Need another reason to be proud to call Nashville home? In the last year, Nashville's GLBT community has dramatically increased its athletic opportunities. Rivaling sports offerings in major cities, Nashville added soccer and rugby and expanded Memphis basketball into Middle Tennessee. And now Nashville is home to two softball leagues.
Metro Nashville Softball Association is bringing GLBT softball to West Park, located at 6105 Morrow Road. MNSA is bringing more than a new league, it's also bringing a new idea for opening day. A kickoff game will be held on Sunday, April 15, but this game is set to look more like comedy theatre than your traditional day at the ball park. This bat and rouge game may contain more than one diamond when Camp Drag replaces uniforms with dresses, and gloves with purses. If the (soft)balls seems a little larger than average, it's not your imagination - it's part of the entertainment. The games begin at 1:00 p.m.
The season will also feature an "after-party scheduled each week at one of our sponsor locations," says League Secretary Lynn Wise, with the first after-party of the season to be held at Trax. The kickoff game and after-parties will embody what Wise calls MNSA's goal to bring the GLBT and gay-friendly communities together to "enjoy camaraderie through sports."
While Wise reports that "the kickoff event will include a cookout with food available for purchase," don't let the festivities fool you. The league will provide some serious competition. With more than two weeks until the first official games, MNSA's Website lists 13 teams in two divisions. The official games start April 22 and run through September 9.
Along with providing a venue for fun competition, MNSA also has a serious goal of promoting tolerance. While MNSA is a GLBT oriented league, it is open to all players regardless of age, race, creed, national origin, religion, sex, or sexual orientation. Wise emphasizes that the league's mission is "to unite the entire Nashville community by reaching out to GLBT and gay-friendly businesses and organizations... and to work together to achieve the goals of tolerance and acceptance for all members of the community."
If you would like to participate or just spectate, Wise reports that MNSA has room for even non-athletes from "fans to scorekeepers to committee volunteers." For more information visit http://www.metronashvillesoftball.org.