Kingstonist visits … Kingston Sport and Social Club (confessions of a dodgeball addict)

I’m the captain of The Tea Baggers: Dipping our balls in the face of victory.

I have played more KSSC dodgeball than anybody in Kingston. I have only missed one fall or winter dodgeball season since the league started in September 2005. That’s 26 seasons of dodgeball. And no, I’m not joining a support group. I love dodgeball!

KSSC is the Kingston Sport and Social Club. The KSSC started very simply, offering floor hockey, basketball, indoor soccer, volleyball and dodgeball in local school gymnasiums. Now, 13 years later, KSSC goes year-round with more than 30 leagues and classes, from mainstream sports like softball, futsal (a more formalized version of indoor soccer), and the aforementioned, to ultimate (outdoor and indoor), archery tag, and even ballroom dancing classes (it’s not a league … yet!)

I’ve been playing ultimate now in KSSC for nearly 10 seasons. Generally, KSSC offers 5-on-5 as opposed to traditional 7-on-7 ultimate, and it’s a bit more recreational than some of the other leagues in Kingston. Unfortunately for me, I can only play ultimate in the summer, because in the winter the indoor leagues run on Wednesdays when I have a gig.  

So I’ve stuck with dodgeball. Over 300 games. In the first year, I signed up as an individual (there are three ways to register for KSSC, either as a full team, a group of friends or as an individual), and arrived on a Wednesday evening at KCVI to find 11 other people standing around trying to figure out if anything they remembered from elementary school would hold true in our (mostly) mid-20s. One person had just become a real estate agent. As I was contemplating a career shift at the time, that ended up inspiring me to get my license about a year later, which I had for 12 years. There were two doctors that joined the team, Max and Tara, and they got married less than two years later and now have a whole bunch of kids and live somewhere in the States. Another person, Mel, whom I had known vaguely in high school, brought her friend Mike Brean to the team in the following season, and although he has played as many seasons as I have, I’ve played more games. When KSSC had ‘cage match’ dodgeball tournaments in the summer during the Princess St Promenade a few years back, I played in most of those, and Brean didn’t. So I still win. The point is: dodgeball really has changed my life in a lot of great and unexpected ways. Dodgeball is important.

Over the years, both of Mel’s sisters have played on the team. Brean has met a wife, got married, and had three kids. We’ve had several couples as teammates, plus a variety of siblings, nephews, nieces, clients, bosses, friends, people we never want to play sports with again, plenty of weirdos, and more new friends than I could possibly count.

We don’t go out for drinks as often as we used to. We all seemed to have a lot more time for that in our late 20s. There was a core seven or eight of us that played both dodgeball and ultimate together for several years, and as we’ve all slowly gone past our 30th and 35th and 40th birthdays, there are retirements and tearful goodbyes (by tearful goodbyes I mean mocking each other relentlessly). But we all stay in touch and keep adding new players to the team, and the cycle keeps on cycling. My throwing arm remains reasonably intact, so I’ll keep going as long as I’m physically able. I’ll need to get KSSC to check on who is the oldest dodgeball player in town – that seems like a great record to beat and a great way to go out.

I highly recommend you check them out and join a team this winter season. Registration for the winter 2019 season is open on their website until Thursday, January 3.  See you on the court. Oh, and I apologize in advance if I hit you in the head. My aim still isn’t that great after 26 seasons.

Highlights from The Tea Baggers vs The Leftovers on Nov 26, 2018

 

DISCLAIMER: This article is paid for by Kingston Sport and Social Club as promotional content.

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