Kids’ play for adults: Adult kickball league looking for players, games start Jan. 9

Katie and Thomas Paul of the East Valley Kickball Association, center, are flanked by Adam Robinson, left, and Brad Greer of the Queen Creek Recreation Department at Founders’ Park, 22407 S. Ellsworth Road. The town’s new adult kickball league will start playing at the park Jan. 9. To register, visit queencreek.org/RecRegistration.
(Special to the Independent/Town of Queen Creek)

Katie Paul says kickball is fun for grown-ups to play.

“It’s a kids’ sport that you can play as an adult,” she said.

Now Ms. Paul, who co-founded the East Valley Kickball League with her husband, Thomas, is inviting Queen Creek men and women ages 18 and older the chance to rediscover their inner child.

The new Queen Creek adult, co-ed kickball league will start play Jan. 9 at Founders’ Park, 22407 S. Ellsworth Road in the Town Center. The eight-week season will be held 7-9 p.m. on Mondays.

For the past four years, the Pauls have commuted from their home in Queen Creek to Tempe to play in another league. Tired of the constant driving, the couple decided to approach the town of Queen Creek Recreation Department regarding the establishment of a local league, Ms. Paul said during an interview. Turns out, the process was easy, she said.

“We approached Brad (Greer) with the town, and it was something we both thought would be a good fit,” Ms. Paul said.

The Pauls approached the town about five months ago and hit the ground running in September, she said. They feel anyone can enjoy the sport of kickball because it can be played year-round and it’s less competitive than some other sports, Ms. Paul said.

“It’s pretty much the easiest adult sport you can do. It’s more of a relaxed, laidback sport, and it’s nice because girls and guys can get into it,” Ms. Paul said. “It is relaxed, you get to meet people and it’s more about getting involved in the community.”

All levels of athleticism can participate as long as a player is able to catch the ball and run around the bases, Ms. Paul said.

The league uses rules established by the National Kickball Association to govern its play. League members will use a standard-size kickball and play games last 40 minutes or five innings, Ms. Paul said. The team with the most points at the end of game play wins.

Teams are composed of 10-12 players. Each needs 10 players to play and two players to rotate in or out or substitute if a player is unable to attend, Ms. Paul said. Teams must have at least four female players.

Players do not have to purchase special equipment, Ms. Paul said. For this inaugural year, the recreation department will pay for the team members’ T-shirts, Brad Greer, the town’s recreation coordinator, said during an interview.

Mr. Greer said he did not know the exact cost of each T-shirt, noting the price would be determined by the quantity ordered and the amount of artwork on each. He said he did not expect them to be expensive.

Each Monday night session will include a double-header. Registration for the season is $55 for Queen Creek residents and $65 for non-residents. To register, visit queencreek.org/RecRegistration.

Standings will be posted on the East Valley Softball Association Facebook page. All teams will be able to compete in the playoffs.

Food concessions will not be sold at the park, but people may bring their own snacks, Ms. Paul said. Alcohol will not be allowed on the premises, she said.

Partnering with the town’s recreation department is not a new concept, Mr. Greer said. The winter recreation catalog features activities led by about 35 independent contractors, Mr. Greer said. People can bring their ideas to the recreation department, whose leadership team will review the ideas and determine which to add to the catalog.

The new kickball league is the only adults sports program that is contracted, he said.

Contractors keep 70 percent of his or her activity’s registration fees and pay the town the remaining 30 percent. The town uses the latter to offset the cost of the facility, lighting and other related expenses, Mr. Greer said.

He said the start-up process can take about six months and that the town is always looking for opportunities to bring new activities to the community.

“It’s great to have local citizens bring their ideas to us. It’s a true partnership with the town,” Mr. Greer said.

The recreation coordinator was raised in Queen Creek. He played Little League here and has experienced the joys and camaraderie recreation can create, he said.

“It beings me great happiness to work with people who want to make Queen Creek their home,” he said.

For more information, visit the East Valley Softball Association Facebook page or the Queen Creek recreation webpage.

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