Monday, September 25, 2006

Just KICK It

Apparently I'm not the only one who thinks bunting is unmanly. Now there's a whole website devoted to getting rid of the bunt. If you go to nobunting.com, you can find out exactly what sucks about bunting.


The site lists the 10 anti-bunting Commandmants. Among the Commandmants is this gem .....

Thou shalt not covet the victories of the bunting, for they are hardly victories at all, but only in a way that a losing match of tetherball is a victory for the ball.

That one is Commandmant No. X by the way. Commandmant No. I, of course is this .......

Thou shalt keep the ‘kick’ in kickball.

That sounds pretty good to me!! Kick that ball!

Nobunting.com also features an advice column (Ask Dr. Kick), but so far no advice has been posted. The website also has an online store where you can buy shirts and pins and stuff because ya know, who doesn't need to spend more money on the kickball experience?

Monday, August 28, 2006

Red Ball and Red Stick

I got an email about Baton Rouge having an 8 team league (RSAK - Red Stick Area Kickball) and New Orleans having a bar league called KoCC (Kickball of the Crescent City). Good to hear that kickball is alive and well in the state of Louisiana after what that state has been through lately.

(I guess there's a good reason why the state looks like a foot after all!!!)

RSAK can be found at www.myspace.com/redstickareakickball. KOCC can be found at www.kocckickball.com.
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With team names like the Duckfarts, the 69ers, Team PBR and the Drunken Tigers, it sounds like the people in Louisiana are ready for some fun .... some real dirty fun.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Brooklyn Toinamint Nears

Brooklynites are planning a kickball tournament for July 1st in (where else?) Brooklyn.

Brooklyn Kickball organizers already reserved fields for from 1PM through 10PM, as well as a sound permit for bands and DJs all day long.

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Here's a look at how the tournament will work.

BK is allowing a max of 3 teams (minimum 10 people max 20 - must have AT LEAST 3 women on the playing field) per league.

Organizers want all the teams registered by June 1st so they can set up brackets, approximate playing times, and take over other fields by force if needed.

There is no cost. It's free. Well, sort of. Everything happening at McCarren Park on Saturday is going to be free. There's no cost to play in the tournament. Organizers will have a hot grill running all day, NA beverages, and entertainment aside from kickball. They are also putting together an after party where they hope to have some local drink sponsors help out with drink specials. The cost of transportation, lodging and any other NYC good times are totally on the backs of the participants.

But organizers are currently trying to put together some group rates for a number of area Best Western hotels. They don't have confirmation on these rates, and if participants want to take matters into their own hands, they should get on it. (One reccommendations is the Best Western City View in Long Island City, which is about 10 minutes from the park or the Best Western Woodside which is about a 15 minute drive. Also, any hotel in the times square / midtown area will be relatively close.)

BK has put up their rules on the web. They will have 3 teams of umps hand picked from their league policing the games, rotating throughout the day.

"Our most important rule is to have fun, it's kickball, there's no need to fight, argue, or be a jerk, and if you're being a big enough jerk, we have no problem asking people to leave," said orgnaizer Joe Visconti.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Kikipedia

What is WAKA?

According to the kickball entry on Wikipedia today, WAKA is "currently the largest governing body of organized adult kickball leagues." The entry also says "many other independent leagues operate throughout the United States."

But if you had checked Wikipedia earlier this month you would have read that "WAKA claims to be the governing body of this friendly adult game." You also would have read that WAKA has "sued various independent leagues in order to protect their intellectual property."

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So there's a Wiki tug of war going on. Someone edits the entry and then a few days or weeks later someone else comes along and unedits the entry. You can check this all out by comparing the current/last links under the History tab on any Wikipedia article. The Wikipedia gods say that entries should be factual and avoid bias and opinion as much as possible...... but it doesn't always work out that way.

The Wiki tug of war is not limited to the entry on kickball. Recent media reports have shown that congressional staffers routinely edit Wikipedia entries to show their bosses (the members of Congress) in a more positive light or to show political rivals in a less positive light.

Now we have the same thing going on here with kickball. If you check the history of the Wikipedia kickball entry, you will see that many times over the past year individuals have gone back and forth changing the language of the kickball entry. Anyone can come along and edit a Wikipedia entry. It's an entirely open process......which can be a big drawback. So one editor comes along and gives a little more credit to WAKA and then another editor comes along and gives a little less credit to WAKA.

Truth be told, the entry should be about kickball the sport/game, not about WAKA or any other organization. And mostly the article does stay focused on the sport in general---but you can't talk about kickball these days without mentioning at least one organizing body.

The latest Wikipedia discussion thread for the kickball article addresses what should or should not be mentioned in the entry on kickball. The first post in the discussion suggests that mention of a WAKA lawsuit is not especially relevant to the article on kickball. OK so it is not exactly the debate of the century, but fans of Wikipedia and kickball might enjoy discussing the topic.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Kicking Back

The Washington City Paper has an article on WAKA and their battle with new non-WAKA kickball leagues.

According to the article, a central issue in this legal dispute appears to be copyright infringement for unauthorized use of WAKA’s co-ed kickball rules, including “the clearly unique requirement that there be 4 men AND 4 women at a minimum to play”.



