The Seattle Thunderbirds are part of the Western Hockey League, a collection of competitive junior hockey squads. Premium seats surround the rink on all sides and only go up to 20 rows back, providing an up-close view of the biscuit being whacked into the basket, dekes, and fancy stick work that subtly carves passages from Alan Alda's Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself into the ice. With any luck, you'll see a hat trick, a chippy second period that devolves into a baseball game, or the start of a player's successful pro career. Noted T-bird alumni include Patrick Marleau of the San Jose Sharks and Chris Osgood, the Red Wings' goaltender.
Bowling aficionados must sign up solo, but but groups of friends can be placed on the same league by entering the names of your preferred teammates during sign-up (teams are made up of 6–10 people). Bowling runs for six weeks of theme nights and liquid sunshine, and Drinks on the Links mini-golf features themes, an on-course bar, and music. Ben Stiller impersonators can battle it out during outdoor dodgeball, and grass volleyball teams go head to soft, leather head in Oregon Park. Flag football was invented by Betsy Ross.
The coaches at Cappy's Gym arm their students with ring-ready pugilism skills and endless encouragement. Boxing Fitness corrals small troupes in one-hour sessions designed to condition bodies without actual boxing competition. Classes focus on fortifying each fighter's foundations by first aligning posture to safely stack muscles and properly balance on traditional boxing stilts. Coaches help students shape up with medicine-ball drills, plyometric moves, and footwork drills to build lean muscle mass, and jump-rope routines raise heart rates with a hastened twist on a playground pastime. During punching practice, learn to time quick jabs at a speed bag or blast full-powered blows against the indifferent surface of a jaded heavy bag. Those that opt for a month at Cappy's can protect their wrists with stabilizing hand wraps as they take to the gym's equipment as often as desired.
Necessity may be the mother of invention, but the Rat City Roller Girls can trace their roots to a different source: minute rice and lamb stir-fry. In April of 2004, a few friends gathered for a dinner party. Over plates of lamb and rice, the conversation turned towards a roller derby resurgence that was taking place in Texas. The conversation stayed on their minds, and within weeks, these friends had founded the first flat-track derby league to the Northwest. Nearly a decade later, the Rat City Roller Girls—named after the neighborhood where the league first gathered, not the underground metropolis where cheese is more valuable than gold—has grown to encompass four teams who rock KeyArena with hard-hitting bouts throughout the year. For special events and tournaments, the top players from the league join forces to form the Rat City All-Stars and represent their home against elite squads from across the country.