Most of us played kickball as kids. Now the sport is growing among adults, and a new Westside league is being launched.
Kickball is so big in the East that a national tournament is held. In Washington, D.C. 2,000 players compete in various divisions.
“Playground memories come flooding back,” said Orior Walker, Regional Representative of the World Adult Kickball Association.
Locally, there has been a league in Hollywood for four years. In June it was announced that two more divisions have been added, one in the San Fernando Valley called Studio and one on the Westside called Dogtown, with headquarters at the Oakwood Recreation Center in Venice.
“Westside players who competed last year drove to Hollywood,’’ said Richard Manfredi, one of the league’s organizers. “Now they’ll have a shorter drive.’’
It is anticipated there will be at least six teams in the Westside Division — possibly several more depending on signups. There are 11 players on the field, and by league rules four must be women.
Competitors must be at least 21 and the majority of players are between 21 and 30. At this writing, 50 players have signed up for the Westside League.
The idea is to have fun in a competition that is social but competitive only to a point. Some participants are former college athletes, others have a limited athletic background. There are various levels of skill and intensity.
Game officials come from the teams, which cuts down on arguments.
“You don’t argue too much because next week you may be the umpire,’’ said Manfredi.
Instead of having coaches the teams are led by playing captains.
The league seeks sponsors, some being places where players can go to socialize after games.
“It’s a good way to meet people,’’ said Manfredi. “We have a lot of young professionals.”
The Westside League was launched with pickup games in June. Upcoming is an eight-game schedule, followed by playoffs. Games are played on Thursday nights beginning at 6:30.
It is too early to know how much adult kickball leagues will grow. But we live in an era where almost everything is possible.
“I saw jump rope competition on ESPN 2 the other night,’’ said Manfredi. “You never know.’’To sign up, visit www.worldkickball.com.