The National Cherry Blossom Festival may be winding down, but the games are just beginning. Three festival-related competitions -- on land and water -- take place this weekend and next, starting Saturday with a bit of a scrum in downtown Washington.
* More than 50 rugby clubs will compete in the 37th annual National Cherry Blossom Invitational Rugby Tournament, including clubs from the Washington area, the rest of the country and around the world. The tournament starts Saturday at 8 and continues until around 4:30. Sunday's championship rounds and consolation matches start at 8:40 and continue to around 4:30. All matches will be played on the Mall on fields near the Reflecting Pool. Spectators are welcome.
For more information, call 202-299-9771.
* The Cherry Blossom Lacrosse Tournament takes place April 12-13 from 8 to 4 on the Mall on fields near the Reflecting Pool. The tournament starts April 12 with a round-robin competition featuring high school girls' teams from Bullis, National Cathedral, Georgetown Visitation, Oakton and Centreville in the Washington area and Springside from Philadelphia. On the men's fields, the inaugural Grand Masters (players over 45 years old) event will start at 10. Sidwell Friends will host Archbishop Carroll on the boys' field at noon, while Hyde School plays School Without Walls on the girls' side in a game featuring two new teams trained by the Washington Inner City Lacrosse Foundation, a nonprofit organization that organizes lacrosse games in the inner city. Later April 12, freshman and sophomore girls' high school all-star teams from Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia will take the field, including Future Elite, Explosion, Maryland Stars and Super NOVA. The men's fields will feature a round-robin tournament among post-collegiate club teams from the American Lacrosse League.
On April 13, play starts at 11 with eight post-collegiate women's teams in a round-robin tournament that will run all day. The fields will feature 13- and 14-year-old boys from Fort Hunt Youth and Lake Braddock Youth in Virginia, Damascus, Montgomery Village and Rockville in Maryland and Y-Lax from the District. In the afternoon, the Southern Division of the American Lacrosse League will play its regularly scheduled games.
Spectators are welcome. For more information, call 202-547-1500.
* Men's and women's crews from 11 universities, including host George Washington University, will compete in the 16th annual George Washington University Invitational Crew Classic, April 12 from 9 to about 5 on the Potomac River off Georgetown. Men's and women's squads from George Washington, Georgetown, Marietta and the Naval Academy will take part. Also participating will be men's crews from George Mason, Temple and Virginia, along with women's crews from Columbia, Kansas State, St. Joseph's and Tennessee.
Preliminary heats begin at 9, and the finals are scheduled to begin at 1. The 2,000-meter, four-lane course begins near the Spout Run area of the Potomac River and finishes at Washington Harbour in Georgetown. The riverfront terrace at Washington Harbour, 3000 K St. NW, is a good place to watch the finish. Admission is free. Call 202-994-6654.
-- Larry Fox