Yes, yes, we know this looks quite a bit like gym class back in the day. But kickball was pretty awesome back then. Turns out, it still is. Adults (yes, proper grown ups in their 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s) gather up every week to relive their childhoods and kick a little sentimental butt while they do so.
WAKA, or World Adult Kickball Association for you newbies, has brought the schoolyard sport back to Utah, where four local leagues play at Liberty Park, Cottonwood Regional Park and Ben Franklin Park in SLC and, a bit further south, at Flat Iron Mesa Park in Sandy.
It's baseball inspired, if you've forgotten the gist over the past couple decades, but played with a big rubber ball. And instead of a bat, you use your feet to kick the ball. From there, it's pretty much the same as America's Pastime. Run to first, then to second, then to third before making it to home. Don't get out along the way. Fly balls, fouls, strikes, tying at the base all work basically the same as baseball. Only this is way more fun. How can it not be with names like "I'd Kick That," "Sit on my Base" and "Ballz and Dollz"?
"It's perfect for people that may not have time to go to the gym but always have time to go out for a beer," says Tiffany Ficklin, PR director for the World Adult Kickball Association in a retro-esque film promoting the sport at kickball.com.
And beer it up, they do. After each game, the teams round up local bars, like a Bar Named Sue, Lumpy's, Poplar Pub and Oscar's Social Club, with pints in hand to reminisce over the steal into home or the killer catch by the other team or to simply drink.
Summer season is underway now at Liberty Park (Capitol League) and Ben Franklin Park (Summit League), but registration is still open for the Mountain and Beach leagues. For more info, visit kickball.com/kickball/#UT or swing by Liberty Park (Thursdays at 6 and 7pm) or Ben Franklin Park (Sundays at 3pm) to see how it all goes down.
Video shot, edited and reported by Salt Lake magazine contributor Nolan Peacock.