Kickball the new American ‘in’ sport

On a recent return flight from Washington, D.C., I picked up the in-flight magazine from American Airlines. My flight was delayed, so I had some time to actually read some of the articles. I came across an interesting story about the newest recreational sport that is huge in D.C., and elsewhere across the country. It’s kickball. That’s correct, the same game that all of us played in grade school gym class.

Remember the red rubber ball? You didn’t have to be much of an athlete to have fun playing the game. That’s what the founders of the World Adult Kickball Association (WAKA) have capitalized on.

The WAKA started out with about 150 players in the D.C. area back in 1998, and as of last year, has grown to more than 25,000 players worldwide. Three of the four founders of the league have actually quit their day jobs to run the WAKA. Leagues have formed in 32 states and three foreign countries. A group of U.S. Marines formed a league in Iraq.

Even though the game is gaining in popularity, it still hasn’t made its way to our area. The closest league I could find was in Chicago. Games there begin in April. If you are interested in being the first in your neighborhood to organize a kickball league, you can obtain information, as well as some helpful guidelines and all of the rules, at the official Web site for the sport, You can even order your official red rubber ball from them.

Whether or not it catches on locally, remember you read about it here first.

Doug Halberstadt is a local resident and is track announcer at Rockford Speedway. He can be reached via e-mail at

From the April 19-25, 2006, issue

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