Photo by Adam Finkle
Wesley Watson admits it—his team got creamed.
RiKICKulousness! (spelled correctly) lost their first game, 21 to 1, to the Wrecking Balls last April. Watson, one of his team’s few males, blames the loss on the team being mostly rookies but doesn’t let it get to him. “It’s fun,” he says, as a last few drops of base-running sweat roll off his forehead and he lights a smoke. “It reminds me of elementary.”
Besides, Watson learned a few tricks. “If you’re just trying to get to first, give it a little bunt,” he says. “If you want to try for a home run, give it everything you’ve got.”
The World Adult Kickball Association (WAKA) started in Washington, DC and spread across America. Made popular by grade school gym class, kickball is like baseball, but with a rolling ball you kick instead of a airborne ball you club.
Utah has three mixed-gender leagues: UT Mountain holds games at the Cottonwood Complex in Millcreek, the UT Beach at Flat Iron Mesa Park in Sandy, and UT Capital league, where RiKICKulousness! plays, hosts games at Liberty Park.
Kenzie Kemp, UT Capital and UT Beach community coordinator, says Watson’s relaxed attitude is common among players. “There are some competitive teams, but it’s more fun than anything,” she says. “Come with a good attitude and you’ll have a blast.”
After games, players go drinking at whatever bar sponsors the season. “They do drink and food specials for us,” Kemp says. “We get to know the other teams and get to know our own players.” For UT Capital, it was Poplar Street Pub last season. The league also gave back by raising money for healthcare nonprofit One Hour for Life through bar games, raffles and even a bake sale.
All players must be over 21 and can sign up with friends, co-workers or as free agents. Kemp says 16 to 18 players makes a good team, but the max is 26.
Robby Luck, who works for a physical therapist and has played about 20 seasons, loves drinking at the bar and meeting new people. “I run our team this year,” he says. “There are 20 people and not one of us does the same thing.” Watson, who runs a ceiling grid tie wire business, loves kickball so far but makes another confession. “I wasn’t expecting it to be so physical,” he says. “It doesn’t look like much until you have to chase the ball down the field.”
A new season starts this July. Info at kickball.com.