Amateur Power

For jocks itching to get in the game -- whether that game is baton twirling or BMX bike racing -- the Grand Canyon State Summer Games serve up sports of all sorts. From Friday, June 20, through Sunday, June 22, some 9,000 amateur athletes will compete in 37 events at venues throughout the Valley. And because of the Games' open-door policy, every entrant -- regardless of age or ability -- has a sporting chance, whether pursuing individual achievement (diving, judo, arm wrestling . . .) or group glory (flag football, soccer, synchronized swimming . . .). With such diversity on the docket, it might be tough for a sports fan to focus. But in terms of entertainment value, our money's on Goal Ball, in which teams of three to six players attempt to roll an "audible ball" over the opponent's back line -- but with a wacky twist: Every player wears a blindfold. Catch the blind beating the blind at 9 a.m. Friday, June 20, at the North High School Gym, 11th Street and Thomas.

See or call 480-517-9700 for a complete event schedule. - Jill Koch

Gear Factor

Jets and funny cars fire up

Sat 6/21
Fourth of July comes early this year at Firebird International Raceway's Circle K Jets vs. Funny Cars and Fireworks, Too! This Saturday, June 21, at twilight's last gleaming, put your hand over your heart -- to keep it in your chest as power throbs on the track below. Feel the rumble as Robosaurus, the fire-breathing mechanical T. rex, crunches cars like potato chips; motorcycles roar over ramp jumps; and jet dragsters and funny cars streak into the night with a rocket's red glare. For the finale: fireworks bursting in air. Gates open at 4 p.m., and the main event starts at 7 p.m. General admission is $24; pit reserved seats are $42. For more information, call 602-268-0200 or see Kim Toms

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Brendan Joel Kelley
Eric Schandel