November 14, 2006
Good Morning Charlottesville is continuing a week long series of alternative exercises you can do to shed off the pounds. In this part we're going back to our childhood for a game that is a school time favorite.
It's a great team sport that requires little equipment and maybe even less skill, but don't doubt the fierce competition when adults play kickball.
"Give me your lunch money." That's a phrase you may have heard growing-up, but for these adults it's their team name of a sport they haven't played in years.
"Actually one of the guys on my team, I went to elementary school with. We're rekindling the old team and bringing it back out into the working age," said player Niall Little.
"We're huge in Japan." That's the other team's name. They agree that it's not hard to pick-up.
"It's just like riding a bike, you know? You get back on and it all comes back to you," said John Breen who also plays.
It may be a kid's game, but don't doubt the fierce competition.
"The second game I was pitching and caught a fly ball and got the person out, but I fractured my left pinkie and I had three screws put in," said Holly Hatcher who began the season as pitcher.
There were 160 players in Charlottesville's first kickball league this fall. Ten are on the field at a time and at least four must be female.
"It's a lot of fun. It doesn't take a lot of skill to play. Pretty much everybody played in Middle School and it's not like being overly athletic really helps you in this game," said Chad Day, founder of the kickball league, which is part of Charlottesville Sports & Social Club.
That's the point. Anyone can play and everyone gets a little exercise.
"Personally I hate running myself. Running at the gym, you're not really going anywhere, you're not really enjoying the run I think. Out here it's part of a game, it's part of a very light competition," said Day.
It can be a workout from natural athletes to those just starting out.
"It's not like playing soccer, but you're definitely getting up and getting the blood flowing. It's a better workout than sitting on your couch and watching TV," said Little.
"If you're out of shape, like me, you actually do get quite a workout," said Hatcher.
"If I wasn't out here playing kickball right now, all I would be doing is sitting on the couch and watching football, which is not particularly conducive to keeping in shape," Breen said.
The sport has taken off in Charlottesville and the league even had to turn some teams away this Fall. There is an indoor winter league and spots are still available. You can find out more at: www.cvillessc.org