Festival of the Babes Lesbian Soccer Tournament

Festival of the Babes Lesbian Soccer Tournament

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Think back a few weeks ago when all of America was glued to their television screens watching Megan Rapinoe advance the ball down the field, lithely dodging Team Japan’s defense. You and your friends were sitting there wishing you could be magically transported to London for just one tiny moment. Here’s your chance to have even more fun than that – Seattle’s 22nd annual Festival of the Babes – “a soccer tournament for lesbians and those willing to be mistaken for one,” happening this weekend at Maplewood Playfield.

From the official website: “Festival of Babes…(was) founded by a women’s soccer team that was compelled to create a tournament like this after attending the Gay Games in Vancouver, B.C. and the Seattle Sports Festival. Each year veterans and new teams alike join in the fun, (re)learning what it is to be FOB-ly, making friends (and making out)- occasionally all at the same time. The festival registers up to 24 teams that bring approximately 350 players, and draws host-city community and fans galore. Games are small-sided (7 v 7) with full-sized goals and referees who oversee every game. Parties are held nightly to bring us all just a little bit closer.”

This year 14 teams from far-off lands such as Portland, OR and Vancouver, B.C. have converged on Seattle to celebrate soccer, lesbians and sportsmanship. The team that most exemplifies the spirit of “FOB-liness- teach(ing) us all the best way to capture that lightness of spirit in the midst of our competitive soccer obsession”- will take home the FOB Team Spirit Award.

Ultimately, though, the player who best exemplifies the “babe of ceremonies” will be awarded the prized “Buttercup Award,” so named for Sarah Butterworth, “one of the most lovely and dedicated babes FOB has ever known.” Butterworth, who passed away in 2003 after a brave battle with brain cancer, was known as “the goddess of gaiety who knew and loved more women at FOB than any other babe.”

So, come one, come all and join in the gay spirit of this annual festival once referred to as “lesbian Christmas” and, if you are so inclined, gather up your own team for next year’s Festival of Babes – sure to be even more FOB-ulous than years past.

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