Steel City Sports

The Riveters, Steel City Softball.

Stonewall Sports isn’t the only game in town. There are the Steel City leagues, softball and volleyball and more.  

The Steel City Softball League began in 1981 and remains the longest-running LGBTQ+ sports organizations in the Pittsburgh area. The league provides an atmosphere for individuals to be themselves without fear of discrimination and is open to all members and friends of the LGBTQ+ community of Pittsburgh. Their season started in early May and ends in late August.

The Steel City Volleyball League offers up two indoor seasons, a Fall season from September to December and a Winter Season from January to May. They play on Sundays.

During the summer, Steel City Volleyball has unofficial pickup games for recreational and intermediate level players on Sunday’s adjacent to the Schenley Oval Sportsplex and Competitive/Power level players meet across the net on Tuesdays.

“The Steel City Volleyball league provides LGBTQIA+ people along with allies an opportunity to learn, play, and grow in the organized sport of recreational and competitive volleyball,” Andrew Twigg, former board president and mentorship committee chair, said. “That includes mentorship and skill development, as well as social events for members.”

Twigg shared what separates Steel City Softball League from other leagues in the city.

“There are two key features that make our league different from many others: First, there are multiple skill levels, so anyone can play whether they are a total novice or played their whole life,” he said.  “Second, every single member joins individually, so you don’t need to know anyone to join, and everyone gets placed on a team by the board. This allows players to meet new people every season and helps prevent team cliques from developing.”

Michael Immen, Chair of the Steel City Volleyball Outreach Committee, shared a personal moment about why he values Steel City sports.

 “For me, I originally joined with hesitancy at the request of a friend and to fulfill a promise,” he said. “I did not have an interest in volleyball and had a bit of social anxiety at the thought of being surrounded by what my mind projected as ‘bitchy queens judging and shaming me.’ After attending one try out session, I immediately fell in love. Don’t get me wrong, the queens are definitely bitchy, but they are also inclusive, encouraging, and root for you to succeed. I’ve met my best friends through this network of beautiful people, and my entire life has been transformed. I cannot wait until each Sunday comes to go be with my tribe.”

The Steel City Bowling League also bowls at the Bowlero Pittsburgh in Greentree. If you’re an avid bowler or avid volleyball player, you can join both leagues, Steel City and Stonewall. 

Michael Buzzelli is a stand-up comedian and sit-down author. As a comedian, he has performed all around the country, most notably, the Ice House, the Comedy Store and the Improv in Los Angeles. As a writer, Michael Buzzelli has been published in a variety of websites, magazines and newspapers. He is a theater and arts critic for 'Burgh Vivant,’ Pittsburgh's online cultural talk magazine. He is also a Moth Grand Slam storyteller and actor. His books, "Below Average Genius," a collection of essays culled from his weekly humor column in the Observer-Reporter, and his romantic comedy,  “All I Want for Christmas," are on sale at Amazon.com. He is working on a LGBTQ romantic comedy called, “Why I Hate My Friends.” You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter. (He / Him / His)