Welcome back, everyone! The K.O.A.L.A. Kickball landscape has changed quite a bit with a lot of new faces and developed competitors. Among the most noticeable changes is the departure of PSN Sliderz this season. The three time champion’s absence in the playoffs and poll will create new opportunities for victors in Miami Lakes and top placements on the Poll. Have fun checking out the new team names so you have an idea of what you’re up against on the schedule. <3 “The Kickball Expert”
- Life’s A Pitch (29 Points; 3 first place votes) – The undisputed champions and invaders from Miami Lakes, Life’s A Pitch remains the dominant force in K.O.A.L.A. Kickball. Now that their half cousin PSN sliders are out of the picture, there is much less to question here. Passion in kickball and more experience wins games. Let’s watch them closely and see what we can learn so we can beat them. But anything can still happen in the game of kickball. Although they haven’t lost a game into their third season, they’ve had quite a few close games in the playoffs. This season will answer a simple question: can Life’s a Pitch complete a never before done K.O.A.L.A. Kickball three-peat at Tropical Park, or will Tropical Park show that perfection this long is impossible?
- White Hot Pitches (28 Points) – The famous black team is trying to flip the switch in Miami Lakes, and they added some new allies. A very good conglomerate team featuring Lorely from PSN Slidaz and some mercenaries that includes Pablo and Gio, White Hot Pitches looks poised to dominate Miami Lakes. However, Miami Lakes has oftentimes been a league of upsets and Miami Lakes is full of hungry competitors looking for a piece of those regular season and playoff trophies. It will be interesting to see how things play out and if the Founders of Black will finally get the big win at their home court in Miami Lakes.
- Goon Squad ( 24 points ) – Last season, I assembled a team taking some infamous but talented players from disbanded teams and some other leaguers to have fun and combat Life’s A Pitch. However, Goon Squad fell short in the finals last year, making more mistakes than the K.O.A.L.A. seasoned Life’s A Pitch. This time, there has been no holding back. The team is now made up of a number of K.O.A.L.A. sophomores and veterans, but a load of the best group all star other-leaguers anyone can find. Despite the circus show they may put up pegging players on their own defensive throws, they are one of three tier one teams to role model kickball play along with the top two teams on this list.
- High Rollers – (18 Points ) – Currently leading the standings in Miami Lakes but having already played their double header are last year’s renamed Bad Pitches. Looks like their new name suits them as they are off to a hot start. This is a young team that through a couple seasons has demonstrated talent and is converting it to more effective play. They stood their ground against the fiercely competitive rival Wolfpack to edge the league for first place for the time being. They still have to prove they can beat the Tier 2 teams and compete with White Hot Pitches before we can start talking serious about championship.
- Ballbarians – ( 18 Points ) – This veteran team better known for playoff upsets and sporadic season play has started the season 3 – 0. They are at full force now and running a tighter squad aimed at victory. They had an impressive comeback, certainly with a little luck, over the leaders of the former third seed Leon’s Angels now reassembled as Sit on my Base. Now higher on the radar, Ballbarians will have to fend off the sharks in Miami Lakes and prove consistency over teams fighting for top position in the standings, something they have scarcely accomplished. In the meantime, they will be hunting for what would widely be considered at big upset come December.
- Free Balling (17 Points) – Off to another hot start this season, Free Ballers puts a new name to free agents as they compete for high standings and play quality kickball in Miami Lakes. Also, they have been a great role model for just having fun out there on the field and remembering what the game is about. Well, most of the time anyway.
- Pitch You Don’t Know Me (13 Points) – We know them! Many of them have been playing for as many as four seasons now! They are always competitive and they always test every team on both sides of the field. Captain Laser-arm Valen is back on third base this season. I’ve honestly never seen them have more fun playing kickball, but expect a tough game every time. They are always looking to break the top of the kickball standings.
- Your Pitch Makes My Kick Hard (9 Points) – They were off to a 2-0 start and would be higher on this list but took a tough loss to Goon Squad last week. This team is highly competitive and will surely find many more victories. They are a hard team to play against; have fun with the competition!
- The Warriors (4 points ) – Off to a solid 2-0 start, the former IBEX finds themselves undefeated and looking up two weeks in. I’ve personally always preached that the first season is tough, as teams are learning the rules, developing team chemistry, and getting everyone to make the optimal play. Here’s a cookie-cutter example of how having fun and playing through rough initial bumps eventually turns into more W’s and more fun.
- Wolfpack ( 3 points ) – While suffering a tough tie and loss this seasons to some of their rivals, their talent and experience will make them an upset candidate against any team and potentially to the top of the tier 2 teams in Miami Lakes. Consistency will be the key for this highly passionate team.
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!