Kickball Catastrophe

I joined a kickball league. I joined a kickball league with the expectation that it would be a fun way to work in some additional exercise and socializing into my schedule. Last week was our first tournament, and though we lost 4 to 8, it was really enjoyable and I didn’t suck nearly as bad as I thought I would. I hadn’t played kickball in about 20 years, so I was certainly nervous, but my team was encouraging and supportive and it didn’t take me too long to refamiliarize myself with the game.

Then last night happened. Last night was one of the worst athletic experiences of my life. Having played sports regularly in my youth (both competitively and recreationally), and having been on our high school’s varsity swimming and tennis team, that says a lot. 

Here is what went down. I had had a few individuals warn me about the team we were playing. They are known for being highly competitive, and last year had a number of complaints filed through the city against them for their aggressive behavior. Great. I definitely was not going into this game with any sense of optimism. Of course I was hoping that it would still be fun; but alas, that was not meant to be.

I was guarding second base, was roughly 5 feet from the base when a player came rushing towards the plate. He had a crazy look on his face as if getting to second base by any means necessary was a matter of life or death. Rather than running straight, he curved. He curved and ran full sprinting speed right into my side. He then proceeded to shove me out of his way, finally landing on second.

I was pissed. How was that acceptable behavior?!?!

The entire side of my left arm and shoulder instantly turned beet red, sore from the impact of an incredibly muscular, male body slamming into my own. It took everything I had to not tear up and/or scream at the idiot who was now standing feet away from me, completely oblivious to the inappropriateness of his actions.

Two innings later, the same douche comes rushing at second base. Thinking that a teammate was going to throw me the ball, I hustled towards the base, touching one foot on it, anticipating a catch. Again, this moron comes rushing at me. BAM. Body slam number two, in the exact same spot. REALLY?!?!

Tears welled in my eyes. I was not going to be that girl. That weak girly-girl who cried and complained. I was livid. My upper back, shoulder, and arm were throbbing at this point. What was before just a very red upper arm/back (as if someone had slapped me really hard and left a handprint) was now turning into a giant patchwork of welts.

The next inning, I was up to kick. Sprinting to first base, I was safe! Instant excitement that I had contributed to my team was instantly killed as two butch she-devils came barreling towards me, screaming at me that I was out, one of them thrusting the ball roughly and unnecessarily into my chest.

Apparently they thought I was continuing to second because I didn’t curve right and run “out.” I my foot hit first, I stopped running. I obviously had no intention of making it to second.

Bitches…

I jogged back to the dugout, the perma-tears were threatening to spill over. No. Please, no. Deep breaths. You’re fine. It’s just your ego that has been burned. 

Roughly 5 minutes later, the game was over. As we lined up and started to high five the opposing team, I pulled my had away as “muscle man” as we not-so-lovingly referred to him, walked up to me. Giving him a death glare, I walked back to gather my things with my head held high. I just wanted to get out of there and cool off.

My husband instantly knew something was wrong when I got home. As I explained what had happened, my angry and hurt emotions came bubbling back up and the tears fell. I was sore and humiliated and regretted ever joining the league. This was not what I signed up for. That experience was in no way fun, in no way an enjoyable, friendly competition.

Teammates and friends were throwing around the term “bullied.” Having never been bullied in my life, I would never have used the term. If that was even a minor example of what bullying is like, I truly feel for those who have to experience this shit daily.

I have a number of people recommending that I submit a formal complaint to the league, to the city. If anything, I would want to do so to ensure that that team and those particular team members are at least talked to and instructed to cool down and stop with the uber-competitive and aggressive behavior.

I still don’t know. Is it just my hurt ego? Or is this a larger issue?

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26 thoughts on “Kickball Catastrophe

  1. I told you to let me join. ;* I got yo’ back, baby! But in all seriousness…I’d file a complaint, which I see you’re already doing. I’m one of the MOST competitive people you will ever meet when it comes to sports…but this team KNOWS they’re playing recreational kickball…this isn’t some Division 1 tournament. The fact that they take it a little too seriously is a problem. The league is there for some fun competition, not just Rawr Competition (with a capital “C”). Again, I’m the first to play as rough as possible…but there’s a time and place for that, and this team is clearly making this “for fun” league not so fun for everyone else. That’s just unsportsmanlike, in my opinion. If they want to play rough, they need to find a league that is specifically organized for their level of play…not a coed rec league. Their lack of awareness is rude and makes it hard for others to enjoy themselves. I’m so sorry for your experience. Feel better, dear.

