Kickball in the City

Monday, October 02, 2006

Beer makes everything better

I have to say that I don't really think of kickball as a sport but rather a game. Some people may dispute this and that's fine but I think there is a fine line between the two. In sports, teams generally stay pretty angry with each other or have grudge matches that build up over time. A game is just, well, a game. It ends and it's over. I was reminded of they kickball is just a game again yesterday.

I played in one game where all was going well and we were on our way to spanking the team we played. Not much controversy throughout the game (except that the refs kept tossing a football around during the game). The last inning though the team we were playing started getting heated. They were saying stuff to my captain and acting like jerks. I assumed it was frustration due to losing.

Later my friend was officiating a game where one of the teams questioned all of his ball/strike calls. foul calls, everything. I know a little about baseball and I know that those calls are judgment calls, and the same is true in kickball. Yes, there are general parameters, but each ump has their own zone that they call. That's just the way it is. But this team was relentless and just kept hounding the poor guy.

I realize that during a game everyone gets competitive and angry and whatnot, and that's understandable. I think that what people have to remember though, is that umpires do not get paid in kickball. They are just players - and not like everyone else - they are willing to stay later or arrive earlier to take the inevitable questioning of their calls and name calling that accompanies this joy. It's for this reason I believe that people who are willing to be head refs throughout the season should play for free.

This will insure better and more consistent officiating and at the same time make it better for the masochists who are willing to do it. Also, they should get at least a pitcher of beer each week at the bar. Again., I mean this for the head refs, not just everybody. I think that would be nice. To my knowledge no league in this area does that now.

Thankfully, the teams who were being loud and overly obnoxious on the field yesterday recognized that they were being dumb. The team we played apologized to my captain, to which he said thanks and he didn't take it personally. And the team whining about the umpire came up to him after the game and admitted they were being jerks and apologized. And that was the right thing to do in both cases.

That's why going to the bar after games is so important. Beer has a great effect on clearing ones mind when it comes to being overly competitive in kickball. Boo sports grudges. Hooray beer!


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