We all remember playing kickball as kids — the sport was a staple of gym class, invented as a way to introduce youngsters to the rules of baseball in a way that anyone could participate.
But you don’t have to be a kid to enjoy the sport today, thanks to numerous leagues presented by DC Fray around the DMV. And they’ve added an even greater element of fun by introducing Glow Kickball — teams play in the dark, the space illuminated by glow sticks, wands, an orange glowing ball and glowing bases.
William Dennis, staffing manager of DC Fray who has played Glow Kickball for six years, says the game evokes a nostalgic feeling of playing kickball in the schoolyard, but the fact that it’s in the dark creates even more excitement.
“It’s a fun experience; playing a childhood sport with glow equipment, and music playing — it’s like a little party,” he says. “This is something different that can help relieve some of the day-to-day stress you may have, and it’s a great way to be social, meet new people and maybe discover a love for kickball.”
There are leagues available seven days a week throughout the District, including games at Walter Pierce Park in Adams Morgan, Francis Park in Dupont and all around the National Mall. Each league has room for 6-10 teams, comprised of 14-25 people, so approximately 700 people can get in on the action this season.
The rules of Glow Kickball are basically the same as the rules most people have followed all their lives, with one notable exception: Players are not allowed to run up to the ball to kick it; they must be stationed at the plate and wait for the ball to come to them.
Additionally, full kicks and “swinging for the fences” is now allowed. The league is designed for fun, not to try to destroy the other team. The kickball is actually a soccer ball that can travel more than 50 yards, and since the game is in the dark, the idea isn’t to use all your power, but to concentrate efforts on hitting the ball between fielders. This will keep people safe.
Other rules state games last five innings, 6-11 players must play the field (at least two identifying as female), pitches must be thrown underhand at a reasonable speed, three strikes is an out, four balls is a walk and three outs per team per inning. Ties are allowed.
Fielders must also throw the ball with both hands, and while you can still get runners out by throwing the balls at them, throws can’t be “blasted.” Again, this is all happening in the dark, so the rules are designed to keep everyone safe.
You don’t need to consider yourself a great athlete to play, either. Kickball is for anyone who is looking to have a fun night out.
Sam Ramsey, a 25-year-old D.C. resident, played her first league last year, joining friends from college — a mix of what she calls “athletes and non-athletes.”
“I really like that it’s a way to get outside and relax with my friends after work during the week,” she says. “There are a lot of people who play in this league, too, so it’s nice to meet other people your age in D.C. Afterwards, the teams go to a local bar to play flip cup and hang out. It’s a nice release towards the end of the week.”
To register or find out more information, visit dcfray.com/sport/kickball.