Just for Kicks

Many of us remember eagerly awaiting the sweet sound of the recess bell to dismiss us. Running out onto the grassy field and immediately moving into playing positions, we knew it was game time. We remember the sound the ball made as it bounced off our foot representing a successful kick. Running from base to base, it didn’t even matter that we ruined our new pair of jeans sliding into home plate – the run was made.

All grown up now, a group of men and women with Edmond All-Sports are reliving those playground days by taking up kickball once again. As adults, they no longer have to worry what mom will say about those bothersome grass stains.

The non-profit group typically specializes in youth sports, but has recently started an adult kickball league in Mitch Park. It’s taken off and is giving adults what they’ve always wanted; the chance to become kids again. With a host of stresses in our lives, we could all use a healthy dose of childhood fun.

“We were looking for new things to do,” says Edmond All-Sports’ Assistant Director, Kirk Sparks. “We’re always trying to start new programs and there’s not a lot to do in Edmond for adults, besides softball, so we thought we’d give it a shot.” The league is now in its fall season and going strong with 10 teams participating.

For those of us who are unfamiliar with the sport, Sparks says “It’s pretty much baseball or softball rules with the exception you kick the ball instead of hitting the ball with the bat.”

The other obvious difference is that instead of facing an opposing team of fourth graders, you’re more likely to be opposite a group of 40-year-olds. The players’ ages range from mid 20’s to 40’s and most teams have between 12 to 14 players. The rules allow for up to 12 kickers at a time, but three players on the field must be women.

After spending time sitting on the sidelines, Sparks couldn’t resist it any longer and decided to join in. “I just got to watching it last year and thought it looked like fun, so I got a few friends together and decided we’d have a team this year,” he says.

Of course the game time action is the most thrilling and heart pounding aspect of the experience, but another important element is what happens off the field. “We just kinda hang out and chit-chat a little bit,” Sparks says. In that seemingly simple exchange, the players “get quality time with their friends and it makes for a fun evening.”  
Since starting the league, feedback has been extremely positive. “My team would play every night if I’d let them, they even talked about doing a winter league.”

The kickball trend is definitely growing. Benefits of the sport go beyond what you’d expect of an elementary school recess relic. “I think it’s a way to get out and socialize and have physical activity. Some of the teams form good friendships,” Sparks says.

“It’s not as demanding as adult softball where you have to play it every weekend.” Sparks finds the game less expensive than softball and says his team barely even practices. “Some of the other more serious teams might- I don’t know,” he laughs.

The requirements to play kickball are simply to organize a team of people willing to kick and run, try not to get struck out and to have a good time. Usually, people enter the league with teams already established, such as a group of co-workers or friends.

For individuals looking to join in the fun without an established team, Sparks hopes to have enough interest in the spring so he can connect individuals and form a team. “I got a call the other day from a husband and wife. They didn’t know anybody else and they wanted to try to get on a team for the spring. If I can get enough individuals on a team, it would be a way to meet new people.”

Edmond All-Sports has found a remedy for that serious and unfortunate condition called adulthood by bringing kickball back into our daily lives. It’s relieving stress and taking some adults back to simpler times, one game at a time. More information about Edmond All-Sports can be found at
www.edmondallsports.com

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