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This whole kickball lawsuit is crazy (Cheap Seats, “Playground Bully,” 3/3)—why does the World Adult Kickball Association (WAKA) believe it owns the game of kickball we’ve all played for years in grade school? WAKA didn’t invent the game; other organized sports have leagues run by different groups all across the county—softball for example—many of which have rules for number of males/females required on the field. Why should one organization own the entire sport? That’s insane!
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Last summer was my first year playing kickball. I played with WAKA and had a great time. What I enjoyed most was the social time with the other people I played with. We had a team interested in playing again in the fall but couldn’t get into the WAKA fall league—so our group sought out DCKickball for an opportunity to play (DCKickball did not recruit us). We all had a great time playing with DCKickball, too. DCKickball offers more attractive start times for the summer league—most of us enjoy starting in the warmer weather, but WAKA has moved the start a month earlier.
What kickball is really about is visiting with friends and continuing to make new ones. This summer I would like to play with DCKickball as most of my friends will be playing there (in large part because they are so disappointed in the actions of the WAKA founders). It seems there is enough interest in the city to play kickball and there will likely be plenty of teams for all organizations to be successful. I believe if WAKA spent more time listening to its consumers (yes, we pay a fee and should have a voice) and less time trying to create a monopoly, it could retain the majority of its players. (Hey, I thought there were laws in this country against monopolies!)
Although I’m fairly new to kickball, many of my friends have played since the start of WAKA. My understanding is that it was originally a nonprofit organization. Any help the WAKA founders received through input of volunteers to create “rules,” etc. they should not be able to now claim sole ownership of. The folks I know made this intent clear at the beginning of WAKA—they would not have shared their ideas and time to support a monopoly that isn’t willing to listen to its patrons.
It may only be kickball, but we all should have the right to choose to play where we want to. Kickball freedom!