The resurgence of adult kickball as a funky fringe sport has been going on for more than five years now, and there are no signs of it dipping in popularity anytime soon. Since catching on in the Valley back in 2007, its offered urbanites a fun way to relive their childhoods, as well as an excuse to get sloshed with your friends at the local park.
Mark Casten, however, has way to make the game even better: Play it at night using illuminated equipment. It's called Glow Kickball and is variant of the old playground game that involves participants playing with a both a lit-up ball and bases while adorned with glowing neon bracelets.
The Gilbert resident is organizing a local Glow Kickball league, which kicks off its inaugural season next Wednesday at Kiwanis Park in Tempe. Casten describes the games as both exciting and unique, jokingly referring to it as a "rave meets sports."
Glow Kickball started out in Albuquerque in 2010 and has since launched leagues to cities around the country from Las Vegas to Washington, D.C. Tucson is even launching its own league later this month.
Locally, matches will take place at the Kiwanis Recreational Soccer Fields involving co-ed teams each starting at around 8 p.m. over the course of a nine-week season. The park's overhead lighting will be turned off while battery-powered glow devices will illuminate each base, as well as the kickball itself.
"It's kind of the same principle as lunar bowling, except instead of being under a black light we'll be using glowing equipments out in the dark," Casten says.
Or it's like something that the characters in the neon-drenched world of Tron would play.
"It's the Tron of kickball," he jokes.
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Casten adds that the local Glow Kickball league will also serve as a charity fundraiser for as a portion of registration fees will be donated to Phoenix Children's Hospital.
"Just the fact that its kickball alone means it going be fun and by using crazy-looking glowing material it's then going to be pure insanity," Casten says. "I think it should be a blast."
Glow Kickball will hold team registration for its inaugural season through Friday. Teams must be a minimum of six players each. Fees are $75 per person. A warm-up scrimmage will take place on Wednesday, July 18, at Kiwanis Park.