Nationwide sporting organization Stonewall Sports announced plans to expand to New Orleans, its eleventh US city, earlier this year, and the group is now past the point of kicking around ideas: after the overwhelming success of their fall season, they’re ready to get a jump on winter. Registration began December 1st for their second season of kickball in City Park.
Stonewall Sports is a non-profit organization focused on creating fun and competitive leagues for LGBTQ & Ally sports. The group, founded in 2010, aims to provide opportunities for people in the LGBTQ community to be themselves while playing organized sports within inclusive, low cost leagues. They’ve also shown themselves to be a powerful philanthropic organization, having donated funds to the National Minority AIDS Council, the Latino GLBT History Project, and many others. Stonewall expanded to New Orleans after establishing a strong presence in Chicago, Charlotte, Minneapolis, and seven other diverse cities across the map.
The New Orleans chapter is currently focused on kickball, the hybrid of soccer and baseball that was a gym-class staple for many of us as kids, but may soon expand to include leagues in volleyball, bowling, and dodgeball. Color-coded teams of 12-15 players swarmed into City Park to compete on Sunday afternoons this September and October, with the league running for a total of seven weeks. Stonewall encourages its players to form their own communities, and New Orleans was quick to respond, with teams for the first season filling up fast.
Registration includes uniform, equipment, and facilities, as well as an invitation to post-game festivities. Good Friends Bar, one of the group’s main sponsors, welcomes the teams for drink specials every weekend after the games. The league also gathers to dine once a month at Louisiana Pizza Kitchen in Uptown, their home restaurant and another sponsor. This season will run from January 22nd-March 26th. Registration closes Dec. 20, and many eager competitors are already signing up, so those interested in participating this winter should check out stonewallneworleans.