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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Playground sport appeals to big ‘kids’ with beer

    Kyle Tusing, assistant professor in communications and member of the World Adult
    Kyle Tusing, assistant professor in communications and member of the World Adult

    Adam Forsythe likes to kick it.

    That’s why the UA economics junior and now regional representative for the World Adult Kickball Association decided to start a division in Tucson last spring.

    All six teams, including two new ones, recently played at Menlo Park, 300 N. Grande Ave., marking the start of season two for the Tucson kickball division.

    Kickball, a sport that found its early popularity on elementary school playgrounds, is very similar to baseball, except players kick an inflated rubber ball roughly the size of a basketball with their feet, instead of swinging a bat.

    Recently, kickball has garnered interest from adults, many of whom haven’t played the game since their schoolyard days.

    The World Adult Kickball Association began in the Washington D.C. area about 10 years ago, Forsythe said. “”It was started by a couple of guys who were hanging out one day at a bar and thought it would be cool to play kickball like they did back in grade school,”” he said.

    There are now more than 100 WAKA teams nationally, he added.

    In the Tucson area, interest in adult kickball is on the rise, Forsythe said.

    The Tucson division currently boasts more than 90 players – up from about 40 last season. “”Mainly, the people come out to have a little fun and play kickball and meet new people,”” he said.

    Shortly after 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Forsythe’s team, the reigning division champion Brew Crew, faced off against last season’s runner-up,

    Tipsy and the Bunch. On another field across the park, a team called Motorboaters sought to secure an early win against Drunk

    Again and Looking to Score. Beth McBride, a bartender who is also a Brew Crew player, said she started playing last season mainly because of the sport’s social aspect.

    “”We decided to join because it sounded fun,”” she said. “”And you can drink and play.””

    The Tucson division secured a permit for players to consume beer – but nothing stronger – during its games, Forsythe said.

    “”I wanted to do some sort of sport that was non-competitive, and this happened to be, like, the only thing there is,”” said Tiffany Kiramidjian, project coordinator for the UA Office of Family Economics and Financial Education.

    Kiramidjian said the best part about playing kickball is “”being around people drinking beer on a Wednesday.””

    Jacqueline Scortato, hair stylist and
    member of the Drunken Monkeys team, said that she and friends decided to form a kickball team after seeing an article about WAKA in a local newspaper.

    “”It seems like (the theme is) ‘beer and cigarettes,’ “” she said. “”So, we’ll see how the night goes.”” Diego James, a bartender and cocaptain of the Motorboaters team, said he enjoyed a pre-game tailgate session with his teammates.

    “”We’ve actually been practicing on Tuesday nights at Reid Park,”” he said. “”Everybody on our team was there last night and we do the same thing: we barbecue, we grill, we get everybody together – the families.

    It’s cool. It’s a lot of fun.”” United Way employee Angel “”Bases Loaded”” Lopez and other members of Drunk Again and Looking to Score met some of their teammates for the

    first time only moments before the start of Wednesday night’s game. At the evening’s close, the team won both of its first outings, as did Brew Crew.

    Tipsy and the Bunch and Another Ball Movement each won and lost a game, while Motorboaters and

    Drunken Monkeys slinked away with two losses each, according to statistics posted on WAKA’s Web site, www.kickball.com.

    Each team will play 16 games this season, and the two finalists will go to the WAKA Championship in Las Vegas, Forsythe said. However, there are no losers in adult kickball.

    Each regional division hosts a fundraiser to benefit a charity of its choice, Forsythe added.

    The Tucson division has sent T-shirts, kickballs and other equipment to U.S. soldiers serving in Iraq, who play whenever they get a chance, Forsythe said.

    Those interested in forming or joining a team for the fall season can contact Forsythe through the Web site.

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