Competitive kickball

For a good number of people that play WAKA Kickball, it’s very much a social sport. They do it to meet new people (they become reunited with old friends in some cases) and to have fun. Many players continue socializing after the game at their local kickball bar, not only with their team but with other players from their league. Some of these teams want to do well in their games, while others are far from focused on the score.

There’s also a very competitive side to WAKA Kickball. Some teams are definitely in it to win—studying the game, employing different strategies and recruiting new players they think will help their team.

Each year over Columbus Day weekend, WAKA teams from around the country gather in Las Vegas for World Kickball Championship Weekend.

Two WAKA tournaments take place as part of the event: The competitive Founders Cup tournament, which is invitation-only and determines the World Kickball Champion. And, as of last year, there’s now The Kickball Games, which is more about fun and superlative awards than kickball competition.

Over on the new Kickball Today blog, a WAKA colleague interviewed the captain of one of the teams that has been invited to compete in this year’s Founders Cup tournament.

Here are a couple of my favorite quotes from that interview with Lasalle Blanks, captain of The Situation, which plays in the VA Southside League in Hampton Roads, Virginia:

What I love about the Founders Cup (FC) is that you see the die-hard competitive, elite teams go at it and go at it hard (on the field, I mean).  We’re all obsessed with kickball and it shows when we’re all out there giving it our all. At one FC, someone told me it’s cool to finally not be considered “the too serious team” like they were back home. At FC, every team is “the serious team” back home – and it’s awesome. The competition gets intense but the respect for each other is amazing and that’s what’s awesome about the FC. It’s also very, very cool seeing old friends again from teams across the country.

And this, on when he won the Founders Cup in 2008 as a member of the team Frosty Balls:

Winning the Founders Cup World Kickball Championship is a freaking thrill. I still replay that final game over and over in my head. It’s something you never forget.

Here’s what competitive Founders Cup kickball looks like. This is video of the 2009 championship game — I especially enjoy some of the commentary:

There are also some nice cash prizes for this kickball tournament. The winner of Founders Cup this fall will get $10,000 cash plus other prizes, which is just part of over $20,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs during World Kickball Championship Weekend.

And I’m pretty excited it all happens in Vegas! I can’t wait to go.