The article (titled "Playground Bully, Kickball's Goliath prepares to stomp some Davids") mentions WAKA's fight against DC Kickball and NAKID Kickball and it also has a quote from Larry Betz, the founder of a kickball league in Little Rock, Arkansas.......

“They were saying I was infringing on their intellectual property, that I was basically stealing their property by using their rules,” Betz says. “I immediately wrote back informing them that I had never heard of their group or their rules when I wrote my rules. I lifted my rules from Little League [baseball], to tell you the truth. I mean, it’s a child’s game we’re talking about!”

And here's another interesting quote from the article .......

In a 1998 interview with the City Paper, back when WAKA consisted of a few teams of yuppie 20-somethings gathering on the mall for irony-laden games, co-founder Johnny LeHane told me that he’d cobbled together the rules for his then-fledgling league from softball and his childhood memories of playing kickball (“Like a Red Rubber Ball,” Cheap Seats, 5/29/98).

So it sounds to me like this stuff is neither intellectual nor property. I don't claim to be any kind of legal scholar, so I could be wrong. But I am left wondering whether WAKA has forgotten where "their rules" came from. The basic rules were out there in the public domain for decades and decades. Remember your childhood? Those basic rules belonged to YOU and everyone else who played kickball in the schoolyard back in the 70's and 80's and 90's and beyond. They still belong to you.

I found this old comment from WAKA's web site from a few years ago. .....

"One of the things people love most about kickball is the way it takes them back to the time of their youth. It's hard to talk about kickball without recanting the story of that sunny day, long past, on a playground far, far away where you stood fast in the face of the big kid. Far out in left field you stood, waiting for that big red ball, falling from the sky like a meteor. At the last minute you winced and your eyes closed. A moment later it was over, ball caught, victory declared. Are long lost memories of fifth grade filling your head too? Sure you certainly can't re-live your youth, but who says the fun has to stop once you grow up?"

Nowadays on the site, you don't find a whole lot of mention about youth or childhood or elementary school. Go ahead. See for yourself. All you will find is mention of providing and promoting "the joy of kickball to those young at heart." So if you were new to the planet and had never heard of kickball before and you were reading WAKA's site today, you might just think that WAKA invented kickball.

They didn't though. Just ask around.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Got Protection? (You Can't Get Screwed Without It. Or Can You?)

The message at the bottom of this post (in blue lettering) appears on WAKA's website at http://www.kickball.com/yourwakaexperience.html

This is highly interesting because I have heard that some people got cease and desist notices from WAKA recently. (I have not seen the letters.) WAKA, which is a corporation, is not the only organization coordinating kickball games in the DC area. So it would make sense that WAKA would want to try to protect its business. But playing the intellectual property card sounds like a stretch. (This is about recreational sports and drinking, two things that have been tied to each other for decades. Right? What has been invented here aside from logos and stuff like that? Kickball has been around forever right? WAKA surely didn't invent it. That's a fact.)

Another interesting thing about the text below is that it discusses protecting "the Association" (the CORPORATION) from anyone trying to take advantage of the "hard work" of the" players" (i.e., CUSTOMERS).

That makes me chuckle. Who works for whom these days? Anyway, here is what WAKA has to say about protection and intellectual property .....

Your WAKA Experience

Nearly a decade ago WAKA’s founders created the novel concept of an adult social kickball league and through WAKA have been providing this unique experience ever since. This social kickball system was started with the social-player in mind and is protected by various intellectual property laws. Tens of thousands of players continue to enjoy WAKA’s distinctive experience. WAKA continually works to maintain and enhance this experience, through rules updates and enhancements in the kickball and social aspects to support the all-important social interaction among players both on and off the field.

WAKA continues to invest in its ideas, employees and players to guarantee that the league runs as smoothly as possible. We are committed to providing players with the best possible service and experience – for every game, every event, every time.

WAKA works with dozens of outside organizations and plans numerous events to help even more people enjoy the unique WAKA Kickball experience. On behalf of both the players and the employees, WAKA is obligated to protect the Association from anyone or anything that seeks to malign, misrepresent or otherwise take advantage of the hard work and dedication of the combined WAKA elements (the players, employees and organization). WAKA is ensuring that the WAKA Kickball experience players love today will survive and thrive tomorrow and beyond.

If you have any comments or questions about WAKA, please feel free to use the contact WAKA page.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Registration Blues?

If you plan to play in WAKA this year, you'll have to wait just a little bit longer before you can register. Here's the WAKA statement that was passed along to the Khronicle....

"We've been working very hard to get our registration system updated in time to open registration tomorrow. Unfortunately, we do not feel it's quite ready and will need to delay 2 extra days. On Thursday Feb 9th, once we open registration, board members and team captains will be able to register. On Monday, Feb 13th, registration can open up for the returning team players to sign up or for new players to sign up - whatever the division needs. Please accept our sincerest apologies for having to move registration back a few days. However, we hope to have a great and easy registration system for you and the rest of the players within your division!"

Hmmmm. ..... I wonder if Punxsutawney Phil had anything to do with this.