Vipers top gay softball world series

By Damin Esper

The 30th Annual Gay World Series Softball Tournament wrapped up on August 19 with men's and women's champions crowned in four divisions apiece.

The tournament's opening ceremony was held at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and games were played at three Fort Lauderdale area ballparks.

Over 150 teams and 3,000 athletes participated in the tournament.

The Los Angeles Vipers defeated the Atlanta Venom in the Open A Division men's championship. The Fort Lauderdale Alibi Shock finished third.

Southern California produced the Open B Division champs as well as the Los Angeles Killer B's beat Chicago's Hamburger Mary's Cougars for the title. Philadelphia's Woody's Men took the third place trophy.

The Nashville Tribe was victorious in the Open C Division, downing the Memphis Heat in the finals. Dallas' Bud Light's Texas Toast finished third.

In the Open D Division, Chicago's Jackhammer Heat beat the host city's South Florida Bandits in the finals. The Nashville Shock took third place.

In the women's tournament, Dallas' Texas Reserve beat Fort Lauderdale's Alibi Blaze for the championship of the Open A Division. The Minnesota Rebels took third.

In the Open B Division, the Houston Blaze defeated the Washington D.C. Capital Crew in the finals. Orlando's All-4-One was the third place team.

Norfolk's Curves won the Open C Division over the Reckless Remainz, out of Dallas. Norfolk's Crew took third.

Fort Lauderdale's Goldberg Legal Eagles beat the Norfolk Jokers in the championship game of the Open D Division. Memphis' Down & Dirty finished third.

Games began on August 15. Despite rough weather—several games were delayed by rain and lightning—the tournament wrapped up in five days.

"Competition was tight all week with close games across the board," said John Skoubis, Director of Business Development for the Open Division of the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Association.

Skoubis added that the annual talent show held in conjunction with the tournament raised over $23,000 for local charities, an all-time high.