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Unfortunately, really. Just look at D.C. Kickball’s website. Below a photo of an apparently inebriated couple (his mouth wide open, her tongue grazing his cheek), the organization explains its existence thusly: “D.C.Kickball is hands down the EASIEST and MOST FUN way to meet new people—and make new friends in D.C. Put hundreds of young professionals together to play a silly child’s game, party at a sponsor bar afterwards, throw in some drinking games and BAM! With over 5,000 D.C.Kickballers in 2011 alone, you’ll have to try really hard to NOT make friends!”
So D.C. Kickball brands itself as the encapsulation of every loathsome assumption people make about the city’s newcomers. It’s not the only offender. Other kickball groups—WAKA and NAKID (yes, NAKID)—marshal the flip-cupping masses, too.
Still, however repellent you find extended Greek life, it has a few positive benefits. Leagues pull in sponsor bars for drink specials; bars get packed with dozens of thirsty kickballers willing to down light beer after light beer. (“Stuff like this is always going to get a big draw of customers,” says a manager at Old Dominion Brewhouse, which sponsors D.C. Kickball’s winter league.) In the summertime, the teams make the National Mall their playing field. Since the Mall is, for the most part, a vast expanse of woefully underused public space, adult children may as well punt rubber balls all over it. Go team!