April 4, 2007


"The Microsoft of Kickball" Has Arrived: The World Adult Kickball Association is armed with a stack of copyrighted rules and a litigious reputation. (Huan Hsu, 4/04/07, Seattle Weekly)

Depending on whom you talk to, adult kickball is either cool, lame, a reason to drink, an excuse to act like a kid, welcoming of all, frighteningly homogenous, or a waste of a perfectly good softball diamond. But one thing is undeniable: It's really, really popular.

To wit, no fewer than four different kickball leagues will stage games on Seattle-area fields in 2007, including a new entry that's giving extant local leagues pause: the World Adult Kickball Association (WAKA), which will begin play here in April after years of unsuccessfully attempting to secure fields.

The Washington, D.C.-based behemoth, which in 2006 had 32,000 players register for teams in 21 states, comes to town with all the trappings of a large corporation--including the baggage of a high-profile legal battle. In 2006, WAKA filed a lawsuit in the Alexandria, Va., U.S. District Court against DC Kickball, accusing the D.C.-area rival's founder (and former WAKA volunteer), Carter Rabasa, of copyright infringement for using WAKA's coed kickball rules without its permission, including the mandate that "players must be at least 21 years old" and "the clearly unique requirement that there must be 4 men AND 4 women at a minimum to play." WAKA also accuses Rabasa of defamation, for calling it "the Microsoft of kickball" in a 2005 Washington City Paper story. WAKA is seeking $356,000 in compensatory and punitive damages.

"We don't have any updates on the lawsuit," says WAKA spokesperson Tiffany Ficklin. "Right now it's still in the filing process, is my understanding." (Neither Rabasa nor his lawyer responded to requests for comment.)

WAKA has also contacted at least two other kickball leagues, in D.C. and Little Rock, Ark., warning them about taking its intellectual property. These actions have created a WAKA backlash among kickballers: On MySpace, the Anti-WAKA Kickball Alliance boasts 86 members (groups.myspace.com/radicalkickball).

...that there's something inherent in kicking a ball rather than throwing it that just makes you a flaming anus.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 4, 2007 8:50 PM

In a perfect World a ball that is kicked, but rarely carried, should be in the shape of a cube with rounded corners.

Posted by: Tom Wall at April 4, 2007 9:58 PM

Ok, you made me laugh OJ, good one...

Posted by: darryl at April 4, 2007 11:05 PM

But the point you're missing is that you get to bean the guy that kicked it for an out. At least that was the rule when I was growing up. Step of base...take a ball to the face.

The kicking was nothing - anyone could do it, but the dodge ball aspect of it once you got on base was fun.

Posted by: Patrick H at April 5, 2007 12:09 PM