In Defense of Kickball by Robyn

Chad ready to rock the shit out of the ball, originally uploaded by Pinaki_wv.

Ed. Note: Robyn’s post on the defense of Ruby Tuesday’s Salad Bar and Adams Morgan nightlife got a really interesting debate going and it has sparked a new series. You know in DC sometimes we tend to be reflexively negative about certain things. I find myself doing it too from time to time. Like I hate Georgetown. And in reality the last few times I’ve went to Georgetown, I’ve loved it. I love the old homes, the waterfront, etc. But I feel like I said “I hate Georgetown” so often it just became automatic. And not at all true. So with that in mind Robyn has come up with the idea to debunk some of the automatic negative stereotypes about certain things in DC. This is the third in a series.

One of my gigs is photographing events and parties for a local newspaper. It’s fun and easy and it packs my calendar with social endeavors – some pretty cool (House of Sweden), and some bizarre (Hair + SUV fashion show, don’t ask).

A while ago my editor sent me to Adams Morgan’s Grand Central Station to take some pictures of a kickball event. A kickball event?!? I couldn’t have rolled my eyes harder. I was not a fan of these people (even though I didn’t know any). To me, kickballers were just a roving band of meatheads that take over a bar and turn it into a scene out of Animal House. They’re an easy target to hate. They play a game reserved for 8-year-old boys. They are most likely drunk when you encounter them, hence not exactly capable of coherent conversation. And what’s worse – they always look like they are having more fun than you, cheering on their college drinking games, wearing their matching shirts advertising lite beers, and their general sociable comradery. So I ran in, grabbed a couple photos, and ran out before anyone could force me into a “chug this pitcher” contest.  Continues after the jump.

After the Grand Central outing, a friend convinced me to try kickball. So I tried it. By “try” I mean walk down to the mall to join my new team, wiff the ball multiple times, and sit on the sideline terrified. My team was composed of 10 dudes men that either worked at a law firm, a financial firm, or real estate, and 20 highlighted, tan, average-looking giggly girls vying for the attention of the one attractive man, rumored to be in a band, who apathetically sat off to the side smoking until it was his turn to kick to the collective sigh of the 20 gals.

Afterwards we went to the bar where we played endless rounds of flip cup – another game I’m horrible at – and I found my opinion of kickballers changing. Sure, they drink till they drop at 3pm on a Sunday, and they might just call each other by their last names. But they were nice to me, gave me an abundance of beer, high-fived me when I finally flipped the dang cup (seriously, that game is hard!), invited me to a Journey concert, and I even got a lesson from one of the gals on how one obtains breast implants that look real. Though she may have been slightly delusional because hers certainly did not.

Nice people though.

Any pro-Kickballers out there?

35 Comment

  • I’ve been waiting for the right time to link to this graphic:

    I don’t have anything against kickball though really.

  • Vonstallin

    20 highlighted, tan, average-looking giggly girls vying for the attention of the one attractive man, rumored to be in a band, who apathetically sat off to the side smoking until it was his turn to kick to the collective sigh of the 20 gals.


    I want to be dude !!!!

    Fake boobies are cool, then again so are flat

    The field is starting to look like Dog Parks Dust Bowl ! nice…..

  • Ha, that guy in the left side of the photo is a friend from college.

    I played kickball for the first and last time in the fall. It was not the best thing I have ever done but it wasn’t horrible. I admit I was mildly entertained by watching all the drunken hookups and hearing girls cry about their kickball crushes who really liked other girls on the team. It is certainly the closest thing in DC to going back high school. A really, really drunk high school. With a girl who takes off her pants off at the bar.

    Who takes their pants off at the bar? Only someone with leopard print underpants.

  • i will go ahead and be the first to say that kickball is lame. as are kickballers. ive had bad experiences with many of them in the past, and have found them to be generally selfish, annoying, and generally bad people.

