Just kickin' it
By John Ross
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When Ryan Lively and a few cohorts were vacationing in Atlanta a while back, friends on a recreational kickball team needed players to fill in for a friendly Saturday afternoon game.
Not wanting the team to forfeit a tournament berth, Lively and his friends joined in. And the pinch hits and bullpen relief offered down South ignited a passion that the group soon wanted to share with those back in Central Ohio.
"We had a blast," Lively said. "We talked about it the whole way back and said we had to get something together in Columbus. It spread like wildfire. Every season gets bigger and bigger."
Like dodgeball, kickball is a playground game re-popularized by savvy groups for adults who're after a little exercise and social interaction. Again this spring, Go Kickball Columbus will offer a coed league on Saturday afternoons in Grandview, with another pending in Clintonville.
"Everybody that started playing with us continues to play," Lively said. "It's a third-grade game that anybody can play. You're not talking competitive, overhand baseball. You can talk anyone into playing kickball."
In Go Kickball leagues, play is similar to baseball with a few rule changes catered to those more eager to socialize than steal home. Teams usually field 10 or 11 players on defense, but everyone on the roster gets to bat. Batters get four strikes — not three — to put the rubber ball in play.
It's a friendly game that starts on a dusty field and often ends happily at a nearby pub, Lively added.
Capitol Square Kickball League
Location: Ohio Statehouse, Downtown
Registration deadline: May 1
Duration: June 10-August 14
Cost: $350 (team)
Ages: 18 and up
Games between coed teams are played on Tuesday or Thursday evenings starting at 5:30 p.m., and last 45 minutes. Regular season is eight games, with a tournament to follow. Leagues fill quickly.
Go Kickball Columbus
Location: McKinley Park, Grandview
Registration deadline: April 4
Duration: April 19-June14
Cost: $49 (individual)
Ages: 21 and up
The coed league plays seven-inning games from 12-4 p.m. on Saturday afternoons. The season lasts nine weeks, including a season-ending tournament. A Thursday league in Clintonville is pending.
Location: Clintonville, Gahanna, Short North
Registration deadline: Night before league starts
Duration: April 7-June 9
Cost: $35 (individual)
Ages: 19 and up
The popular adult sports organization is offering four spring leagues that play on various days of the week. Games are seven innings, and the season is nine weeks, including a two-week tournament.
March 27, 2008
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