Weekly sports agenda: NBA Conference Finals, Super 14 rugby, Champions League

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Among major upcoming sporting events: last year's NBA finalists make it through to their respective NBA Conference Finals; Rugby Union's Super 14 tournament moves into the semi-final stage; Barcelona, Spain, welcome Italy's Inter Milan and Germany's Bayern Munich for the UEFA Champions League final, and and annual events in Pinball and Dog Surfing take place.

Cricket: ICC World Twenty20 Final
May 16
Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, West Indies

Despite underwhelming results in their warm-up matches - and aided by the seeding based on those games - the England Twenty20 side stormed to the top of their Super 8s group with an impressive three wins out of three against Pakistan, New Zealand, and South Africa, before comfortably dispatching Sri Lanka in the semi-finals. Pakistan meet a strong Australian side on Friday 14 to decide who else will contend the 2010 trophy.

Athletics: 24th IAAF World Race Walking Cup
May 15-16
Chihuahua, Mexico

Expect average temperatures of 21°C at an altitude of 1,440m for the Men's and Women's 20km, and the Men's 50km World Race Walking Cup. There are also races for Juniors (must be aged 16-19 on December 31 2010). Top athletes will be covering the distances in less than 2 hours, or under 5 hours for the longer course. Prizes of up to $30,000 await the world's best race walkers.

Ball sports: Bossaball European Indoor Championship 2010
May 15-16
Roggel, Netherlands

Imagine a cross between volleyball, trampolining, and gymnastics. In the middle of an inflatable court, one player stands on a trampoline while teammates set up spiking opportunities for the high flier as they endeavour to beat the opposing team. The European Championships bring together teams from Spain, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Slovenia, and hosts The Netherlands, following a pre-selection tournament that took place on May 8.

Formula One: Monaco Grand Prix
May 16
Monte Carlo, Monaco

Arguably the most prestigious race in the motoring calendar, the Monaco Grand Prix pits Formula One drivers against the narrow roads and tight turns of Monte Carlo, as well as against each other. A win for Michael Schumacher will bring him level with the late Ayrton Senna, who holds the record for the most wins on the circuit.

Basketball: NBA Playoffs Conference Finals
May 16-31
Boston, Orlando, Los Angeles and Phoenix, USA

The LA Lakers, winners of the 2009 NBA Finals, face the Phoenix Suns, while fellow 2009 finalists in the Orlando Magic have the Boston Celtics to deal with if they want to set up a rematch for the 2010 NBA Finals. Like previous series in the playoffs, each conference final is the best of seven games. Boston and Orlando play each other on May 16, 18, 22, 24, 26, 28, and 30 (starting at 8.30PM ET for all but the game on May 16 which is 3.30PM). The Lakers and the Suns play on May 17, 19, 23, 25, 27, 29, and 31, starting at 9.00PM each day apart from the 23 and 29, which commence at 8.30 PM ET. Domestically, TNT have broadcast rights to the Lakers/Suns games while ESPN cover the Celtics/Magic series, apart from the May 16 game which is on ABC.

IFPA7 World Pinball Championship
May 21-23
Cokato, Minnesota, USA

A prize fund of $13,000 tempts pinball wizards to Minnesota's Pinball Hall of Fame to ply their trade on a collection of 48 machines, ranging from pre-1978 electro-mechanical tables through the solid state electronic technologies of the 80's, right up to the modern dot-matrix era.

Rugby: Super 14 Semi Finals
May 21 & 22
Venues TBC

The Super 14 is a 14-team rugby union tournament for club sides from Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand. By May 15, final league standings will be determined, and the top four will go on to the semi final rounds - the Bulls having already booked their place with a decent lead at the top of the table. The Bull's semi-final against the fourth-placed team will be in the Orlando Stadium, Soweto, while finalization for the 2nd vs 3rd semi is forthcoming. Four points for a win and two points for a draw mean that sides in places two through six can go through, and even seventh-placed Reds have a slim chance of sneaking through to the semis.

Watersports: Loews Coronado Bay Resort Dog Surfing Competition
May 22
Imperial Beach, CA, USA

Dog surfing returns to Loews in this battle of both style and substance, as canine mount up on water-bound boards to raise money for charitable causes - this year, for their fellow fidos in the San Diego Police Department - and each waverider has 10 minutes to strut their stuff. Entry costs are $50-$55.

