Are you ready for some kickball?

Red rubber playground balls are the best.

Sometimes, just the sound of one can take you way, way back. Remember the splatty “Ping!” a bounce would elicit? Remember holding one in your tiny hands, the hero-making potential throbbing from the rough, red globe? The immortal satisfaction of winning a game of dodgeball with one final, wonderful throw? The fleshy squish as one would form on and fly from your foot for a home run in kickball? Live in the now! The World Adult Kickball Association is finally in Portland and looking for a few grown-ups who are still “young at heart” to play some kickball and pick up some pints afterwards.

The Portland Division of the WAKA plays pick-up games every week. The group meets Thursday nights at 7 p.m. on the ball field at Hosford Park at 2303 S.E. 28th Place in Portland, and everyone interested in playing or watching is invited to come participate. Players must have insurance and be 21 years old to join. Everybody plays until they’re all played out and then the group heads to the nearest friendly neighborhood adult establishment for a few cold barley pops because kickball has evolved past its beginnings as a kid’s game.

If you were unfortunate enough to make it through childhood without the joys of kickball, don’t worry – the WAKA league rules are simple. Teams compete on a softball field for five-inning games.

The official ball is the Baden PG-10, the inflated red rubber ball that is the darling of elementary school playgrounds everywhere. The rules are similar to soft-pitch softball; base stealing is prohibited, and the strike zone is almost as wide as a Yugo. And you bat with your feet!

WAKA holds an annual kickball championship in Washington, D.C., and the winner of the Portland Division will travel to D.C. to compete for the Founder’s Cup. The popularity of the sport is much bigger on the East Coast. More than 5,000 people play in the Washington, D.C., league alone.

The Portland Division is looking to start playing league games soon. Teams must have 12 people on them and no more than 25. Teams can register at www.worldkickball.com. The Portland Division plans to have teams play two games per week through August. For more information, contact Colleen Finn, the Portland kickball czar and president of the division, at [email protected]