That’s the patented slogan of WAKA, the organization that basically runs kickball in North America. It seems that this isn’t just a trend – it’s an epidemic. Los Angeles is going from one division to five inside of a year; San Francisco has three divisions in the city alone. (that would be three divisions of sixteen teams apiece, 15-20 people per team). And I think it’s such a great idea that I didn’t just sign up to play, but signed up on the founding board of the brand-new Dogtown (Westside) division.
I played my first full game a week ago, and had a fantastic time. It was so much fun! First of all, I LOVED kickball as a kid. It was one of the things where my weight didn’t get in the way. And second, playing it as an adult is way fun. Everyone’s laughing and yelling smartass remarks and having a good time. People cheer and clap and heckle their friends. It’s a really social sport, because you have time to chat in line or out in the field. I mean – it’s KICKBALL.
I’m also finding out that playing kickball incorporates a lot of the elements I missed from college. I have been out of extracurricular activities for some time. Therefore, being back in a group of new people who want me to put up posters and promote a group/event makes me feel right at home. Not only do I get the sort of team camraderie that I did in Ultimate – without all the running! – but I also get the grownup version of Campus Fridays. Only instead of trolling bzzr gardens across campus, this group trolls the pubs up and down my home turf of Main Street, Santa Monica -slash- Abott Kinney Boulevard, Venice – my new version of UBC campus, the village I could exist in without leaving.
The people playing are also the same sort of friendly, open hearted, almost cult-like cheerful types that made up my college groups. I was playing last Thursday (and not that well) when the girl next to me in line to kick cheerfully introduced herself and said, “oh, you can join our team! We’re TANG! We have orange shirts and our own flag!” And then, sure enough, five minutes later, one of their teammates showed up waving a giant orange flag with the TANG logo on it. And apparently, they have pub crawls and pajama parties and camping trips as a team. Drunken teambuilding retreats? Where have I done THAT before?
So it isn’t so much that I want to go back to UBC, or feel that university was my glory days. It’s just that I miss that element of group activity. I miss being at Whistler, with fifty of my friends on the AUS for a weekend, or crashing AMS retreats, or invading the Cheez/SUS offices as a group. I miss council meetings and bzzr gardens and all the rest of it. I miss having direction – poster parties, fundraisers, reviewing the constitution, counting votes at elections. Having meetings for the Dogtown division board and working on the PR for all of Venice/Westside for WAKA has given me something to do, solid tasks to work on with a social group of really neat people.
And, of course, it gets me out on a field in Venice, once a week, to kick around a rubber ball with forty other twenty-and-thirtysomethings.
Everybody loves kickball!