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BOO 2012

Sports & Recreation - Staff Picks

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Orlando Hurling Club

Best sport you've probably never heard of

Orlando Hurling Club

First word we received about this Gaelic jumble of a sport was when Orlando Hurling Club hosted their Clash of the Ash tournament last September. Dubbed "the fastest game played on a grass field," according to Orlando Hurling Club's Scott Graves, hurling is an Irish game that combines the athleticism of lacrosse, baseball and hockey, if you can imagine that mashup. In play since 2010, Orlando Hurling Club is the largest organized hurling team in Florida. The club holds open practices and public tournaments on a regular basis, and it's always recruiting new players to the team. You may not know what hurling is – and it kind of defies explanation – but check out their site and find out for yourself why it's catching on here in Orlando.


Best surfing variant


Almost any weekend you see them on Cocoa Beach: folks rigged out in an unholy alliance of snowboard, surfboard and parachute. Whether you call it kiteboarding, kitesurfing or parasurfing, it's the fastest (non-motorized) sport on the water. Rig a parachute harness around your torso, snap your feet into the board bindings, and take off as fast as the wind will take you – just don't expect to stay on the surface of the water. Once the wind fills that chute, serious air will be caught. (Spectators should vacate the sand when it's time to come in for a landing or risk a "kite"-smash to the head.)


Best came-out-of-nowhere team

Orlando City Soccer Club

They came seemingly from out of nowhere, and they've totally blown us away. In their inaugural season, the Orlando City Soccer Club won the United Soccer League Pro championship at the Florida Citrus Bowl and hosted the largest crowd ever recorded in a single United Soccer League game. Then at their preseason supporters' summit in January, a loud-and-proud fan base packed Mojo Cajun Bar & Grill to kick off the team's second season and garner support for a bid at being named a Major League Soccer team. Returning this year with 80 percent of their original roster, the club didn't suffer a loss until nearly six weeks into their sophomore season. We'd go on, but really, these guys and their explosive success speaks for itself.


Best team in boots

Orlando Rugby Club

When you're talking about contact sports, rugby is the United Kingdom's full-fledged version of American football – sans the wimpy shoulder pads and helmets. Since 1970, Orlando Rugby Club's maintained a prominent showing in the Florida Rugby Union, most recently with last season's 19-1 finish and national championship playoff run (albeit short-lived). Players of all ages and levels are encouraged to try out, but unless you're up for the "rucks," "mauls" and "scrums" associated with these battles, we'd suggest you sit this one out.

Best of Orlando 2012
  • Local Color - Reader' Picks This year's Best of Orlando issue was written, edited, tallied, combined and compiled with the blood, sweat and tears of Marcus Griggs, Holly V. Kapherr, Faiyaz Kara... | 7/18/2012
  • Local Color - Staff Picks Gracing the cover of Orlando Weekly's 2012 Best of Orlando issue is no sweat, when you're Jose Melendez. Better known as Orlando's Mr. Gold, Melendez is the... | 7/18/2012
  • Goods & Services - Reader' Picks Best adult entertainment store 1st Fairvilla Megastore, 1740 N. Orange Blossom Trail, 407-425-6005; 7631 | 7/18/2012
  • Goods & Services - Staff Picks Nameplates! Doorknockers! Gucci bamboo hoops! Cuban links, herringbones, dookie ropes! Medallions! Dog tags! Caps and grills! On strictly utilitarian... | 7/18/2012
  • Food & Drink - Reader' Picks Best Caribbean 1st Bahama Breeze, multiple locations, bahamabreeze.com 2nd Mama Millie's, 12273 University Blvd., 407-382-3570, mamamillies.com | 7/18/2012
  • Food & Drink - Staff Picks Best attention-grabber beverage Beet & green apple juice from Café 118 | 7/18/2012
  • Music & Nightlife - Staff Picks If you're afraid of heights, stay away: Aptly named after its striking 180-degree view of downtown Orlando, this chic sanctuary sits at the top of Amway Center's... | 7/18/2012
  • Music & Nightlife - Reader' Picks Best Club DJ 1ST Baby Lac, @djbabylac 2ND Lemy Currey, facebook.com/lemycurrey 3rd Jimmy Joslin, facebook.com/JimmyJoslin | 7/18/2012
  • Arts & Culture - Reader' Picks Best Arts Event/Festival 1st The Orlando International Fringe Theater Festival, orlandofringe.org 2nd Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival, wpsaf.org 3rd Nude Nite Art Exposé, nudenite.com | 7/18/2012
  • Arts & Culture - Staff Picks Best public art that doubles as a weapon "Symphony," 1989, by Paul Marco Mennello Museum of American Art 900 East Princeton Street 407-246-4278 mennellomuseum.com If you've ever thought of an "ice knife" as the perfect murder weapon (it melts! No finger | 7/18/2012
  • Sports & Recreation - Reader' Picks Best billiards hall 1st Sportstown Billiards, 2414 E. Robinson St., 407-894-6258, sportstownbilliards.com 2nd Cue-Phoria Billiards and Café, 2050 Semoran Blvd., Winter Park, 321-972-1867, cuephoria.com 3rd Trick Shots Billiards, multiple locations | 7/18/2012
  • Sports & Recreation - Staff Picks First word we received about this Gaelic jumble of a sport was when Orlando Hurling Club hosted their Clash of the Ash tournament last September. | 7/18/2012
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