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Adult Kickball Leagues
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Once A Game Reserved For Kids, Kickball Is Gaining Popularity Among An Older Generation Thanks To Adult Leagues Like WAKA

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By Rene Gomez
Modern Times Magazine

March 29, 2016 — If Arizona has one advantage over the other contiguous 48, it’s the state’s climate. For the majority of the year, the state delivers weather that, while hot in the summer, lends itself to outdoor activity. Thanks to all that sunshine, Arizonans are always open to new ways to have fun outdoors.

One activity gaining popularity that adults have overlooked in the past is kickball. Yes, the game we used to play in playgrounds during our grade school years. That game that gave us so much joy and fun. That game that really didn’t require much of an investment other than a field, lots of bodies, an inflated rubber ball and time.

It turns out you do not have to be a kid to appreciate the glee and good times that kickball provides, and the World Adult Kickball Association (WAKA for short) has been spreading that glee since 1998. Johnny LeHane, David Lowry and Jimmy Walicek are the founders of the organization and formed WAKA with the intention of creating a fun activity in a social setting.

As of now, WAKA has leagues in 35 states and hosts events around the country. There are several chapters throughout the Valley. Reggie Alcos is the senior community coordinator for WAKA and described the organization’s events as a great time that “gives everyone the opportunity to meet people from all over.”

WAKA in Phoenix offers four co-ed kickball leagues (Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays) and one co-ed flag football league (Wednesdays). According to Alcos, a league can have anywhere from 150 to 200 players (depending on the season), and each league has three seasons.

People new to the league have much to look forward to in Alcos’ opinion.

“I like to tell people that WAKA Kickball and ‘social sports’ is a great way to network and meet some great people, and we just so happen to play kickball,” Alcos said.

The fun is not limited to just events in the Valley of the Sun, though. WAKA has events throughout the calendar year in various locations throughout the country, both competitive or noncompetitive.

Alcos singled out several of WAKA’s gatherings, including its largest event called Founders Cup (also known as WAKAPalooza), which takes place every October during Columbus Day weekend in Las Vegas.

“During that weekend, there are many activities where players from all over the country converge and basically take over Vegas,” Alcos said.

There are also other competitive and noncompetitive regional tournaments, an adult summer camp and ski trips, according to Alcos.

WAKA also hosts fundraising events, including those that have benefited local charities in the Phoenix area in the past.

“In my Thursday night league, we are raising funds for Child Crisis Arizona,” Alcos said.

WAKA leagues and events offer players, both old and new, the chance to let loose and stay active. Unlike some other adult sports leagues, WAKA simply aims to offer people the opportunity to have fun and socialize. Alcos mentioned kicking his first home run in a coconut bra and grass skirt as well as meeting “some truly great people including the woman in my life, my better half.”

Joining a league can range from $70 to $78 per player for the season, and the social events pricing will vary depending on the event. To find more information, go to www.kickball.com/phoenix.
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