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Dogtown Div Leadership
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The Question of Umping
By Lisa Krupp
There’s one every game. It’s that call that no one’s sure about. Was it a fair kick, or a foul outside the third base line? Was the runner out, or did the first baseman lift his foot off the base? Everyone wants the call to go their way, but in the heat of the moment, even the best sportsmen aren’t going to compromise if it’ll cost their team the “W”. This is why we have umpires, and they bear the burden of making the decision that no one else wants to make.
Let’s be honest. Being an umpire is thankless work. I know this, because I took a turn at the job at last week’s pickup game. An umping virgin but not a kickball virgin, I thought I knew what to expect. Boy was I wrong! First of all, it’s cold. When that Venice wind picks up and you haven’t been running or fielding for an hour, you’d better hope you’re wearing your hoodie. And then there’s that darn third base line. Do I risk having my prescription glasses broken by a kick off the cage, just so I can tell for sure whether the next kick into deep left field was foul or fair? Replacing glasses might be worth not suffering the wrath an ump will get if his call seems wrong.
I went to my umping guru for advice. What, oh Sansei, do I do if I’m not sure what call to make? And here I got Pat Sattler’s #1 rule of umping: “Make the call. Stand by your call. Your call rules the world!! If you waver at any point, then people get pissed and there is room for argument.” Seemed reasonable enough. Except people got pissed anyway. I got heckled by people I thought were my friends, and felt glares of death from newbies who I’m sure now have me on their kickball hit list. Sattler’s rule #4, “Call the game as you see it – the people you piss off today will still be the people you drink with tonight,” was of little comfort.
If I knew then what I know now, I might never have umped. Why would anyone? Well, here’s the thing. Every week, someone on your team’s got to do it. If you wouldn’t want it to be you every time, you can’t exactly let a teammate get stuck with that raw deal. (Can you?) Actually, working with your team to develop an umping rotation does a few really good things, not the least of which is that being behind the plate for five innings gives you a great opportunity to meet two teams’ worth of new people, all the while learning the game better. Knowing the game better makes you a better sport about things … doing the job yourself gives you a certain amount of empathy for the person in your place next week. And being able to check out the butts of all the cute guys (or girls, if you prefer) on the other teams isn’t such a bad perk. Did you really think it was being a fair ump that made Sattler the legend he is today?
So yeah, I’ll ump again, and you’ll ump too. We’ll all be better kickballers for doing it. And until your turn comes around, just remember: Don’t be a chump – be nice to your ump.
WAKA Dogtown is pleased to introduce California’s own (by way of Texas) Miss Fluffy Tail. Miss Fluffy Tail has gracefully (or is it grudgingly) agreed to answer your most pressing questions each week. Starting next week, Miss Fluffy Tail will be answering real, honest to goodness player-submitted questions about anything you want to discuss. Need kickball tips? Ask Miss Fluffy Tail. Want to know the best approach to asking your teammate out? Ask Miss Fluffy Tail. Wondering when the real estate bubble will burst? You get the picture. We think there are no stupid questions. Miss Fluffy Tail disagrees, but she’ll humor you anyway.
Since our mailbox is newly opened, we put together some introductory questions so that you and she can get to know each other. But we don’t really want to make up questions every week (that’s no fun), so if YOU have a question for Miss Fluffy Tail, send it to email@example.com. And now, without further ado, meet Miss Fluffy Tail.
Q. What qualifies you to give advice to WAKA players?
A. What qualifies you to ask for my qualifications? I have six nipples. Can you beat that? No! So shut up. Next question.
Q. What do you think of the name "Dogtown" for the Venice/SM division?
A. I think that's great for people who want to be identified with an animal that licks its own ass and eats feces. Sure, take my $65 and put that on the back of my t-shirt, please. But to be fair, the pussyville division has its own problems too.
Q . My friends say kickball is for dorks, and not a "real" sport. How should I respond?
A.Those people said the same thing about wrestling. But that didn't stop The Rock, did it? No, he became a millionaire movie star and was elected governor of our great state. Do you know how many states have former wrestlers as governors? All seven of them do. What does that tell you, my friend? It means Pat Sattler will be the next President of the United States.
Q . I'm new to kickball - how do I know which team is the right one for me to join?
A. That depends on what you're looking for. If gay-pride-purple flatters your complexion and you enjoy wearing ladies sportswear, then I recommend the Pregnant Cheerleaders. However, the more masculine men (and women!) seem to congregate to Team Tang ... and they have their own flag. It’s orange. If we were still in Hollywood, I'd advise against Dirty Sanchez and Pals for obvious reasons. But, we're hoping that they won't have enough players to transfer over anyway. And remember, no matter what team you're on, winners are the same as losers and you're all bunch of losers.
Pre-Season Pickup Games Become Free Agent Frenzy
By Lisa Krupp
Don’t you find news articles with alliterative titles that much more interesting? Me too. Ok, so here goes … Dateline: Venice, CA.
