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Kickball Scores With Norwalk Grownups

Softball leagues are a dime a dozen, but kickball? They're something special, which might explain the burgeoning popularity of Big League Kickball , an organization that brings teams together for games reminiscent of the old schoolyard, followed by an hour or two of socializing and beverages. The league is sponsored by Norwalk's Black Bear Saloon , and its president is Maurice Reep, who came up from the kickball leagues of Manhattan to run the first league in Westchester three years ago.

The league's popularity has spread faster than an Arizona wildfire. It added a second division in Westchester, then crossed the state line to Stamford and Norwalk. "Last year we had over 1,200 players involved, and I think we'll have even more this year," says Reep.

Teams play once a week over an eight-week stretch, in separate spring, summer and fall seasons. Standings are kept and the top teams get trophies at the end of each season. Teams consist of business associates, friends or individuals who join and are put on a squad for the season. "Some teams are really competitive, others are a bit more social," says Reep, noting that there are different divisions reflecting the outlook of each type.

The social aspect is never lost, especially with Black Bear as the sponsor. "We even had our first kickball wedding last year," Reep says of a couple who met, proposed and were married as a result of their kickball involvement.

The commitment to fun and exercise led last year to the launch of an indoor version, Big League Dodgeball. "People didn't want to sit out the winter," says Reep, noting that there will be a late fall and winter season this year.

Complete details are available on the league website, where registration for the fall season is currently underway.

"Everybody's played kickball," says Reep, "and everybody likes to have fun."

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