Kickball in the City

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

No Kickball makes Homer Sad

All of my leagues were off for what seems like forever for Memorial Day weekend. I hope everyone had fun and those of you that have lost loved ones to military service, thank you for you sacrifice.

Not having any kickball on my normal 3-5 days a week left me some free time (and I resume tomorrow), so I thought I'd share this funny yet true email I received:

Before I lay me down to sleep, I pray for a man, who's not a creep, One who's handsome, smart and strong One who loves to listen long, One who thinks before he speaks, One who'll call, not wait for weeks. I pray he's gainfully employed, when I spend his cash, won't be annoyed. Pulls out my chair and opens my door, Massages my back and begs to do more. Oh! Send me a man who'll make love to my mind, Knows what to answer to "how big is my behind? I pray that this man will love me to no end, and always be my very best friend. Amen.

I pray for a deaf-mute nymphomaniac with huge boobs who owns a liquor store and a boat. This doesn't rhyme and I don't give a shit. Amen

ROFL, all comments are welcome. KH will resume my normal kickball related blatherings Friday.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Who is John Galt?

For those of you that do not know, it's the question in Atlas Shrugged. Not to be immodest, but in kickball circles Who is Kickball Homer? seems to be almost as universally asked.

Actually, almost everyone seems to think they know who I am, they are actually more interested in who Sideshow Bob is. Here's a clue: neither of us are who you think we are. A few posts back I asked why everyone assumes that Kickball Homer (KH) is a guy, apparently everyone does. People have occasionally asked me if I am KH and when I say I am, they don't believe me. Hints have been given in several posts, yet people seem to ignore them. So, who is KH? Let's see:

I like kickball and play in many leagues on many, many teams. I play almost every night of the week. You have probably spoken to, seen me, or talked about me at some point. I haven't been playing that long but am very social. I am not as important as people think I am (in kickball circles). Some people have guessed who I am, most are wrong. Actually, Sideshow Bob is a bigger, more important person than I am. I like puppies, long walks off short piers, and fun.

I'm just a kickballer with a lot of time to write and a lot to say. I have no vendettas, axes to grind, or anything like that. If you disagree, post a comment, if you agree do the same. It's just about addressing things that matter to me in relation to kickball.

Who is KH? Maybe the next person you ask that question to, but probably not...

PS You're welcome to NAKID for the idea for their funny piece this week on What If.. in the newsletter. If you're not on the mailing list, get on it because it was funny (and inspired by KH)

PPS You're welcome and thanks to DC Kickball for posting flip cup rules for it's players. Hopefully they will be followed.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Can we talk?

Last night some of my buddies from a team I play on were leaving the dead bar scene at our kickball sponsor bar early because nobody really talks to anybody. I mean, nobody on other teams.

One of the worst things that can happen in kickball at the bar is for teams to just stay together the whole night, doesn't this defeat the purpose for playing kickball - namely meeting new people? My friends were saying to me that they joined to meet people, but that everyone stays in their own groups, and this is true in many cases. And it sucks.

Just mingle with other people. In some ways it's too bad that we all wear kickball tees to the bar because if we didn't I think people would be more apt to approach one another. So, just be that person. Float around from table to table, join in on a flip cup game with a team that's not yours, do anything to break the unwritten code of just hanging with your team. I think you'll find a lot of cool people that you otherwise may not have spoken to, and you'll be a trailblazer. Everyone will be better of for it. Who the hell wants to talk to the same people every week anyway?

That's my Public Service Annoucement for this week.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Who are these people?

It's inevitable no matter what league you play in, what team you're on, even if you know everyone on the team, eventually someone asks: What is wrong with these people? I'm talking of course about the people who register for your team and never show up.

These people can literally ruin a team. With the exception of one of the leagues I have played in, there is a minimum number (usually 4) of each sex that teams have to have on the field in order to avoid a penalty. If they don't show up they can cost your team a forfeit or force you to start down a number of runs and it really sucks. And it's really weird.

