Four Summer Sports to Watch or Do

Because summer is the time of the year to be active, or to watch other people be.

Jun 12, 2013 at 10:56 am

1. Cincinnati Rollergirls vs. Black-n-Blue Rollergirls

The Cincinnati Rollergirls must be doing pretty well these days — they have mass advertisements on buses around town showing people how cool they look. Those interested in seeing the ’girls in action can do so in the shiny new Bank of Kentucky Center at Northern Kentucky University, where the Cincinnati Rollergirls will take on another local squad, Northern Kentucky’s Black-n-Bluegrass Rollergirls, in the second-annual Crosstown Knockdown on June 22. The Cincinnati team won last year’s inaugural rivalry game at the Cincinnati Gardens, where it is expected to take place again next year. This match is a double header, and the featured charity is Cinderella’s Closet, a prom dress donation organization that provides formalwear to underprivileged girls for their proms. Doors open for meet-and-greet at 5:30 p.m.; bout starts at 6:30 p.m. June 22. $12 presale; $15 at the door. Bank of Kentucky Center, 500 Louie B Nunn Drive, Highland Heights, Ky.,

2. Joey Votto Bobblehead Day

There are plenty of reasons to watch the Cincinnati Reds this year — the team has one of baseball’s best records and is probably going to be awesome all year long and make the playoffs again. But even though there are already many incentives to see a game down at Great American Ball Park — home runs, Shin-Soo Choo, Aroldis Chapman throwing 100 mph, LaRosa’s pizza with pepperonis on top, etc. — it never hurts to get something for free, too, right? On Aug. 6 fans will pack GABP early to watch the Reds take on the Oakland A’s and take home a Joey Votto bobblehead doll — one of sports’ most popular collectibles based on the likeness of one of baseball’s best players. Votto is having a season reminiscent of his 2010 campaign when he won the MVP. Plus, the A’s are good this year, too. Only the first 30,000 in attendance get the bobblehead. 7:10 p.m. Aug. 6. Tickets start at $5. Great American Ball Park, 100 Joe Nuxhall Way, Downtown,

3. Western & Southern Open

The event doesn’t actually take place in Cincinnati proper, as Mason is its own city, but it’s cool to see “CINCINNATI” plastered across ESPN for a week every summer when the world’s best tennis players play in the Western & Southern Open. Superstars like Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova are scheduled to participate. The Cincinnati tournament is actually the only one of the nine ATP Masters 1000 events Djokovic has never won (he came close last year, losing to Federer in the finals). Li Na of China knocked off Venus Williams in the semifinals last year en route to the women’s championship. Aug. 10-18. $10-$90. Lindner Family Tennis Center, 5460 Courseview Drive, Mason, 513-398-2872,

4. Wake Nation Cincinnati

Taking a boat somewhere is difficult — you have to tow it with a truck, back it into the water and then try to notice quickly when someone randomly jumps overboard to make everyone laugh. Many local wakeboarders forgo the whole process, instead heading out to Wake Nation in Fairfield to ramp around on a man-made lake being pulled by cables. Wake Nation welcomes beginners, too, so you don’t even really need to know how to ski/wakeboard to give it a shot. It costs money to wakeboard, but parking and admission are free for those who just want to watch people get extreme on the water. Open noon-8 p.m. Monday and 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday through August.; hours change in September and October. Two-hour ride pass: $30; four-hour ride pass: $35; all-day ride pass: $40; season passes available. 201 Joe Nuxhall Way, Fairfield, 513-887-9253,