The Kaw Valley Kickball League is holding its annual kickball clinic this weekend, but this time, under a new name: Kickball is For All.
The event was first held in 2013 as the “Girl on Girl” clinic and was meant to be a low-stress opportunity to help women hone the skills needed to play kickball, which has mostly been a male-dominated sport. In 2019, the event was renamed “Kickball Is For Us” to be more inclusive to nonbinary members of the community.
“With more nonbinary members than ever before we thought it was important to make sure everyone had a place to practice and learn new skills,” said Erin Adams, one of the event organizers and captain of the Pawsh Wash team. “We want the members of the league and Lawrence community to know that the KVKL is an inclusive and safe place for everyone.”
After having to cancel the event in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the KVKL decided to go with a rhyming name that sounded better.
Jacki Becker, one of the original organizers for the event, is pleased with how the name of the event has transformed.
“After almost a decade, GOG evolved into Kickball Is For All,” Becker said, “a day focused on those interested in improving how they play, the joy of sports camaraderie in a safe setting, surrounded by people who support you at whatever level you are at.”
The free event is from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday, July 10 at Hobbs Park, 702 E. 11th St. In addition to teaching both basic and advanced skills of kickball, there will be food, and attendees are encouraged to bring something to share. It’s open to league members and nonmembers alike.
And, according to the Facebook event page, “Dudes you can come too, but only if you plan on manning a grill, offering positive improvements to our game, assisting in reffing the games etc.”
Adams said kickball is a simple sport that anyone can play.
“We are a league of 36 teams in a small town in Kansas,” Adams said. “We want anyone who shows interest to be able to find a place in our community.”
Game of the Week kickball games for the KVKL season are open to all spectators at 9 p.m. every Sunday at Hobbs Park until Aug. 1. Events such as open scrimmages and kicking practices happen often.