Tony Pehle

Photo By David Robert

Tony Pehle is the recreation supervisor at Sparks Parks and Recreation. He’s set up an adult kickball league and is starting a dodgeball league. So far, hundreds of adults have jumped at the chance to relive third grade and nail each other with rubber balls. Register for kickball by Sept 22 and for dodgeball by Oct. 13. Call 353-2376, or e-mail <script type="text/javascript" language="javascript"> </script>.

How exactly did you come up with the idea for a kickball league?

I was actually on an airplane with a gentleman. We were going to Oklahoma City, and he asked, “Have you tried a kickball league?” I hadn’t. I started talking to a couple people, asking if they would be interested. A lot of guys I play softball with were like, “Yeah, lets try it!” So we put it together, and the next thing I knew, we had 17 teams signed up. As soon as that league ended, they wanted to know when we were going to play again. I guess this is something this area wants. So now, we’re running another one coming up in October. We’ve been real successful, and we’ve had a lot of fun with it.

What kind of people are playing in your league?

We have everyone. I mean, we have a group from our church softball league, we had a couple companies into it, we had a bunch of people who hang out at the Silver Peak bar. Some teams have just one lady, some have 5 or 6. It’s actually an advantage to have a lady on your team because they can bunt, and a man can’t. If you have a fast lady, she can bunt it down to third base and beat it out every time.

Speaking of alcohol, how much hooch is involved?

We do have our beer sales open, we sell beer out there. Not a ton of beer, nothing more than a normal softball night. We don’t allow you to bring your own alcohol. You’ve got to purchase it at the concessions.

Do you guys have uniforms?

We don’t make it mandatory to wear uniforms only because it’s so cold. Everyone would be wearing sweatshirts and jackets over the top of the uniforms, and you’d never see them. Some of the guys got real serious about it and had uniforms made up. One team called themselves The Short Bus. We had the Ball Busters and the Recess Rejects. It all kind of went along with the elementary school recess theme.

How competitive do you guys get?

Some teams really got into it. We had a [some] asking where the national championships were because they wanted to move on and compete nationally. … I told them this was just a fun recreational league and that I had no idea how to get to the national championship. A lot of them were indifferent to winning or losing. Our team … we just wanted to have fun. … There was no seriousness about it. We were probably better at teasing our own team than getting into trouble with other teams. You’re allowed to throw the ball and hit players as they’re running the bases, but you have to aim below the shoulders.

I don’t remember that from elementary school.

Yeah, it was kill in elementary school. We make that rule … so we don’t have someone out there head hunting. But our team was pretty funny, whenever the other team caught a ball, we were screaming for them to hit our runner. We don’t want them to throw it to the bases, we want them to drill our teammates. And that’s the biggest thing we try to get across to other people, if you want to be in a league where champions are the only things that matter, go somewhere else.

Is dodgeball next?

Dodgeball is next. When I started the kickball league, everybody was asking me, “When are we doing dodgeball?” We’re starting it in October, and [it’s] going through November.

No unitards?

No unitards, no GloboGym. Everyone’s calling and asking if they can be Average Joe’s Gym, but unfortunately I can only have one.