Weekly sports agenda: FIFA World Cup

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Among major upcoming sporting events: There's no escaping the month-long South African FIFA World Cup which runs until July 11, one of the world's biggest horse races, Royal Ascot, is in the UK, and the finest golfers from the PGA and European tour congregate at Pebble Beach, California, for the US Open.

24 Hours of Le Mans
June 12
Le Mans, France

The 78th Grand Prix of Endurance will see competitors from Peugeot, Audi, Aston Martin, BMW, Corvette, Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini, Ford and Jaguar join the prestigious rally, which is the world's oldest. The Le Mans Classic also takes place June 11-13, and Le Mans Legend is June 9-12. Tickets to the main event are from €65 for the weekend, with a Pitwalk Pass available at €470.

European Tree Climbing Championship
June 12-13
Nr. Prague, Czech Republic

Top tree climbers from around Europe flock to the forested Pruhonice Park in the continental championships that also act as qualifier for the International Championship , the 'world cup' of tree climbing, in Illinois, July 24-25. As well as speed climbs and rope climbs, there are points up for grabs as contestants show off their technique in more task-oriented categories such as the Aerial Rescue.

Formula One: Canadian GP
June 13
Montreal, Canada

Eighth in the 19-race season, the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve welcomes the swift and stylish of Formula One for the 27th time after its brief absence from the calendar in 2009. General admission on race day is from $75 CAD (€58), Grandstand tickets from $225 (€173).
http://www.formula1.com or http://www.circuitgillesvilleneuve.ca

NBA Finals
June 6, 8, 10, (13, 15, 17)
Boston and Los Angeles, USA

Another classic match-up between two familiar basketball finalists: the LA Lakers and Boston Celtics have over half the total NBA Championship titles between them. Including this years' first-to-four series, they will have contested the Final ten times (including LA's spell in Mineappolis). The last time they did so was in 2008 when Boston came away with the Larry O'Brien trophy after winning 4-2. The June 13 game starts at 8pm EDT (UTC-4), the June 15 and 17 ones (if needed) will be at 9pm. ABC and TCN have North American broadcast rights.

World Series of Poker
Until July 17
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Despite a panopoly of WSOP-authorized tournaments throughout the year, this is the real deal, with a huge variety of poker rule sets in force for the world's best, luckiest, and most stubborn players to test their mettle against each other for a slice of the pie. The tournament culminates in the 12-day No-Limit Hold'em Championship starting on July 5, before a three-month break when the top nine players will reconvene in November for the Final Table.

FIFA World Cup 2010
June 11-July 11
South Africa

While European nations account for 13 of the 32 competing sides, Africa itself is the next best represented region. Half a million match tickets were held back for this, the final ticketing phase that started on April 15 and runs until the Final on July 11, should any remain unsold for that long. Prices range from $80 (€65) for Category 3 seating in group matches to $900 (€730) for Category 1 tickets for the final. There are discounts available for wheelchair users, South African residents, and there are also Team Specific Tickets that enable holders to follow a team of their choice throughout the tournament. Kick-off times are 1.30pm, 4pm, and 8.30pm South African Standard Time (UTC+2/BST+1).

Mediterranean Freediving World Cup
June 14-20
Kalamata, Greece

The 3rd Mediterranean World Cup Competition, accredited by the AIDA governing body, is a five-day event that welcomes contestants to go the distance in three disciplines: Constant Weight (CWT), Constant Weight without fins (CNF), and Free Immersion (FIM). Thanks to AIDA's support, competing divers are also eligible for world record status should their performance merit it.

Royal Ascot
June 15-19
Ascot, England

One of the world's most well-known events in horse racing, the meeting at Royal Ascot is as much social and fashion event as it is sporting. As is tradition, the Queen arrives in a horse-drawn carriage for each day of the festival. Ticketholders for the Grandstand are subject to a formal dress code in keeping with Royal Ascot's reputation for the smart and stylish. Grandstand admission is £56 at the start of the week rising to £66 for the end (€66-€77). Similarly, Silver Ring tickets are £17 to £22 (€20-€26) but sell out fast. Group discounts are available.

