All the other kids were chosen one by one. You stood there in the diminishing line thinking, "Don't choose me last, please god, make them pick me. . . . " But they didn't— by default you were given to the unlucky team, and you stood waiting for your turn, humiliated and desperate to put in a good performance. Then you blooped out on your first kick, and some redheaded kid said, "You suck."
Elementary school kickball still keep you up at night?
Get redemption and catharsis in the newly formed adult kickball league.
Says Earvin Cutwright, 31, tax attorney and founder of the league: "For starters, it's difficult to think about it without smiling because it [reminds you of] being a kid. Plus, a lot of people are intimidated by flag football, softball, and those kind of things, but this encourages everyone to come out regardless of athletic ability."
The league has four teams right now: the Switch Kickers, Kick-a-Doodle-Do, the Hawks, and one team that is still deciding on a name. Last Tuesday, the games were joined by no less than JD Pruess of Fox Sports Northwest, who explained that he was there because kickball "was a very undercovered sport" and that, he was "a short little fat kid growing up, and this was just getting over all the trauma." On his first at bat, he got an infield single.
The league rules are easy: Six people are needed to field a team; everyone bats each inning; a foul kick is an automatic out; if you hit a base runner between the waist and shoulders, it's an out; and force-outs apply (just like in baseball). These simple rules provide a framework for volcanic drama: The 7:30 game almost erupted in bedlam after a Kick-a-Doodle-Do player knocked the ball away in an unsportsmanlike manner from a Switch Kickers player trying to field it. The conflict was resolved without hooliganism—soccer fans take note.
The players' ages range from early 20s to mid-40s, and a wide range of athletic ability is evident—the base running shifts between lumbering shuffles to fleet, gazellelike speed. The team I played for, the Switch Kickers, was a diverse group with one unfortunately common trait: quadriceps injuries.
"Ha ha, kickball," you say. "You'd probably pull a deltoid sitting in an inflatable pool!"
Laugh away, but no fewer than four members of the Switch Kickers were immobilized by this pervasive kickball-related injury— including this reporter after his first at bat.
If you or anyone you know would like to join the league, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 579-3115.