Think about this: when we were kids we would rush out to play a team game and hang out with friends and it didn't cost us any money. As adults people spend anywhere from $35-$65 to play kickball and some never even show up. Do people get more selfish, dumber, and less polite as they get older? The answer seems to be that many do. The excuses that these people give are the lamest too. Here are a few I have heard: "flip cup and the game are too competitve", "my internet connection at home is weak", "I had to travel alot", "I didn't realize we played on X day", etc. One girl even said that her mother had cancer! WTF!? I know people here are flaky but this is ridiculous.

If you are one of these people and are reading this, let me just say this: YOU SUCK! I understand if people can't show up every week, but to show up once or never is inexcusable. You people are wastes of kickball space, and I mean that literally. You take up a spot on a roster and then you never come to the field or more importantly the bar and make your team seem less social. Yet, I know that you all will continue to do this and thus you cannot be changed so I appeal here to the leagues I play for to take action.

WAKA and DC Kickball both have hard and fast rules: minimum of 4 guys and 4 girls - if you don't have 'em, you forfeit. If you have three or more forfeits your team is dead to us. This seems harsh to me because many times there are random people that are assigned to these teams who the captains have no contact with, therefore the team is punished for people they don't even know. If the point of kickball is to meet people and have fun, I fail to see how forcing a team that is one girl short to leave the field with a forfeit is helpful. It punishes the forfeiting team AND pisses off the opposing team who had all of its players come out for nothing (sometimes in the rain). And this obviously hurts bar turnout.

NAKID seems to have it a little better. The minimums are higher (5 and 5) but, the penalty for being down players is that your team starts down the number of runs = to the number of players down and you take an out every time that player would come up in the lineup. This sucks (believe me) if you're the team short players, but at least you get to play (and my team actually won one of these) and then you want to go to the bar. Also, after some weeks you can remove these people from your roster and get your friends to join during the season, which is really cool and seems to benefit everyone (the bar, the league, the team). This idea should be incorporated into my other two leagues, it just makes sense.

For those of you who never show up on a team, good riddance. For the leagues I play in, let's do something to not punish the rest of us who do.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Make like a tree - and get outta here!

Those who play kickball in the DC area usually know why we play and it ain't to be kickball superstars - it's to be FLIP CUP superstars. Sometimes though, I wonder if people know this.

For those that don't know flip cup is a beer drinking game where teams of usually 4-6 line up across a table with cups with beer in them. One player from each team starts and the teams chug, flip the cup upside down, and the next player goes. First team done wins the round and usually the games are best of five or seven. There are several variations to this, but these are the basic rules. The losing team leaves vanquished, heads down, and the victors stay at the table until they lose. At least that's how it's SUPPOSED to go...

The past few nights of playing kickball though I have noticed that one of my leagues in particular is clueless as to flip cup. NAKID and WAKA understand flip cup, it's importance, and how to play. However DC Kickball teams seem to not get flip cup at all. They play 10 v 10 games which take forever and are boring, the losing teams don't actually leave the table (I saw one score that was 20-4 and the losers would NOT relinquish), then another team was whining about playing a team of mixed players. A few notes on flip cup etiquette for the unlearned:

  • You lose you MOVE, that's it. Unless you are going to continue to buy beer for both teams you have to scram.
  • Max players on a team should be seven, 10 takes forever!
  • Games should be quick. No lollygagging between rounds, it makes people get sober.
  • Split tables up so more games can be played at one time.

These are simple and should be enacted immediately. I don't think anyone (except people willing to pay lots o cash to go to Miami) really plays kickball for the sports glory, so understand that flip cup is the point of playing and help make bar time more fun for everyone. Think of this as a Public Service Announcement from Kickball Homer.

Monday, May 15, 2006

BO is not always bad

This past Saturday I made the smart decision to participate in the Beer Olympics that my number 1 rated league (NAKID) hosted, and it was a blast!

There were about 9 or 10 teams and by the time we were halfway through the events, the games didn't even matter anymore (of course my group wasn't winning so that's probably why). The events I know were: suckathon, boat race, leap frog flip cup, a relay race, building a pyramid, and something involving drinking two pitchers with a straw!

