816 North

Kickball’s back for grown-up players

Updated: 2013-02-26T01:29:51Z

By BRIAN BURNES

The Kansas City Star

Adult kickball — it’s not a contradiction in terms.

At least three Northland municipalities this year will be offering organized grown-up versions of the old playground pastime.

Coed leagues now are being organized in North Kansas City and Gladstone, with a fall league anticipated in Liberty.

In North Kansas City, the game will be offered for the first time this spring.

“For the last year or so we’ve had a number of inquiries about it,” said Dave Schnoebelen, North Kansas City parks and recreational sports director.

“That is our role, to respond the best we can to what people want in recreation.”

The old playground sport — basically baseball, but with a large inflatable ball — has been revived across the Kansas City area. Two separate groups are scheduling league play south of the Missouri River, organizing games in Penn Valley, Gillham and Rosedale parks.

This will be the third year for adult kickball in Gladstone, said Jody Hydorn, city recreational specialist.

The kickball games are played at the Gladstone softball complex at Happy Rock Park, 7600 N.E. Antioch Road. The city normally has offered two “seasons” each year, the first from late April through July, and then late July through September.

“Our players are mainly in their 20s and 30s,” said Hydorn.

“The game just offers more of a relaxed feeling. There are a lot of softball players out at the complex, and they see kickball being played out there, so they think ‘This is maybe something me and my wife or girlfriend can do for fun.’ ”

Registration in Gladstone, which began this month, will continue through April 12.

In North Kansas City, the games will be played nights in Macken Park, Howell Street and Clark Ferguson Drive. Registration, which started last week, runs through March 20.

The municipality has many who live and work in downtown Kansas City, as well as at Cerner Corp, not far from Macken Park, said Schnoebelen.

“So the demographic is there for this kind of sport,” he added.

This fall in Liberty adult kickball games will be played at the Fountain Bluff Sports Complex, 2200 E. Old 210 Highway.

“The game kind of takes you back to the physical education days of elementary school,” said Isaiah Bragg, Liberty senior sports coordinator.

“The players are doing it just for fun.”

To reach Brian Burnes, call 816-234-4120 or send email to bburnes@kcstar.com.

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