25 seasons of kickball. I’ve officially played 25 seasons of kickball including 10 seasons with KOALA Kickball. The number of championships won in 25 seasons, zero. I’ve come in second many times including three championship games in which we lost by one run! In one of those championship games, my team was up twice on the other team in the last inning only to see the title slip out of our hands. Coming in second is definitely still the first loser and it has become hard to take solace in that. The obsession with winning takes over and boils over into frustration when things tend to not go your way. This is what it must be like to be a Chicago Cub fan. The lesson becomes hard but sometime this season it finally clicked. It might be that finally at my old age of 30 I realized if we want to play a kid’s game, we might as well have fun in the process. I let my little kid come out and play this season, and I had the most fun ever playing KOALA Kickball. Did I win a championship? Nope but that’s okay, because I found something way more important. I found joy and excitement amidst constant losing. So once we start next season and you find yourself upset over a call or game, ask yourself one important question. Is there a better way I can handle this situation so that I can enjoy my night more? Trust me, it will make for better Wednesday and Thursday nights.

Congratulations to PSN Slidaz on defeating the Night’s Watch and clinching another league championship! In the south, Life’s a Pitch completed another 11-0 perfect season by defeating Goon Squad in a very tough championship round. Now on to the poll

  1. PSN Slidaz (29 points; 2 first place votes) Once again, PSN Slidaz have taken the championship by going a perfect 11-0! They defeated the Night’s Watch in a 5-2 game that may have been different if I was there. (wink) They continue to roll and dominate the Miami Lakes League but to the mercy of us all, they will not be returning for the upcoming Fall season! Everyone else finally has a shot!! They have won 4 of the first 6 seasons at Miami Lakes but it is time for someone else to take it!
  2. Life’s a Pitch (28 points; 1 first place vote) 22 games in a row. Since this core has brought their talents down south they have not lost. The playoffs were not routine for them as they had two very close results in narrowly escaping against both Goon Squad and Leon’s Angels. The result is all that matters. They will be back down south but there will be more teams ready to take them out finally change the guard in Tropical Park
  3. The Night’s Watch (23 points) The intentions were there, this team was built to beat PSN Slidaz and had all the makings of it during the first six weeks of the season.  Unfortunately, things did not exactly work out for them as things slowly unraveled in the last couple of weeks of the season. A tough opening inning against PSN Slidaz and a come from behind tie against Leon’s Angels left them searching for answers in the playoffs. They rallied to make it to the final to once again fall to PSN. That was my 25th loss in the playoffs (tear)
  4. Goon Squad (22 points) I did not think the Goon Squad had it in them to give Life’s a Pitch a good game. Jason Oliver did what he normally does and makes a great game out it. A 3-3 tie going into the 6th inning which ended with Life’s a Pitch walking off in a dramatic 4-3 victory. They had a great season finishing second in the standings and fighting hard until the final.
  5. Our Kicks Don’t Lie (18 points) I did think that this team would give Life’s a Pitch trouble in their semifinal game and they did. After narrowly losing to Life’s a Pitch 2-0 in the final game, they drew them again in the semifinals. They took a 1-1 game into the fifth inning. This was when Garsha did his predictable magic and Our Kicks Don’t Lie slipped leading to a 3-1 defeat.  I really feel like this was a team that got better during the season and were prime for that upset. It was just simply not meant to be.
  6. Leon’s Angels (15 points) The Miami Lakes version of Our Kicks Don’t Lie, or wait was it vice versa? Another good team that played two great games against Night’s Watch only to end on the wrong side of the result they desired twice. I remember this team starting out at 2-6 a few seasons back and growing to become a very solid and formidable team in Miami Lakes. Now with PSN Slidaz bowing out for a season, is it time for Leon’s Angels to take the torch in Miami Lakes?
  7. Big Black Kicks (11 points) The Black team in Tropical Park with their potent kicks played another stellar season at Tropical Park while absolutely crushing balls when you least expected them too. Their first season without their old captain was considered a success. They took a beating at the hands of Goon Squad in the playoffs, but we shall see what they bring during the fall season. I am also excited to see the new team name for the fall!
  8. Ballbarians (10 points) The Ballbarians! Now here is a team that is consistent with the same and a funky spirit. They fought hard to finish fourth in the standings. They also fight hard to make sure they close down Sports Grill every Wednesday night. I love their party and fun spirit. They made it to the semifinals in the Miami Lakes playoffs before following to those PSN Slidaz. Will next season be the season where the sunset color team finally makes it all the way?
  9. Free Balling (5 points) Yes, this was my team and yes we had a blast! Why does everyone want to copy our fire and water screams for catcher changes? We believe in equality and having a good time which will definitely not change for the upcoming season! Don’t be annoyed by us, have fun with us! Freeeeeeee freeee balling!
  10. Wolfpack (4 points) Oh the Wolfpack. Finishing fifth in the standings, the core of Anthony, Akins, and Jen Ten fought hard to keep the team together. They did their best to make things work and now they are ready to make it happen in the fall. They fell to the Ballbarians in the Quarterfinals in Miami Lakes. Next season they will be stronger and they hope that no one will turn their back on the wolfpack!

Quick Reminder on How the Poll Works: Once both leagues have played at least 2 games each, the Commissioners each cast an anonymous ballot for the teams that they think are the top 10 in K.O.A.L.A. Kickball across our Miami Lakes and Tropical Park Leagues. The first ranked team in each ballot gets 10 points, the second ranked team in each ballot gets 9 points, and so forth all the way to the tenth ranked team in each ballot, which gets 1 point. The points that each team gets from each ballot are added up, and then the 10 teams with the highest total number of points are declared the Top 10 in the Commissioner’s Poll. If there’s a tie for points, then the team with the most number of Commissioners voting it higher than the team they tied will receive the higher position. Remember that this poll does not affect standings or playoff seeding in any way; it’s only for fun!