By the end it seemed like there were 100 people there. The best part though is that it was only $4 to drink for 4 hours and it was ALOT of fun. Plus, a few teams with people from other leagues were there and that was cool too. We had team tee shirts, there were trophies and money for the winners, and most of the people playing got cool NAKID pint glasses to take home.

I can't imagine what the actual cost was, but someone told me we went through more than 4 kegs and I know plenty of people were drunk and that's what this was for (at least as far a I'm concerned). Hopefully we will do this again. By the way, on of the teams was named $10 Hand jobs, which was really funny and another that had white and Asian people was Crackers and Rice - very clever. Check the pics some are really funny.

PS A little friend has told me there are many guesses as to Kickball Homer, why do people always assume blogs are guys??

Friday, May 12, 2006

Miami Nice?

The 3rd (of 4) rated leagues I play in, WAKA, has decided to change its format for the playoffs this season and it's rather odd. And it all ends in Miami in the summer!

Every single team in WAKA can now play in the regional playoffs - all of them. As long as you slap down an unknown (somewhere between $100 and $500) deposit and register by the end of May. The deposit is to insure that teams will show up, which I guess is good. But if you are worried about teams showing up, why allow just anyone to enter in the first place?

My many kickball years have taught me that the teams that show up, with a good number of people all season, are generally the serious ones and the ones who want to win. Years past in WAKA these teams have been rewarded for showing up and playing well each week by being granted a coveted division champs or wild card spot in the regional playoffs. Now, there is nothing special about getting in, is there?

It's good that all teams in a division or conference or whatever (depending on which league you play in) makes the playoffs within their sphere of influence. This keeps everyone coming out to the games and bar and socializing, but it really makes no sense to do it on a national level. Why not just do away with seasons altogether and have a whole two or three months of just teams barnstorming and playing each other? The season's seem useless (like the NHL and NBA) now. I know if my team wins the division and gets beaten by some 0-7 team that decided to be in the Regionals I'll be less than happy. It's no longer a reward for accomplishment to me if anyone can get in.

Then, to make matters worse, the championship rounds are in Miami in JULY! WTF?! I understand wanting to promote a growing kickball area, but the base of operations and something like 45 of 80 divisions are in the DC area, why move all of these teams to Florida? And who can pay for this? I don't begrudge WAKA making money, but making players pay what would be an easy $200-700 to play for the President's Cup is a bit too much (even for a kickball dork). I'm sure there is some money involved for WAKA which is why this move was made, but can the teams get a little help? How about a stipend for at least the division champs out of the $60-65 dues we pay so the team can go to Miami to play? I wouldn't hold my breath for that.

I know the argument from Miami 'ballers about them having to come here, but this is where it all started and where most of the teams are. Anyway, I think a better strategy would be to just have state or regional champs anyway, it's not like being the "World Kickball Champions" means anything really (although this is trademarked by WAKA). I brought this up to another WAKA player who retorted that while that's true, the MLB champs are not really the world champs either but they are called that and move around for their championship game. Okay, if I can get paid $1-2,000,000 a year to play kickball, I'll head to Miami without whining. Until then, this stinks.

Luckily, the other leagues are here for all of their games, so I guess I'll have to settle for that. Just don't follow WAKA's lead on this guys, PLEASE!

I'm out...

PS Thanks to BOTH NAKID and DC Kickball for the links on your sites.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Kickball - is it just a game?

People always say that kickball is just a kid's game, but really it isn't. Kids don't drink beer (unless they are Kennedys), kids don't stay out until 11pm or 1am on a school night (unless the Bush twins in high school), and kids can't afford it. So let's get that out of the way right now. Having said that, kickball isn't the end all be all of existence either.

I'm a kickball dork, that's true. But I don't die a little and yell and scream if my team loses. Don't get me wrong I am very competitive and hate losing, but I also want to make friends and meet people. It seems like a lot of people that play kickball forget this. It's not limited to one league or one of the sexes either. I played in a couple of games this week that exemplified both ends of this spectrum.