  • Vonstallin

    NateG Says:
    January 28th, 2009 at 2:26 pm


    But Nate….girls are taking off thier pants…It can’t be all that bad then…lol

  • it’s all about the team and the league you join. Though i’ve never played in any mall leagues, i’m told that they pretty much suck. I’ve played in the admo league twice, and i’ve had the fortune of being on an awesome team both times, full of not douchy, cookie-cutter cats, but decent, fun-loving, hard drinking guys and gals. While i understand where the hatred for kickball as an institution comes from (believe me, i’ve wanted so many times to brawl with random dickheads from the league), it’s dumb to generalize and cast it out, because, fuck it…its JUST KICKBALL! WE PLAY TO HAVE FUN! I think my team might be an exception to the rule though…there were one or two other teams of decently cool people in the league, and the rest, well, pretty much sucked. Meatheads, jocks, idiots and more meatheads. People that are legitimately crushed if they lose a game. So yeah, i see where the skepticism comes from, but, if you’re unsure, sign up, start a team of your peoples and take the shit over. Don’t hate.

  • everyone knows that the kick ballers are republican and the HASHERS are democrats. Also I think the name of Robyns blog entries should just be called “In Defense of the Transplant”

  • Nice posting!!!! I am still anti-kickball though… did you go see Journey?

  • I am so jellous (as my name implies) of your staff position at Prince of Petworth. I once tried to get a column lunched called “HATING ON _____________” and then you fill in the blank. The only problem is it was too predictable and people didn’t want to read it past the first installment (HATING ON PLAYERS). Too bad really, because if you have haters in your life, you’e doing something right. I think Chris Rock said that. Anyway, here’s an idea, IN DEFENSE OF HATERS or IN DEFENSE OF SHE-SLUTS, or if you’re feeling adventurous IN DEFENSE OF GOLDEN SHOWERS.


  • I like to start a column called “Fan of…” and I would totally begin with “I am a fan of… Jellous Q. Fellon”

  • Vonstallin

    lol, Reminds me of an episode of “The Bondocks” when grand pa said a golden shower sounds pleasent and enjoyable. (of cousrse he didn’t know what a golden shower was).

    hmm, porn hub here i come.

  • I started my current job about 3 years ago and was invited to play and I did thinking it would be a good way to meet some of my peers. The league I was in was on the Mall and they kept records of the games (play one 5-inning game per week) and records of who won flip cup as well. It was kinda fun but it was done more for the socializing and I don’t regret doing it, but one year was all I could take.

    But…j is absolutely right. I don’t think teams were full of meatheads, but there was at least one person per team who took it WAY too seriously and complained about calls and talked trash with the other team, etc…that sort of put a damper on the experience, that is why I only played for one year, and I can see why kickball can get a bad rap. I play softball during the warmer weather for shits n’ giggles, and there are people there who also take it way too seriously. I play games to win and all, but it does amaze me how many people take recreation sports too seriously and ruin the fun and reputation for all involved.

  • One more issue with kickballers, they prevent local non-profit groups from receiving permits since they books huge swaths of time and pay the same rates. For-profit organizations should not be allowed to make profits from public lands. They should be required to pay a corporate rate.

  • Chewy I played in that same league. i thought it was rediculous that for 60.00 you get a tshirt and the crappiest beer specials ever. Not only that you have to ref the games and send someone for squatting duties…ie. sitting out on the mall at 4pm til 6pm to hold the field space for the games. You have got to be kidding me!!

    That’s why I moved to an Arlington League- AASL. They have refs, shirts, and nice playing facilities. The girl who runs it is really nice and makes a point to come out to the games and meet the teams. Paying 60.00 to support someone who actually gives a crap about the people and how much fun they are having in her league. Right now we are in dodgeball season and it is so much fun! I’ve been with the same team now for about 3 years and have made some of the best friends through this league.

    If people are interested her website is

  • Kickball is stupid, a fact that no one can deny.

  • Kickball is stupid, unless you are in third grade, which should be the upper age limit placed on this game. I admit I was tempted to play kickball, as a soccer player I am rumored to know how to kick a ball, but the ball is so mushy that it gets really misshapened when kicked with any conviction, so you end up just doing the equivalent of bunting. Boring!

