Prizm News / July 1, 2019 / By Ken Schneck

Photo by Joe Dill

Cleveland is named the host city for the 2020 Stonewall Sports National Tournament and Summit

The shouts of joy in Raleigh, North Carolina could be heard all the way in Ohio as Stonewall Sports, a national LGBTQ+ and ally sports organization, announced their selection of Cleveland as the host city for the 7th Annual Stonewall National Tournament and Summit taking place July 10-12, 2020. 

Founded in Washington D.C. in 2010, Stonewall Sports was created to provide a safe, inclusive, welcoming, and philanthropic space where the LGBTQ+ & Ally community could engage in athletics while also raising funds for local nonprofits. In 2015, Stonewall Sports Cleveland became the 9th city expansion of the league with the introduction of a wildly popular kickball league, followed by dodgeball in 2016, bocce ball in 2017, and leagues for volleyball and yoga entering the mix in the past few years, all while raising tens of thousands of dollars for Cleveland organizations. 

Photo by Dave Nash

In collaboration with the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission and Destination Cleveland, the Stonewall Sports Cleveland Board created and submitted a bid last year for the Tournament and was announced as the winner of the bid during this year’s National Tournament and Summit in Raleigh on June 21. The weekend’s activities will include a diversity summit, kickball tournament, dodgeball tournament, volleyball tournament, bocce tournament, billiards tournament, tennis tournament, and bowling tournament. Joe Dill and Dan Hartman will serve as Tournament Co-chairs.

Photo by Dave Nash
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“The Stonewall Sports Cleveland family is beyond honored to host the National Tournament and are excited to showcase all that our great city has to offer to those coming in from across the nation,” says Stonewall Sports Cleveland Board Chair Patty Hace. “Cleveland was chosen to host for a variety of reasons but one that we are most proud of is the true sense of community that our local organization fosters. We want to extend a special thank you to Taylor Henschel, Jim Forrest, and Monica Gustin, who helped lead the charge in bringing the tournament to Cleveland.”

With the three-day event expected to bring in 1,500 participants, it will be far more than just Cleveland that will be showcased. As Ohio exists as an accessible and central meeting point for so many of the national chapters of Stonewall Sports, the entire Buckeye State will benefit from the exposure. 

“Bringing the national tourney to Ohio allows us to show the other states/cities how diverse Ohio actually is,” says Rob Leis, the League President for Stonewall Sports Columbus.  “While we have may have a certain reputation as a state on the national stage, what actually happens in our metro areas is quite diverse.”

Ken Schneck
Ken Schneck is an author, professor, radio host, and rabble rouser. His travelogue, "Seriously, What Am I Doing Here?: The Adventures of a Wondering and Wandering Gay Jew" was published in 2017, "LGBTQ Cleveland" was released in 2018, and "LGBTQ Columbus" hits the shelves in June of 2019. He is a frequent contributor to The Huffington Post, Cleveland Magazine and FreshWater Cleveland. For 10 years, he was the producer/host of "This Show is So Gay," the award-winning, long-running radio show/podcast, and will launch “The Do Gooder Podcast” this September. In his spare time, he is a Professor of Education at Baldwin Wallace University where he teaches courses on antiracism and communities organizing for social change.