Organized sports are healthy for kids. It helps them build confidence; they learn team work and its good exercise. But every Wednesday at one public park Huntersville Park, kids don’t take the fields. Adults do, in the 21 and over Go Kickball league.
Moriah Koch is the Charlotte organizer, “The essential philosophy of Go Kickball is to just have fun, to be active and to hang out with your friends in a non-intimidating atmosphere.”
Anyone can play and this league draws everyone from bankers to teachers.
Chris says “I started playing just cuz it’s fun.” And Seth started playing because it’s “ just stress relief, getting away from the workday for an afternoon.”
There are seven games over seven weeks in a season, that leads to a single elimination tournament. All teams need 15 players and are co-ed. And it can get pretty competitive.
“Nobody comes out here to lose, “ Moriah added.
Over the course of one game night, you can see over 250 grownups dressed in uniforms and playing kickball.
It starts with pre-game stretching and warm-ups. Then teams make their lineups.
Kickball is played like baseball, with balls and strikes, pitchers and catchers, except they play with a 10 inch rubber ball.
Everyone on the bench takes the field, so you can see up to 5 outfielders at a time (as opposed to baseball’s three outfielders). There’s base coaches and real game strategy. Before one game, the pitcher, Matt, was practicing his pitches. “I like to rush the kicker. It throws off their mind a little bit.”
You can see kickballers sliding into bases, which follows there are also kickball injuries.
“ I mean three’s sprained ankles . I think a kid dislocated a shoulder one year. But we keep it pretty light.” Said Seth, player for the team “Those Guys.”
These guys play to win and at the end of the season they can walk away with a medal that says they did win, gift cards and a discount off the next season. But of course, the most important thing are the bragging rights.
Go Kickball started in Atlanta in 1999 and has grown nationwide, from California to Florida and states in between.
In the Charlotte area, they have leagues in Huntersville, Mooresville, Matthews, Ballantyne and Uptown, and nearly 40 teams.
After league games everyone meets up to socialize, and as you can imagine they have had a handful of kickball marriages. They just celebrated the birth of their first “kickball baby.”
Signups for fall season have started and go through August 23rd 2013. Visit www.gokickball.com/charlotte to register for a team in your neighborhood.