Football: UEFA Champions League Final
May 22
Madrid, Spain

Bayern Munich play Internazionale at the Bernabeu, Real Madrid's home ground. Bayern thumped Lyon 4-0 over two legs to get to the final, also scoring four against Manchester United in the quarter finals over a challenging pair of matches that was decided on away goals. Bayern last won the tournament in 2001 while their coach Louis van Gaal clinched it in 1995 with Ajax. Inter, meanwhile, have the enigmatic Jose Mourinho at the helm who claimed the trophy in 2004 with giant-killers Porto and masterminded the Italian side's domination of 2009 winners Barcalona.

Rugby Union: Sevens World Series
May 22-23, London, UK
May 29-30, Edinburgh, UK

The penultimate stage of the IRB Sevens arrives in England in what the organizers hope will be a world record crowd, aiming for over 100,000 spectators crammed into the stadium at Twickenham to watch the 12 core teams (Samoa, New Zealand, Fiji, Australia, England, South Africa, Kenya, Argentina, USA, Wales, Canada, and France) play each other and four guests (Portugal, Italy, Russia, and Scotland) over a bevy of short matches. Tickets are between £10 (€11.5) and £25 (€29) per day for adults with discounts for juniors and groups at Twickenham. Edinburgh's Murrayfield stadium offer £10 tickets for seniors and students, with adult tickets marked at £15 (€17.5), under 18s at £5 (€6), and a family of two adult and two under 18s getting in for £35 (€40).

MotoGP: French Grand Prix
May 23
Le Mans, France

Bugatti circuit, part of Le Mans' 13.6km / 8.5mi Circuit de la Sarthe used in the 24hr races, situated not far from Paris in a region filled with historic chateaux and gardens. Tickets bought are €69 for a three day weekend pass, €117-160 in the grandstands, and from €295 for various levels of VIP service.
http://www.motogp.com or http://www.gpfrancemoto.com

Tennis: French Open
May 23 - June 6
Paris, France

The second Grand Slam event of the 2010 ATP World Tour has tennis great Roger Federer as its men's defending champion - when he won in 2009 he became only the sixth professional to win all four Grand Slam singles. Svetlana Kuznetsova will need to recover the form that saw her jump 5 WTA rankings to 3rd in 2009 in order to retain the women's trophy. Expect to pay from €175 up to €2,000 for tickets, depending on the match and seating category.

Multi-disciplinary: Paralympic World Cup
May 25-31
Manchester, UK

With tournaments in 7-a-side football, swimming, athletics, and wheelchair basketball, the Paralympic World Cup. Competing athletes and teams are entered across five different categories in order to ensure a level playing field, and nationalities are grouped into teams representing Great Britain, the USA, Europe, and Rest of the World. There are also interactive activities for spectators: 3 on 3 football, wheelchair basketball taster sessions, and other workouts. Tickets are between £2.50 and £6 (€2.90 - €6.90)

World Series of Poker
May 28 - July 17
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Despite a panopoly of WSOP-authorised 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 9 players will reconvene in November for the Final Table.

Water sports: Rowing World Cup (Stage 1 of 3)
May 28-30
Bled, Slovenia

The first of three Rowing World Cup series events, with June's second stage in Munich, Germany before the last RWC meet to be held in Lucerne, Switzerland. The lakeside town of Bled is also the venue for the 2011 World Rowing Championships, and the website has details on plenty of local hotels, villas, and hostels.
http://www.worldrowing.com or http://www.bled2011.org

Formula 1 Turkish Grand Prix
May 30
Istanbul, Turkey

Inching closer towards the half-way stage of the 2010 Formula One season, Button, Alonso and Vettel will be keen to exert their dominance over the rest of the field. The Istanbul Park Circuit are selling three-day grandstand tickets from 75 Turkish Lira (€40) up to 550 YTL (€290); tickets and VIP packages are also available via the Formula One website.
http://www.istanbulparkcircuit.com or http://www.formula1.com

Endurance: European Orienteering Championships
May 30 - June 5
Primorsko, Bulgaria

Organized by the Bulgarian Orienteering Federation and encompassing three distinct orienteering classes - sprint, middle distance, and long distance - the 30 women and 40 men competing for the European Championship title will find their way through the forests close by to Primorsko, a seaside town with a population of 8,000 perched on the Black Sea. Courses comprise a mixture of terrain types, from the flat woodland and sand dunes of the Sprint to the cumbersome and prickly wooded hillsides of the Long Distance Final.

Cotswold Olimpick Games
June 4
Chipping Camden, England

The Cotswold Olimpicks trace their roots back to the early 1600s, located as they are on a hill above Chipping Camden in southwest England, though not uninterrupted since then. However, a renewed interest in the traditional sports of the time has led to the revival of the Games since the 1960s, so expect an obstacle race, hammer throw, shot put, spurning the barre (caber tossing), all leading up to the teeth-gritting test of endurance that is the British Championship Shin Kicking Final.