The Meridian Star
Remember kickball from recess? It's making a comeback.
Across the country, adult kickball leagues and associations are making their presence known by converting softball diamonds into kickball fields to go back in time and competitively play a childhood favorite – Meridian included.
Sindy Howard has taken it upon herself to fill the cities need with The Queen City Kickers kickball league.
"For me it's very exciting to me," she said. "We will be Meridian's first, meaning ladies, bringing kickball to Meridian. It's a new take on sports."
Howard emphasized that they were ladies bringing a new active option to the city for fellow athletic women that aren't into softball or jogging.
The season is set to open when the adult softball league ends at the end of July, until then it's all about recruiting.
"I just hope everybody can embrace it so it can grow," Howard said. "I can see the potential of it being a wonderful thing."
While sitting at the registration table at the Sammy Davidson concession stand, where the league will call home, she said she and co-hort Janet Wallace had been approached by many men who wanted in – but not just yet.
Eventually, as early as next summer, Queen City will go co-ed.
"I felt that since I put it out there for women first, we were going to try it," Howard said. "It's not excluding men. It's the opportunity to grow with this, meaning co-ed teams."
When men are added, the rules will have to be adjusted. As with the world recognized official rules – yes, they exist – only five to a team and they cannot kick back-to-back in the line up.
She got the idea to start Queen City Kickers from friends who were playing in Atlanta. After seeing posts on Facebook and talking to friends about how much she wished she could play, she looked into organizing it locally.
It's not just in Atlanta, and later this summer in Meridian, that kickballers spending an hour a week reminiscing on the easier days.
West on Interstate 20, Jackson's first adult kickball league started last summer with two teams and has grown to double digits. Birmingham and St. Louis also have large leagues, complete with tournaments.
And isn't just the south, it's on the coasts, the Great Planes and the Northeast.
"It's really becoming big everywhere," Howard said. "My girlfriends in Atlanta just went to a kickball tournament in St. Louis last week. They didn't place but said it was wonderful to see all the people there."
Those world reknown rules are thanks to WAKA, or World Adult Kickball Association, which was founded in 1998 and acts as the rules governing board. They also host the World Kickball Championship in Las Vegas each fall and attempt to spread the world about its beloved sport.
She wants a piece of the here.
Howard said she needs four teams to make the league work and is halfway there.
"It just goes back into days of elementary schools when we were out on the field and the playground and we were playing kickball. we were running, we were laughing and we were having fun," she said.
Howard, a nurse by trade, said that she also saw a need for an additional active activity, similar to softball, to get the women of Meridian out and about.
"It's motivating women to become more active," Howard siad. "It's promoting good health and well being via sports. Not every women plays softball.
It's all about encouraging a health lifestyle, while having fun at the same time. Kickball, Howard said, is something anyone can play.
"Even with this you can keep your nails on," she said.