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SPORTS 

Summer Guide 2018

click to enlarge The Ironman 70.3-mile triathlon is set to run on Sunday, June 24.
  • The Ironman 70.3-mile triathlon is set to run on Sunday, June 24.

AVOCADO GOLF

Of course you like mini golf. But have you ever played mini golf with an avocado pit as the golf ball?

Well, this is your chance. On July 19, the Boys & Girls Club of Kootenai County is hosting the Avocado Pit Open, an 18-hole mini golf tournament that will feature a shootoff with avocado pits.

The event is a celebration of the 10-year anniversary of Bakery By The Lake, a bakery in downtown Coeur d'Alene. It will be held on the roof above the restaurant at 601 E. Front Ave.

Why the avocado pits, you ask? That was Bakery By The Lake owner Frank Pigott's idea, says Nicole Hammons, director of development for the Boys & Girls Club of Kootenai County.

"He thought it would be funny because avocados are all the rage these days," Hammons says.

Indeed they are. This is the chance for millenials to hit around the pits of the avocados from all the avocado toast they eat, much more environmentally friendly than golf balls, to be sure. OK, so maybe Bakery By The Lake doesn't have "avocado toast" on the menu, but Pigott says the bakery has been saving up pits for the event. (There will be real golf balls, too.)

"We do a lot here with avocados for whatever reason, so we said, 'let's do something with the pits,'" Pigott says.

Pigott says he used to be a member of the Boys & Girls Club "way back when." He says he's eager to be involved in an opportunity to give back to the club.

Teams of two will compete to become "Avocado-Awesome" by winning the mini golf tournament. Oh, and the winning team will get a gold trophy that looks like an avocado.

You'll have to be 21 or older to enter the tournament. Drinks, food, prizes and other games will be provided. It's $60 for a team of two. All proceeds go to support the Boys & Girls Club of Kootenai County.

This is likely just a one-time thing, says Hammons. She hopes it will encourage people to come out no matter their experience with hitting golf balls, or avocado pits.

"If people aren't good at golf, they can come and hang out and have a good time," she says.

JUDO... CHOP!

You never know what you're going to see while watching the sport of judo. No, seriously, I have no idea. But this is the chance to find out: Spokane has been selected to host the 2018 Judo Junior Olympic Championships. Held at the Spokane Convention Center, the Judo championships will host over 1,100 athletes from around the world on June 22-24.

WE ARE IRONMEN

Ironman Coeur d'Alene isn't another Avengers movie. No, these are the real heroes. And while the full Ironman 140.6-mile triathlon that usually takes place in August has been canceled, the Ironman 70.3-mile triathlon is still a go for Sunday, June 24. The racers swim in Lake Coeur d'Alene, bike 56 miles off the west side of the lake, then make a run for it in downtown Coeur d'Alene. If you happen to see them on the road, make sure you give them a cheer. They deserve it.

WE'RE PLAYING BASKETBALL

There's this tournament, you see. It takes over all of downtown Spokane for two days. Basketball hoops fill the streets. Food trucks fill the park. People of all ages compete way too hard against each other. It's called Hoopfest. Ever heard of it? The deadline to register has passed, but if you live in the area, you probably know someone playing. Go check them out! They need your support. Plus, you never know who might show up — last year, Kevin Durant gave Spokane a surprise visit. The tournament is June 30-July 1 this year.

click to enlarge Consider one of the Spokane Indians' theme nights.
  • Consider one of the Spokane Indians' theme nights.

JOCKS + NERDS

If pop culture taught me anything growing up, it was that this world had nerds and it had athletes, and the two don't get along. The Spokane Indians are bucking that stereotype. The theme nights for Indians game this year include Storybook Princess Night (June 23), Harry Potter Night (July 11) and Star Wars Nights (July 13, 14). Now, you get to be a nerd and also say you like sports!

TROT 'N' SPIT

If you've never heard of the Cherry Picker's Trot, you're missing out. (Also, this is its 40th year, so where have you been?) First, imagine a free "pit spit" game to see who can spit the cherry pit the farthest. Then there's the kid's tot-trot for ages 5 and under. Then, of course, there's cherry pie, live music and other food. All this in preparation of a four-mile run through beautiful Green Bluff's cherry orchards. Doesn't that sound like a great summer day? Register for the trot at www.runsignup.com. The event is July 19. Deadline for entry, which costs $10 per person, is July 17.

click to enlarge Early registration for Spike & Dig ends July. 25.
  • Early registration for Spike & Dig ends July. 25.

SPIKE THIS

Volleyball seems to be taking off as both a growing recreational and competitive sport in Spokane. One reason might be the popularity of Spike & Dig, one of the world's largest co-ed outdoor 6-on-6 volleyball tournaments. Early registration this year ends July 25, with the tournament being held Aug. 3 at Dwight Merkel Sports Complex.

FOR THE SHOELESS

What if soccer, but barefoot? That's the basic idea behind the Barefoot 3-on-3 Soccer Tournament in Pavillion Park in Liberty Lake on Aug. 3. The price is $120 per team and the deadline to register is July 24. But that comes with T-shirts for every player, a guaranteed three games, plus live music, a car show, food and drink.

click to enlarge The Spokane Scottish Highland Games are on Saturday, Aug. 4.
  • The Spokane Scottish Highland Games are on Saturday, Aug. 4.

DISCOVER YOUR SCOTTISH SIDE

At the Spokane Scottish Highland Games, you can test your athletic skill and brute strength the old-fashioned way — at least the way the Scottish see it. I'm talking hammer throws, stone put (like the shot put) and caber toss. All skill levels are welcome. The games are held at the Spokane County Fair & Expo Center on Saturday, Aug. 4. The event aims to promote Scottish culture not just with games, but with dance, music, bagpiping and food.

JOIN A LEAGUE

Want to make some friends? Want to force yourself to exercise? Getting involved in a recreational sports league can provide a solution to both, says city of Spokane recreation supervisor Adriano Eva.

"It's the healthy lifestyle — getting a workout in. And the good times, playing with friends or co-workers or families," he says.

There's still time to sign up for flag football and softball leagues through the city of Spokane. Softball is pretty popular, with about 70 teams expected to play this fall. Summer flag football just started last year, Eva says, and this year the city is trying to start a 5-on-5 women's flag football league this year for the first time. Find details at my.spokanecity.org/recreation/sports/.

DILL WITH IT

Start practicing your pickleball, everyone. The fourth annual Coeur d'Alene Pickleball Classic is on its way. There's a reason pickleball is one of those games you played way back in elementary school. It's fun, easy to learn and anyone can play it. This tournament is a little bit more competitive, with it attracting pickleball players from around the world. It's likely to sell out this year. The registration deadline is Aug. 10. The tournament takes place at Cherry Hill Park Tennis Courts. Visit www.inwpc.com. ♦

The original print version of this article was headlined "Sports | Summer Guide 2018"

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