Five Reasons Fort Lauderdale's Young Professionals Play WAKA Kickball
FastForward is a column documenting the nighttime scene in Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach County. It's a weeknight stop at your neighborhood dive; it's a blurry, bass-filled Friday night in the club; it's that one moment in a conversation you hope you'll remember the next morning.
Photos by Falyn Freyman
No one ever said growing up was easy. Luckily, since the rampant rise of WAKA Kickball, the latest sensation to hit the scene for 20- to 30-somethings in Fort Lauderdale, it seems you don't ever really have to.
If you're unfamiliar, here's the gist of it: WAKA stands for "World Adult Kickball Association," and its goal, according to the official website, is "to provide and promote the joy of kickball to those young at heart." Sounds simple enough.
Each week, hordes of young professionals seeking respite from the monotony of their grueling and tiresome work gather at a local park to drink, socialize, and, of course, kick around some balls in friendly competition.
Teams are composed of friends across a spectrum of careers, namely law and accounting, with an occasional nurse sprinkled in, donning matching league T-shirts and water bottles spiked with alcohol. After each game, teams migrate to the local designated watering hole, Dicey Riley's in downtown Fort Lauderdale, where festivities carry on till late in the night.
A WAKA kickball afterparty is exactly like you might imagine: Sweaty bods, sticky floors, the stale aroma of sweat, flip cup, shots, $2 beers, and a playlist featuring the "Thong Song" and other similarly danceable gems. In surveying the rainbow of teams in attendance last week, we attempted to get a better grasp on what motivates these young(ish) folks to make kickball a regular part of their lives. Not surprisingly, no one cited fitness or health benefits.
Here are the top five reasons why Fort Lauderdale's young professionals play WAKA kickball.
5. "To relive the glory years... and get drunk"
We watched their eyes glitter as their imaginations lingered for just a moment on the simpler, purer times of yore. "It lets you be a kid again," they told us. The getting-drunk part helps them forget that they're actually 30 and still playing Xbox on their mom's couch.