Pre-season pickup games started up this month at Dogtown division’s new home, Oakwood Recreation Center. Although the official start of the season isn’t until next week (July 28 – mark your calendars!), returning players and rookies flocked to Diamond 1 to get the games underway. This past Thursday, we saw enough players to borrow Diamond 2 and carry on two simultaneous games! First and foremost on your mind, I’m sure… have the transvestite park residents followed us from Poinsettia to our new digs by the sea? (Not yet, but we have a whole new band of colorful locals to cheer us on.) After that, the burning question each evening has been … “What team are you going to play for?”
Players whose teams migrated over from Hollywood – Tang, Ace of Base, and the Pregnant Cheerleaders – had the easiest time answering. But for many, it’s a real dilemma. One non-committal player was heard muttering, “I guess I’ll play for whoever seems like they need me the most.” Decent players will have their choice of teams in Dogtown, with new captains out on the field scouting players, making offers (beer and shot signing bonuses?), and scoring coups. Cheerleader captain Pat Sattler has already locked in two former Hollywood heavyweights from former rival Mr. Body Massage Machine, and is still on the offensive to build up his summer squad.
Carey Melton, captain of the newly navy Westside Whackers, has taken a different approach. While several of his Hollywood Luna teammates will follow him to the shoreline, he’s also managed to pick up a nice crop of rookies who, if the last couple pickup games are any indication, will be a force to be reckoned with. Tang, so far, looks to be coming over from Hollywood almost entirely intact, and Ace of Base … well, they’re the wildcard, mostly abstaining from pickup games and so far keeping their recruiting strategy close to the vest.
Rookies and returning players, this is your call to action. If you haven’t yet signed up for a team, now’s the time. Bring your friends, your neighbors, or your coworkers (ok, maybe not your coworkers – you are out there to have fun, after all). And hey, why not be the scout, not the scouted? The last pickup games before the season officially starts are Thursday, July 21, at 7pm. Come find the team that suits your personality. Can you conceive of being a Pregnant Cheerleader, or are you more of an Ace of Base? Are you a Tang guy, or a Westside Whacker? Your options, like my list of comments I’d best not say, are endless. And don’t forget, a team’s skills off the field can be a huge deciding factor – so be sure to join us in all our glory at the drunken debacle that is “Post-Game at the Bar.”
Happy kickballing, kiddies – see you on the field!
Season Starts This Thursday!
The division bar is still in question, but we have a field, we have five teams, and we have a division board! So let's get this thing underway...
The Fall 2005 Dogtown opening day is July 28th at 7:30 pm. That's this week! That means you have to get registered soon if you haven't already! There's still room on most of the teams and registration is still open.
Games this season will begin at 7;30 pm and the second game will be at 8:30 pm. Teams should remember that they must supply one umpire on each game night to ump the game they are not playing in. Teams with a bye week do not need to supply an umpire for that week. Teams that fail to provide an ump on the proper night will receive a paper forfeit. A paper forefeit is worth -1 to your overall standings score, so it's an important thing to remember!
Hope to see you all on the field this Thursday! If you have any questions, please contact us to get more information.
Captain's meeting Tuesday, July 26th!
Hello all captains and co-captains! Dogtown, along with Hollywood and Studio divisions will have an LA-area captain's meeting to discuss kickball and answer any questions you have. The location is at Big Wangs, the Hollywood Division Bar and the time is set for 8:00pm. If you're not a captain, but are interested in attending, let us know!
We encourage all Dogtown captains and co-captains to attend. It should be fun and informative - two words that don't really go together, but we have found a concotion that allows it to happen... beer!
Registration for Dogtown Division is open!
That's right! Registration is open and we're waiting for you! Head on over to My WAKA and sign up. If you have never registered with WAKA before, you'll have to create a new user account. If you've played in any division before, just use your old login. Remember, however, you will not be officially registered until you have paid for it. If you create an account and don't pay for it, you'll get emails and have access to some info, but you CANNOT play in regular division games.
So join an existing group to play with people you know and get placed on the same team, or sign up as an individual and get placed on the team that needs people most. You can also create your own group or team! If you're creating your own team, be ready to accept captain responsibilities and to fill out your own team with 15-26 players before registration is up.
You can help promote the league!
Now that you're signed up and ready for some kickball, you can help us promote the new division! More teams with more people always makes for a better season. With more players, we can get a better deal through our division bar and we get more funding for parties and other division events.
Download and print this information sheet and post it around coffee shops, workplaces, apartment buildings or any other place with young adults that might be interested. (Be sure to get permission) You can also see if your company is interested in sponsoring a kick ball team of their own! If you have any questions or suggestions about promotions or would be interested in heading up our promotions department for the division, contact us!
Next Game Night: July 28th, 2005 @ 7:30pm
Oakwood Recreation Center - Diamond 1
bar location is still TBD
We're still looking for potential division bar locations. Factors to consider are: distance from field, size, not too crowded on game night, quality and variety of foodstuffs, friendliness to WAKA and willingness to offer good specials & discounts. If you have a place in mind, contact us!
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