Golf: US Open
June 17-20
Pebble Beach, California, USA

Being part of the golfing year's schedule for both the PGA Tour and European Tour, and the second of four major championships, the US Open attracts plenty of attention due to the prestigious nature of the players granted automatic entry. The last ten US Open champions are guaranteed an invite, as are the last five from the Masters, British Open, and PGA Championship, among others. Tickets are selling out and range from $110 for grounds access up to $175 for pavilion access.

British MotoGP
June 20
Silverstone, UK

The 2010 motorcycling season gathers steam at Britain's historic circuit, and this is race is the first in a five-year deal with the MotoGP that saw the addition of a new infield section to the track. Sunday tickets start at £55 (€65), and there are options for more enviable views at £85 and £105 (€105, €125).
http://www.silverstone.co.uk or http://www.motogp.com

The Championship - Wimbledon
June 21 - July 4
Wimbledon, UK

Though the ballot for public tickets closed in December 2009, and the majority of tickets therefore already allocated, the All England Lawn Tennis Club state that around 6,000 ground passes are available per day, and 500 for the Centre, No.1 and No.2 courts. Those who manage to snag a ground pass but not a seat gather on Aorangi Terrace, known as 'Henman Hill', to watch on a huge television screen placed adjacent to No. 1 Court and join the cheers and celebrations from there. Ticket payments are to be made in cash only: ground passes cost between £8 and £20 (€9.70-24.30), while court passes are between £34 and £85 (€41.30-103.25), depending on the day. Centre court tickets for the last four days of play (Jul 1-4) will not be available for purchase at the turnstiles.

The Arctic Open
June 24-26
Akureyri, Iceland

Held at the world's most northern golf course at the Akureyri Golf Club, this tournament is scheduled at a time of year when the sun hardly dips below the horizon - though round times are a little more restrained with tee-offs at 4pm. While the Club has links with travel agents in the USA and northern Europe, there are also more locally based travel agents happy to organize tours of the country's arresting scenery for those looking for a pre-tournament jaunt. Entry to the Arctic Open costs $385, including the opening reception and closing dinner.

Formula One: European Grand Prix
June 27, 2pm (BST+1)
Valencia, Spain

Nearly halfway through the 2010 Formula One calendar, the race at Valencia's Street Circuit could prove decisive in Mark Webber's quest to win the Championship. Grandstand passes start at €305 and rise to €715, covering practice and qualifying days as well as the race.
http://www.formula1.com or http://www.valenciastreetcircuit.com

Kirkpinar Wrestling Festival
June 25-27
Edirne, Turkey

The 649th Turkish Oil Wrestling Festival Week is centered around events in Sarayici Stadium, with competitors rubbed down and clad in leather chaps. Though the cultural festival runs from Monday 21, sporting events do not get underway until Friday 25, with finals on Sunday 27. An estimated 700 male competitors will take part across seven categories, and for Edirne it's the biggest tourist attraction of the year.

Maryhill Festival of Speed
June 30 - July 4
Goldendale, Washington, USA

The first round in the International Gravity Sports Association's World Cup schedule, Maryhill hosts for only the fourth year but is already a top draw location for competitive downhill skateboarding and street luge.

Freediving Team World Championships
June 30 - July 10
Okinawa, Japan

Though Freediving is in the main a solo sport, AIDA's Team World Championships are an opportunity for solidarity through combined effort. There are events in static apnea (holding one's breath underwater) as well as submerged distance swimming over the 11-day championship. Entrance to events at the Okinawa General Playground pool is free of charge.

Goodwood Festival of Speed
July 2-4
Goodwood Estate, West Sussex, England

Billed by organizers as the "world's largest car event," the Goodwood Festival of Speed brings together cars of all types from all countries. From current Formula 1 racers and 200 mph supercars to steam-powered carriages of the 19th century, the event is part show, part race and a must-see event for car buffs. General admission for the entire weekend costs £107 (€130), one-day tickets are £40 (€50) on Saturday and Sunday.