The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Recreation Department recently hosted the third season of the Adult Kickball League, which lasts for five weeks. This year’s league had 12 teams composed of Community members and employees competing in evening games; they created team names to be remembered and gathered past kickball players to join their teams.
Before each game, some players would warm up because they were a bit rusty in the knees. The players would put on their serious faces and concentrate while out on the field or when it was their turn to kick, but those concentrating faces quickly turned into laughs and screams that echoed throughout the kickball fields during the last games of the season. Players ran their fastest (sometimes into each other) and leaped to try to catch the medium-sized kickball that spins toward them or into the air.
Kickball, a game that was once played by schoolchildren during recess, is now very popular among adult players across the country. It’s brought childhood memories back to life again.
Ruben Guerrero, who played on Team Monkey Lords, enjoys playing kickball and also likes that the league plays before the summer heat kicks in. “It’s a great sport to play in and get friends and family together and have fun,” said Guerrero. “It’s a good stress reliever for me too after getting out of work.”
“It’s not about winning, it’s about playing the game,” said Coach Kim Manuel about the kickball league. “We are on a losing streak right now, but it is really fun when you can hit the player with the ball and get them out. It’s all about having fun.”