One of my teams was playing and winning and we had reached a time limit and the game should have ended with us winning. The team we played berated the ref until he relented and kept us playing (and away from the bar longer!) and we eventually lost. Still, the whining team was angry and kept acting like assholes. I guess they needed to win by more to feel like real men and women.

Conversely, one of my other teams played a team of perennial losers. The game was not great (we crushed 'em) but everyone had FUN. Everyone was cheering on either side, people were being competitive but still understanding the nature of the game is FUN. No yelling, no arguing, and no whining. The way it should be.

Finally, another team welcomed me as a first timer on the team with open arms at the bar, offering me beer and introducing me to everyone on the team and I really felt like I was part of the fam. I haven't played with them yet but can't wait to based on the greeting I received.

I guess the bottom line here is that if you are one of these people that yells and screams or thinks using "I'm just competitive" as an excuse for knocking people down or being an ass - get over yourself, it's KICKBALL! We all want to win at whatever we do, but that's no excuse to treat people poorly. Kickball's not just a game, but it certainly shouldn't be the basis of your self-worth either.

PS The hotness and making out is fairly consistent throughout the leagues (guys and girls).

PPS Just as an FYI there are a lot more than 200 people in NAKID, and running a league with more people is CHEAPER per person than running a league with fewer people. Basic economics - buying in bulk is cheaper.

PPPS DC Kickball's mid and post season parties charge a cover, ergo not free.

I'm out...

UPDATE: So as to prove my point, a recap from one of my leagues in it's GMOT:
"eager for a bitch slap, the Trombones resorted to trash talking and name calling in lieu of presenting any physical skill. To quote the SL pitcher: "Rusty Trombones were the most disrespectful bunch of individuals that I have encountered on the kickball field." Touché On a routine bases empty double, the lead buffoon of the Trombone squad attempted to brutally tag-out the soul and pride of Sack Lunch, and in turn he learned a valuable lesson: You F&*K with any one of us, you get your asses served to you."

Wow sure makes me want to meet those people!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


I decided to start posting to spread the word about one of my hobbies - kickball in DC. I have played for quite a while now and have been in several leagues and see myself as somewhat of an expert on the topic. I have played with WAKA, DC Kickball, District Sports, and NAKID and so have a good view of all of the major ones in the area. To start out, I might as well rank 'em all, worst to first:

4. District Sports ( - I played indoor kickball with them and it was HORRIBLE! They hire refs who will change calls if you argue enough and don't keep proper score. The bars were awful, hosting poetry nights and such and thus there was almost NO FLIP CUP and no socializing. These guys didn't seem to know why people play flip cup.

3. WAKA ( - The Wal-Mart of kickball. One person I know described them as a tee shirt and equipment distributor. $60-65 for registration and you have to pay for everyone one of the "free" parties. And they make people who are customers do all of the work and they reap the benefits. Nice work if you can get it (for the owners of the biz) but pretty crappy for the people who volunteer and then get treated like crap. And now they are moving their finals to Miami?! What the hell?

2. DC Kickball ( - Founded by a disgruntled WAKA guy who was all "We are only for the love of kickball" and now is WAKA Jr. They are exactly the same setup as WAKA with volunteers, etc but get the nod because they are $10 cheaper. The bar turnout is weak and it just seems not that good. Reports are that one of the divisions heads to a WAKA bar by 9:30.

1. NAKID ( - So far these are my faves. They are new, so that probably helps. Only $42 if you joined early and just $30 or something if you played with WAKA or DC Kickball and have a team. Their party (this past Saturday) actually was FREE (not pay a cover free) and it was cool. Whole bar to themselves, lots of people, and a great dj. Plus the specials on Sundays are $2 pints! They have a nice website, you don't have to do anything but show up, play, and drink, and they even have a board with the standings at the bar. So far so good.

Please feel free to share your thoughts, agreements, disagreements, etc. I will be updating a few times a week. Thanks for reading.

UPDATE: Thanks to DCKickball for including the blog on your site.