Welcome back to Playing the Field! It’s a new year and there are plenty of LGBT sports going in 2014. To tackle them all, let’s start the year with a little Q&A!

Gastonia Showstoppers Photo Credit: Ron Tessner
Gastonia Showstoppers Photo Credit: Ron Tessner

Are there any new gay sports teams in the Carolinas?
Yes! There is a new LGBT volleyball team in Gastonia called Showstoppers Volleyball, sponsored by MAK6. The seven-person team plays every Thursday night at the Gastonia Armory and is captained by Ron Tessneer and includes Shawn Carlton, Mark Herring, Dana Howard, Bri Skinner and T.J. Day. So far, the team is 8-0 overall and 4-0 in conference play. So, if you are looking for a good winter sport to check out, but takes place within a nicely heated gym, then head south and check the Showstoppers out.

Are there any low impact sports that one could participate in while also being able to enjoy a nice cold alcoholic beverage?
Yes again! The Charlotte Rainbowlers is a local Charlotte bowling league that meets every Monday night at the Centennial Lanes on South Blvd. Teams are made up of four people and you can come with or without a team. So, come solo or bring your buds. The league is in the middle of their third quarter, but don’t let that deter you from coming out since the league is always in need of subs on a weekly basis. And, if you want to join the league with your own four-person squad, check them out on Facebook by searching for the Charlotte Rainbowlers to get info on how to join.

Can the Charlotte Royals continue their undefeated streak from last season?
Sadly, I think this is a no, but that is not a bad thing either. The Royals had an amazing season last year, defeating teams from all over the southeast and allowing less than a try a game on average. However, this year, Charlotte will not be catching any team by surprise and every team they face will be giving it their all to break the Royals winning streak. This added pressure and competition will only help your local rugby team as they prepare for the Bingham Cup in August, which is being held in Sydney, Australia this year.
The team started the year with their annual Rugby 101 Boot Camp on Feb. 8 at 12pm, at Cordelia Park in NoDa. If you are interested in giving rugby a shot or just want to learn more about the game, this is definitely an event you should check out.

Will the softball league become NAGAAA sanctioned?
Yes, soon. The Carolina Softball Alliance is on its way to becoming officially recognized as a NAGAAA league. That means that winner of each division it has will earn spots to participate in the Gay Softball World Series each year. In order to do so, the league needs just a bit more participation from the gay athletes in the Carolinas to grow into an eight-team league. The league will start up in mid-March and is encouraging any players of any skillset to come out and participate. Also, LGBT teams that are looking for a league to join are welcome as well. For more information, visit carolinasoftball.org.

The Gastonia G Force battle it out with the Soul city Sirens. Photo Credit: Phil Lackey
The Gastonia G Force battle it out with the Soul city Sirens.
Photo Credit: Phil Lackey

When does the Roller Derby season start up?
The Gastonia G Force started their season with a road match against the Soul City Sirens in Augusta on Jan. 18. They took home the win with an impressive 143-106 score. Earning MVP Blocker was TuTu Larue, MVP Jammer was 5 Star Chick and Ham Award went to Michelle O’ Bam Ya. The ladies first home bout will be against the Kannapolis Roller Girls on March 16.
The Charlotte Roller Girls have not finalized their schedule as of press time, but keep checking their website, charlotterollergirls.com, to stay up to date on all their info, including how and where to buy their 2014 calendar.

That’s the wrap up for the Charlotte area LGBT sports scene. Come back next month when we will have scores, game reviews and schedules for all your favorite teams! : :