey.org.
Join these riders for midweek training rides, weekend day trips and more. Membership gets you discounted rates for trips, which are open to public. For more information, go to outcycling.org.
New York Ramblers
Founded in 1980, this soccer squad offers scrimmages, training sessions and league play. Walk-ons are welcome at some events. For more information, go to newyorkramblers.org.
It's free to sign up for this social club, which organizes local events and group trips to resorts around the world. This winter's confirmed trips include Niseko, Japan (Feb 21–Mar 2), and Zermat, Switzerland (Mar 23–30). For more information, go to ski-bums.org
Team New York Aquatics
More than 500 swimmers, polo players and divers count themselves among the ranks of this water-sports club, which offers coaching and competition—though many join solely for fitness and for challenging themselves. Swim practices are available each day and take place at various pools around the city. For more information, go to tnya.org.