12 Things I’ve Learned Playing Kickball for 12 Years

Last night we wrapped up our fall 2015 season with a semifinal loss to a team of 25 year old soccer players from the Amazon.  Although I’ve been playing with my current group of teammates for ~8 years (I think? Approximately?) I’ve been playing kickball for 12 years.  (I should clarify that I’ve been playing kickball with WENDY for 12 years; other than time out for our collective three pregnancies we’ve been on the same team the whole time.)

As such I thought it might be time to share a few things I’ve learned.  Because while these 25 year old Amazon soccer players may kick and field better than me, they were literally still in junior high school when I started to play, and I have EXPERIENCE.

  1. Adults can kick the ball further than you remember people being able to kick the ball when you played in elementary school, but now people can catch the ball too.
  2. You should always run like your pants are on fire.
  3. If someone is not forced, you have to tag them with the ball for them to be out. (For those of you who grew up playing Little League, you probably learned this when you were 8, but I learned it when I was like 32.)
  4. Everyone needs to take turns bringing the beer. The person who brings the beer should try to get there kind of early.
  5. Being married to the ref does not necessarily mean that you or your team will get calls your way.  If your spouse is a good ref, it probably means the opposite.
  6. If you think you can catch the ball, or if you know that you cannot, you should try to say something that makes this very clear.  “GOT IT” and “NOT IT” sound very similar, for example.
  7. You can get someone out by throwing the ball at them, but once you throw the ball, you do not have control of it.  If there are other runners, they will keep running.  Unless you’re about one foot away from them, it’s probably better not to throw the ball.
  8. This is not professional baseball.  Go ahead.  Keep running.  Try to get to the next base.
  9. At some point, once you’ve been playing for 12 years, and people are surprised that you play adult kickball, you will become annoyed that they consider it a novelty.  “Kickball???? Like we played in elementary school? But for grownups?” “YES THERE HAS BEEN A LEAGUE IN PITTSBURGH SINCE 2000 AND OTHER CITIES EVEN EARLIER THAN THAT AND BASICALLY EVERYONE UNDER THE AGE OF 45 HAS HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO PLAY KICKBALL FOR GROWNUPS.”  This reaction may or may not be justified.
  10. Although you can’t necessarily always beat the 25 year old Amazon soccer players, if you can keep the same group of people playing together for a while, you will be able to win a lot of games.
  11. You should definitely see if your uncle wants to come watch your games.  You will be happy you got to spend that extra time with him.
  12. I have been really lucky to have gotten to play with some of the best players and the best people.

And so begins my six-month offseason.  See you in the spring, kickball!

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