Get Your Kicks (and Drinks) With World Adult Kickball


These two kickballers, though enjoying the game, enthusiasticly look forward to the post-game drinking. (Candice C. Cusic/Chicago Tribune/MCT)

Published: May 1, 2008

Kickball was definitely a beloved staple of gym class from the early elementary years all the way through the end of middle school, and everyone seemed to be able to agree that it was more fun than dodgeball. Dodgeball resulted in too many bloody noses and shattered egos, but kickball was always a good time.

If by some freak accident of nature you never got to play kickball, the rules were pretty straight forward. In fact, it was basically baseball, but played with a big bouncy ball which players would kick into play, rather than having to wave sadly at with an aluminum bat. Kickball games were five or so innings long, each inning consisting of three outs. Outs were recorded the same way they are in baseball: by catching a fly ball before it hits the ground, throwing the ball to a base before the runner gets there or via the strikeout. This is all basically unsurprising, and kickball faded away into the memory of other games played in gym class that we grew out of.

Except, of course, for those special few for whom the love of kickball never faded. For them, the only answer is the World Adult Kickball Association (WAKA). The official Web site of adult kickball, is a veritable treasure trove for the kid who excelled at kickball, but was hopeless at other sports, and has been clamoring to relive his or her glory days. The WAKA is a confederation of kickball leagues all around the country. The sport is played by thousands of people across the nation, and each division contains six to eight teams of 18 to 26 members apiece. New York City hosts six divisions alone, and make no mistake about it, these folks mean business when it comes to kickball.

The 12-page official rulebook is available in PDF, and its thoroughness would make some E-Res readings blush. The best rule from this selection is obviously number 16:  No Ghost Men. I have no idea what that means, but I’m not making it up.

Beneath the orderly surface, however, WAKA appears to basically be a group of people who like to play a few games from their childhoods, and then they start drinking. Maybe they don’t wait until after the games to drink, actually; I can’t really tell. But the divisional listings page includes vital information such as the location of the division, its name, the day on which games from each division are played and most importantly, each division’s bar of choice.

New York’s Big Apple division, founded in 2005, plays in nearby Clinton-Dewitt Park, and their official bar of choice is Bar Nine, a hangout familiar to many Fordham students.

The group’s Flickr album, linked from their divisional Web site, is not unlike a typical Facebook album of a Fordham undergrad who spends an inordinate amount of time at Lincoln Park.

If you’re interested in reliving your golden years in sixth grade gym class with a slightly more inebriated twist, some WAKA divisions in New York are still accepting registrations.