The Sports Section - Beyond the Browns, Indians and Cavs

Are you looking for other sports options besides Cleveland's major sports teams?  There are a variety of sports contests in the Cleveland area and around the world that should appeal to a wide range of sports interests, as well as a number of Clevelanders participating in national and international competitions.

But first, Congratulations to Westlake High School's own LAUREN GOLICK, the 2012 Division 1 State Tennis Champion!! During her great career she had previously finished third at the state level in 2010 and fourth in 2011.  What a great accomplishment for this senior athlete!

Now for some sports for those who think outside the box.

book cover imageBocce:  Related to ancient ball games played during the time of the Roman Empire, and developed in its present form in Italy, Bocce is a popular game played in many areas of the United States with a strong Italian heritage.  There are a number of Bocce clubs in the Cleveland area.  The Wickliffe Italian American Club won the World Series of Bocce in July in Rome, New York.  The runners-up, Vandra Brothers, are also from the Cleveland area.  These locals topped 78 teams in the open division.  In August the Wickliffe Italian American Club hosted the 29th Annual Cleveland Challenge Cup, with over 90 teams competing and over 15,000 spectators in attendance over the three-day tournament.  The Vandra Brothers took first place.

Cricket:  Just completed in Sri Lanka was the International Cricket Council's 2012 World Twenty/20 competition.  With an estimated TV audience of 1.5 billion viewers, it was one of the most-watched sporting events in 2012 - except in the United States.  The team from the West Indies reigns as world champions.  Here in Cleveland there is the Cleveland Cricket League and the Cleveland Cricket Club, among others.

Parachuting: Coming up from November 28-December 9 is the World Parachuting Championships in Dubai, UAE.  Among the 60-member U.S. Team is Andrew Starr, 27, a native Clevelander and member of the Army's parachute team, the Golden Knights.  Officials are expecting over 800 participants in such events as canopy formations and piloting, free fall flying, over water, and accurate landing.

Rowing:  The recently completed Summer Olympics, with Westlake's own Margot Shumway competing in the finals of the double sculls, have brought fresh attention to this thriving sport.  And Cleveland is making a splash by just recently building a 19,000 square foot boatrhouse at the new Rivergate Park along the banks of the Cuyahoga River.  The Cleveland Rowing Foundation held two important events in September.  On September 15, the 17th annual Head of the Cuyahoga featured 310 shells participating, including scholastic and collegiate teams from 16 states and 65 rowing clubs.  The following day featured the inaugural US Rowing Masters National Head Race Championships.  This regatta will be held in different locations each year and will return to Cleveland every Olympic year.

Rugby:  Another local success story is a rugby team from Cleveland's west side, the Cleveland Rovers.  They were founded in 1978 and are part of the Ohio Rugby Union, which is part of the Midwest Rugby Union.  As of this writing, they are 7-1-0 for the fall season, with a match coming up against Pittsburgh before they head to the Midwest Rugby Union's Eastern Conference Playoffs on November 3 and 4.  Their home games are played at Impett Park (West 153rd and Montrose).  There is also an Eastern Suburbs Rugby Football Club, the Green Horde.

Featured Books:

Memoirs of a Rugby-Playing Man: Guts, Glory and Blood in the World's Greatest Game by Jay Atkinson (796.333092 A876M - 2012)

"Bestselling author Atkinson explores what his 30-year-career as a rugby-playing vagabond has taught him about authenticity, commitment, passion, and the joys or raising hell."

The Joy of Bocce by Marion Pagnoni (796.31 P139J - 2011)

" The Joy of Bocce is the only instructional book on Bocce in America.  It covers the A to Z of the sport ... rules, strategy, bocce jargon, organizing a league ... all enhanced by numerous photos and illustrations."

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