For fun and exercise, many adults are embracing a favorite childhood pastime, kickball. But while the idea of the game remains the same -; players kick a large red ball, then try to make it around three bases -; adult kickball brings fun and socializing to the game and even raises money for local charities.
Back in 1998, a few friends started the World Adult Kickball Association (WAKA Kickball) to help people get active and meet fun people. Their thinking? Kickball, like all team sports, encourages bonding and sportsmanship. But unlike soccer or baseball, kickball doesn’t require extreme athletic ability.
The concept caught on. Today, WAKA Kickball is the world’s largest organized kickball association, with thousands of teams throughout the U.S., as well as teams in London and Iraq. Adults of all ages meet, have fun, make new friends, stay active and enjoy the built-in social activities WAKA offers, like happy hours and division parties.
Just like in the fifth grade, there are rules, though not too many of them. Seasons usually contain eight regular games and a division tournament. The division champion can qualify to compete in the annual Founders Cup World Kickball Championship, held annually in Las Vegas. But there’s far more to adult kickball than simply playing the game.
“Ultimately, the goal of WAKA is to bring fun, friends and happiness to people,” said David Lowry, WAKA co-founder. “WAKA is in the happiness business.”
The typical kickball player is a young and social professional. Though each team has its own distinct personality, some divisions come primarily for the parties, while others are in it for the glory and come complete with warm-up drills and team chants. Still others focus on WAKA’s side goal of raising money for local charities. Overall, WAKA and WAKA divisions have donated more than $300,000 to local charities. Much of the money is collected at parties, through bachelor and bachelorette auctions and other unique events.
Men and women play kickball in equal numbers in WAKA, so it’s also a great way to meet potential partners. Through the years, there have been kickball relationships, kickball proposals, kickball weddings, and even kickball toddlers on the sidelines.
It’s never too late to register for a team near you. For more information, visit kickball.com.