Under the bright lights, seasoned veterans and lifetime aficionados gather together to play one of America’s most sacred games: kickball.

The game is pretty straightforward: five innings, almost the same rules as baseball, 11 fielders on two teams, and a big red ball. The players, mostly adults just out of college, duke it out for bragging rights in Santa Barbara and hopefully the world.

Multiple Scoregasms is the number one team in Santa Barbara’s league. It will be representing for our league and our city on the big stage: the 2010 World Adult Kickball Association World Championships, in Las Vegas this upcoming weekend.

On Tuesday and Thursday nights at Santa Barbara Junior High, hundreds of the area’s most elite players gather to play. This past Thursday, The Independent attended the games and got some insight into how much kickball means to people in our community.

Nick Schooler, fourth-season veteran and team captain of Multiple Scorgasms, who went to the world championships last year, talked about building the right team for this year’s competition. “Last year we were outmatched, so this year we brought together some of the best players in Santa Barbara, mostly people who played college sports, and we hope to improve on last year’s performance.”

But this game is not just about getting to the world championships; actually it really isn’t about that at all.

Cormac O’Brien, of the team “What a Yard Sale,” and a fat kid at heart, said, “Our sport has gained momentum. It’s for all the fat kids who turned into adults with moderate athletic ability and after the game we get to go to Sharkeez, our sponsor, and go play flip-cup.”

Gabriela Ponce and John Arcey of the team “Booze on First” emphasized the game’s power to bring people together and get them involved with a community. “On Thursday,” said Arcey, a third-season vet, “the only thing on my mind is kickball.”

Doug Getty, who is a fourth-season veteran, a member of the team “Liver Let Die,” and past president of the Santa Barbara League, said he has loved the game for years and is happy about its success here. “It’s just a great way for those of us inbetween college and the professional life to get together and meet new people,” Getty said.

Don’t think that this is just a great American pasttime either. The game is constantly getting more and more international. Alejandro Pessano, an Uruguayan living in Santa Barbara for five years, in his first season with “99 Problems But a Pitch Ain’t One,” told The Independent that this game has made it much easier for him to meet people in town.

The sport is gaining momentum around the nation and in our city. Signing up is easy at www.kickball.com.


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