    1. I have been playing sports for years, decades. Being competitive is one thing, but with all due respect, it is probably a good thing you didn’t join because “playing as rough as possible” would NOT fly on our team, nor on the league in general as that behavior is unacceptable and warrants a formal complaint.

      That being said, it was beyond unsportsmanlike. This is not a professional league. I am in the process of filing a formal complaint, working with my coach and my connections with the city to do so in the best manner possible. The fact that they took no accountability for their actions and offered no apology, sincere or no, was the final straw with my intention to file a complaint.

      I’m sore, I’m pissed, and I’m seriously debating quitting and/or changing teams. Not what I signed up for at all.

    1. Additionally, this particular player (not their team in general) has had MANY complaints filed against him for his physically aggressive behavior. Why is he still playing?!?!

  2. Some people are just idiots, it’s in them, and the only way they’d stop is if they were banned, or there was someone bigger and nastier on your team who made them. You can’t reason with the unreasonable.

    1. Very true. And they are certainly unreasonable.

      My coach just informed me that this particular player has had numerous complaints filed against himself in recent years. Why he is allowed to continue playing?? How many “strikes” does he get? It is only a matter of time before he slams into some tiny girl and causes serious damage…

      We aren’t talking about two girls bumping into each other. This was a full on, sprinting body slam. I’m beyond pissed off right now. I had to ice my effing shoulder last night. And I’m typically a tough person. I’m ridiculously clumsy and injuries don’t usually get me down.

      1. I’ve never been big but played sports at a high level all my life. There’s always bigger people trying to flatten you because they think they’re tough. You did the right thing not letting him think he’d beaten you. He’ll get his just desserts when he does it to the wrong person.

      2. Oh there was NO WAY I was letting him know that he had beaten me! 🙂

        That’s all it is for them, a total power play and a need to appear “tough.” It will catch up to them/him one day.

  3. Sounds like my kickball playing experience, though I wasn’t the one who got hit I did end up with two strained/torn (not sure, didn’t go to the doctor) quadricep muscles. Some teams take it way too far. Definitely file the complaint. It sounds like he purposely targeted you because he thought you were a weak point. Hope you didn’t get too bruised.

  4. I don’t know what kickball is … nor do I consider myself much of a competitive person – except with myself.
    … but I do have a very strong sense of fairness. This is inappropriate play – for any level.

    By all means, file your complaint … but if complaints have been filed in the past and this behaviour is still happening, I’d be inclined to ramp it up a step further. If you have a local paper, I’d consider taking to someone on the paper to write a story involving inappropriate adult behaviour in recreational city leagues. Maybe even consider writing it ourself. Make it a public shaming. With enough negative publicity, the city will be forced to take action against these types of offending teams.

    Good luck.

    1. Kickball is similar to baseball, but you kick a large ball (slightly bigger than a basketball) vs hitting a small ball with a bat. I haven’t played since elementary school!!

      I did submit the complaint. The rep at the city who manages the league was very nice and apologetic and said he would be investigating the incident. Supposedly this team has been reprimanded for their “bullying” behavior before, and this particular individual has been talked to about his aggressiveness and is supposedly on his last strike prior to suspension.

      I’ll keep you posted!! 🙂

  5. If a group of adult, casual players are still training and acting like collegiate scholarships are on the line, it’s them, not you. Make sure you take care of your shoulder. ❤

  6. Their track record says who they are and what they are all about. If you add your team to the list then it will be more difficult for them to continue being the kind of people that I an not allowed to describe in this forum. That’s okay, I am sure you get my drift because you used the shit word. Yes it went down past that level. I believe that Joanne Sisco gave you the best advice! Keep safe young lady and make sure it stays fun! :o)

    1. Thanks!!! Found out yesterday that for the rest of the season, there will be a City rep at EVERY game to observe their aggressive and unsportsmanlike behavior and they will be issuing suspensions at the first sign. Like I said, I just don’t want someone to get seriously hurt.

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