Pub sport Signup ends today for the Houston Dart Association's Wednesday night summer league. The Wednesday night league includes an inner-city division for folks who don't want to travel outside the Loop. Sign up at Rick's Darts and Games, 7205 Harwin, 952-5900. Cost is $5 per person, plus a $20 annual HDA membership fee.
Bowling, bowling, bowling Bowl for the Texas Institute of Rehabilitation and Research and help earn the group a little money it can use to help others. As a bonus, an afternoon of heaving a ten-pound ball down an alley will let you discover just how out of shape you are before summer really gets rolling. 9:30 a.m. 4191 Bellaire Blvd. Call 528-0123 to enroll your team. Bowlers need to collect a minimum of $35 in pledges. If you find yourself hooked, summer leagues start up this week.
You don't have to be young, a man or even Christian The Downtown Y kicks off a whole slew of classes this week that are sure to get you sweating as much indoors as you already are outdoors: a volleyball clinic, boxercise, a weight circuit workout, adult aqua aerobics and kids' karate classes all begin today. Prices range from $20$45. 1600 Louisiana, 758-9235.
Fun with Flipper Enjoy the fresh air of the Houston Ship Channel, and learn all about bottlenose dolphins. The Galveston Bay Foundation reports that it's a little too warm to get people out on the bayous in canoes, but you can still catch an A&M research vessel, on which you'll follow shrimp boats up the Ship Channel into the bay and learn how these remarkable mammals are protected in the wild. 8:30 a.m.4 p.m. $40, adults; $20, teens ages 1218. 332-3381.
Tips for the lazy gardener If you haven't started your summer garden yet, you're late. Get out there anyway, and plant something in the ground. If you've already got something growing in your garden that's worthy of showing off, think about getting it ready for Covington's Airline Nursery's Tomato and Vegetable Growing Contest June 8. For info on the free but sure-to-be-stiff competition, call 447-1690.
Astros vs. the Colorado Rockies Youths attending Thursday's game will receive buttons and tattoos of "The Phantom." (We assume they mean temporary tattoos.) Also, All-Star voting is under way. Pick up a schedule to make sure you don't miss a series with any of your fave National League teams. 7:05 p.m. start each night. Astrodome, Kirby Dr. at Loop 610. 629-3700. $4$19.
Astros vs. the Philadelphia Phillies Saturday is Boy Scout Day, and the first 15,000 youths will be presented with squeeze bottles. 7:05 p.m. start Friday; 12:05 p.m. start Saturday; 1:35 p.m. start Sunday (which is Corpus Christi Day!). Astrodome, Kirby Dr. at Loop 610. 629-3700. $4$19.
Texas Terror vs. the San Jose SaberCats It's arena football, and they say it's so much fun, it's scary. Special start time, because the game's on ESPN2. 7 p.m. The Summit, 10 Greenway Plaza, 629-3700. $7.50$27.50.
Pothole-free biking Grab your helmet and head out to the Alkek Velodrome, the city's 330-meter oval that plays host during the year to many a U.S. Cycling Federation event. This summer, Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops are invited to come out for organized outings of flat-track racing. Summer hours are 59 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and 48 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays (when you can in-line skate, too). Cullen Park, between Barker Cypress and Saums roads, 578-0693. Free admission; bikes available for rent.
Spectator soccer The Houston Hotshots -- who seem to be carrying on the mostly abandoned Houston pro sports tradition of wearing orange, red and yellow -- open their 1996 season tonight against the San Diego Sockers. This is a sport advertised as "bone crushing" and "totally extreme." 7:35 p.m. The Summit, 11 Greenway Plaza, 629-3700. $6$22.
Summit soccer The Houston Hotshots battle the Detroit Neon. If you feel like you need to learn more about the game, catch Telemundo 48's weekly highlight show, which airs from 10:3011 p.m. Sundays. 7:35 p.m. The Summit, 11 Greenway Plaza, 629-3700. $6$22.
City softball Registration for the city's summer softball leagues is today, and is operated on a first come, first serve basis. Play starts July 15 at city parks including Hermann, Memorial and T.C. Jester. $150$200 per team. For information, call 641-5051.
Vegetable Racquet Squash is a lovely, leathery-skinned fruit that's hard for some people to grow; it's also a lovely indoor racquet sport that's hard for some people to play. The not-at-all leathery-skinned folks at the Downtown Y will introduce newcomers to all the whys and wherefores of the game during Try Squash Night. (Class repeats July 30.) 1600 Louisiana, 758-9286. Free.
Football boys of summer Texas Terror vs. the Orlando Predators. 7:30 p.m. The Summit, 10 Greenway Plaza, 629-3700. $7.50$27.50.
America's Horse Quarter horse season kicks off today at the Sam Houston Race Park. See the Fourth of July section for more information. 7 p.m. Sam Houston Race Park, 7575 North Sam Houston Tollway (Fallbrook-Windfern exit), 807-8700. Regular admission, $3; parking, $2.
Houston Hotshots vs. the Dallas Sidekicks Indoor soccer fans can head out to The Summit for this one, or they can tune in to Prime Sports -- further evidence that we live in a beautiful world. 6:05 p.m. The Summit, 11 Greenway Plaza, 629-3700. $6$22.