As an independent, co-ed sport with varied levels of competition and post game social outings, hundreds of athletes and social bugs alike are getting their kicks through Red Stick Area Kickball.
What began in 2005 with only four teams, RSAK has exploded into one of the largest independent sports leagues in Baton Rouge with four leagues comprised of more than 50 teams. Players and commissioners have customized the original sport rules to create a unique style of kickball attractive to a variety of people. For instance, RSAK is one of the only kickball leagues in the country that requires guys and girls to alternate in the “kicking order.”
Players are separated into four different leagues based on the desired level of competitiveness. Leagues range from RSAK Lite, reserved primarily for work teams who want to relax and unwind in an amusing environment, up to the RSAK Competitive League that caters to experienced kickballers competing for the coveted RSAK Cup. Most members want the mix of friendly competition and laid-back fun found in the two middle divisions, RSAK Classic I and II.
What makes the sport fascinating to its many players is that the heart of the league lies in the social aspect of the sport as RSAK has transformed an elementary game into a citywide social sporting event.
“With as simple as the game of kickball is, I’m consistently impressed with the high level of play that we see in the competitive games,” said Brett Lato, league operations manager. “By the same token, even when the games are serious, at the end of the day, it’s just kickball, and we’re all friends who are out there to meet new people and have a good time.”
Whether players sign up as a free agent or with a specific team, all kickballers connect throughout the season at league nights with drink specials at local bars and restaurants like Rotolo’s and Uncle Earl’s. The healthy balance of male and female players reflects the league’s innovative rule changes as friendships, business partnerships and even marriages have been kick-started on the field.
“When I started Red Stick Area Kickball back in 2005,” said Scott Murry, RSAK founder. “I never thought it would grow into the sub-cultural phenomenon that it is today.”
With the steady growth of the kickball league, RSAK recently announced an ultimate frisbee league and an outdoor dodgeball league starting later this spring and summer. Similar to the kickball system, the dodgeball and ultimate frisbee leagues will have home-grown rules to spice up the sport.
“Between meeting many of my closest friends – including my wife – throughout this league … Hosting countless social events, and the great charity work our players do, founding this league has become one of the things I’m most proud of,” Murry said.
RSAK’s upcoming spring season begins March 10, 2014. Weekend pickup games are frequent with the schedule of those impromptu meetings updated on RSAK’s Facebook page. Official league games are held Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays at BREC’s Perkins Road Park on Kenilworth and Perkins. Players can sign up by going to www.BRkickball.com.