By Leslie Schlotman
A couple weeks ago, a few teammates and I were talking once again (shocker!) about the Balls N Dolls Kickball Classic scheduled for July 20, 2013. The discussion was centered on how many women's teams had registered, how many ladies were playing on each team, and who the competition would be. One of my teammates expressed some surprise that there were even enough girls interested in playing sufficient to make up an entire women's tournament. (This was before the recent announcement that there are in fact 16 girls' teams registered to date). At the time, I was kind of surprised by her surprise. But this isn't the first time I've heard this sort of sentiment. On the Kickball365 message boards, I've seen guys express their amazement that certain girls are so into kickball and I've seen remarks that they feel that they practically have to coerce their female teammates to come out and play.
As for me, I've had the opposite reaction and expectation: Why wouldn't there be plenty of women signed up for this tournament? In terms of numbers, there are plenty of interested women out there. Just think about how many kickball leagues are in California alone. Besides WAKA, you've got LASportsnet, GoKickball, and Planet Social Sports. There's probably more. There are even some pick up leagues like Coedsports and Pug Sports Zone. In all those co-ed leagues, you're telling me there haven't been enough women participation to make it clear that we're interested in playing kickball just as much as the guys?
Maybe there's a misconception about women's interest in kickball because of the tendency of some teams to limit their female players. Whereas you might see only 6 or 7 women on a team, you'll see twice as many men. And for tournaments, you'll see only 4 or 5 women and again, twice if not three times as many guys. But this isn't so much a statement on the level of interest by the female kickball players as it is a statement on the problems with trying to balance a social co-ed league with the inevitable spirit of competition. And besides, for just as many competitive teams, there are an equal number of fun teams out there with no regards to keeping their female numbers down.
So that got me to thinking, why do we not already have an all women's kickball league in Southern California? We've got women's basketball leagues, softball leagues, soccer leagues, and even dodgeball leagues. What's the hold up with a women's kickball league? And if they're are none here, where kickball is alive and thriving, where are they? Well, after spending some time searching the internet for women's leagues, I did discover that there are more out there than I expected.
There's the all women's league in Austin: http://www.eteamz.com/awka/index.cfm?
There's a league called NET Women's Kickball also in Austin: http://netwka.org/leagues
Games Girls Play has leagues in Georgia and Illinois: https://gamegirlsplay.leaguelab.com/leagues?sport=Kickball
In Kyle, Texas, they have a recreation women's kickball league: http://www.cityofkyle.com/recreation/adult-kickball
Kickball365 is starting up a women's league this summer in New Orleans: http://leagues.kickball365.com/leagues/kickball/15159
Atlanta has a women's league called Sweet Lady Kickers: https://www.facebook.com/groups/tslkickers/
Also in Georgia is Eye Candy Kickers: http://www.eyecandykickers.com/#!team_info/c18uc
New York has Kickin It Women's Kickball League: http://www.kickinitwomenskickballleague.com/p/long-beach.html
Florida has the Best Kickball League. That's actually what it's called. And there you can find the Pinellas County All Women's Kickball League: http://www.bestkickball.com/
In Missouri, ProRecSports has a women's league: http://prorecsports.com/leagues
And I'm sure there are more. Plus, that doesn't include the single day tournaments such as the recent Washington D.C. Chocolate City Kickball Classic.
So clearly there is more than enough interest with the ladies in playing kickball. And not just always playing second base or outfield, but playing the pitcher, crasher/charger, and catcher positions too. If Florida, Texas, Missouri, Georgia, and New York can put on lady kickball leagues, why not California? I think the Balls N Dolls Kickball Classic is a good start, and that it's a success by WAKA standards. Maybe then they'll consider putting together an all women's league as well.