  • With the prodding of my roommate, I played this summer. And I’ll say: I was hesistant, thinking it would be stupid, lame, and the people would suck, but, honestly, it was one of the most fun experiences of my life. Met some really awesome people that I would never have met otherwise, many of whom I still hang out with. So, naysayers: you can’t have me.

  • PS: I still love the RT salad bar!

  • Re: kickball, luckily kickball girls are easy, so its tolerable, though I haven’t played since 1983 or so.

    Re: RT, I went there the other day just to see what the hubbub on this blog was. The burger was great, my chum got the salad bar, likewise great. I tried a desert cake, which seemed like it was sea-mailed from China or some such. I mean it was bad.

  • I’ve been afraid to play kickball b/c of the “OhmygodifyoumissthatballIwillkickyourfacein” idiots. It’s only a game! I thought about joining a team just to meet some people, but from what I can tell kickball is mostly about the after-game drinking…which I’m not a fan of.

  • I will defend that Ruby Tuesday salad bar ’till the day I die*

  • you want to play a real game and drink your liver to death … RUGBY!

  • I’ve always thought the kickballers should give up the pretense of playing a sport and just form a flip cup league. That way they wouldn’t be taking over all our fields when they just need an excuse to drink. They’d still be taking over our bars, but then maybe we could convince them to move the flip cup league to the ‘burbs where a lot of them live anyway.

  • I know I’m oldish, but what exactly is flip cup?

  • FAIL. There is no defense for adult kickball. If your social skills are that lacking or you have that much trouble hooking up, go back to college and try again.

  • To be fair, I only ever see kickballers on metro, but I still want to kick them in the teeth.

  • I agree that there should be an upper age limit on stupid [email protected] like this…
    though I did enjoy a good game of 4-square when I was little. Maybe I’ll start a 4-square league.

    Seriously thought, these folks generally act like a total bunch of a##wipes in any unsuspecting bar they descend upon. One of my favorite moments at Pharmacy Bar was when about 10 of them started coming through the front door – the bartender just stood up real tall behind the bar and yelled “NO…..OUT!”. I still laugh a little to myself thinking about this any time I see these color coordinated sheep wandering up 18th St from the Marie Reed Center field.

  • my friend who hadnt been back to dc in a good ten years was sitting with me on a nice summer day in adams morgan having a beer and hoards of them started walking by. his response “this town is really going to shit isnt it.”

  • Vonstallin

    Anonymous Says:
    January 28th, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    “this town is really going to shit isnt it.”


  • it’s just a way for certain guys to pick up girls. trust me. i know a few “older” captains of teams that can never wait until the new season so they can harvest the new crops of dc transient workers.

    speaking of which… i should join a team!

  • just don’t play night kickball at upshur park. dc’s finest will tell you it isn’t safe, that you will get mugged, and then issue you a $300 ticket for “unauthorized occupation of public space.”

    good thing the cop never put it in the system.

  • they sell kickbacks at target

  • I enjoy how my flickr stream got put on this. I feel mildly famous.

  • I love the “In defense of…” column idea.

    There is a time and a place for kickball. I am past that time and away from that place in my life, so I feel confident in abstaining from it, but i DID participate 5 or 6 years ago. So as annoying as they can be, I try not to judge, and remember that I was like them once. I feel the same about junior high kids.

    As I recall, we drank a lot afterward and had a lot of fun. But then again, I was also in a sorority in college, so I clearly was already predisposed to pant removal behaviors etc.

  • Kickball is not all that bad. I play in Co-Ed soccer, softball and flag football leagues in DC and VA and they have the same crap going on at the bars and on the fields. Kickball just gets a bad wrap b/c it is not a “real sport”. Whoop-dee-doo. It’s just for fun! Most people I have found that hate on it have never played it, are socially awkward, unathletic, can’t drink, hate freedom or we not in a good league / team. I’d take playing kickball on a Thursday night over going out to some other random crowded bar anytime.

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