CATEGORIES

After Hours: Keith Johnson—Kickin’ it for fun

While it may be something we all played in our childhood, kickball is more than that for Keith Johnson, CPA, owner of Keith E. Johnson CPA PA.

“I think the last time I played kickball before I started playing in this league Jimmy Carter was president,” jokes Johnson. “But I find it a great way to stay fit and the people are great. I may be the slowest person on the team, so it’s not a pretty sight when I am up at bat, but I have a great time playing.”

Johnson got involved with adult kickball about four years ago through a website called MeetUp.com, which is where people can “meet up” with other people with a common interest, such as wine tasting, flag football, happy hour groups, small business networking groups, book clubs, etc.

“I started back in 2007 with one group and through that I got an email about a kickball group. I emailed back for details and decided to go,” says Johnson.

Let’s kick it!

That meeting ended up segueing into the World Adult Kickball Association or WAKA (www.kickball.com). “Basically, it was a practice—but I had such a blast that when they asked if I wanted to join the league, I couldn’t say, “No!”

The leagues are made up of four to 16 teams of co-ed adults (ages 21 and over) of all skill levels and thegame is played just like the elementary school game—with the big red playground ball. Each team has somewhere around 20 people and the rules state that you have to have at least four guys and four girls to play and you can play up to 11 on a team.

“One other fun aspect are the team names,” says Johnson. “They are usually clever and a little risqué, but still off a kickball theme. My first team was called ‘New Kicks on the Block,’ while one of my more recent team names was ‘Pitches Be Crazy!’”

Time out

Johnson especially likes that kickball doesn’t really take a lot of his time. A WAKA kickball season generally consists of eight regular season games and a league championship tournament with qualifying teams from each league being eligible to compete in the annual Founders Cup World Kickball Championship held in Las Vegas.

“There are three leagues a year—summer, fall and spring—but I don’t/can’t do the spring season because of tax season,” says Johnson. “There is usually only one practice a week, but basically you show up on Thursday night ready to play.”

Johnson’s team meets at Carver Park, where the game is designed to be played for six innings or within one hour. “You remember playing it as a kid and it being competitive and good natured, and here you are playing it again with adults, a referee, scoreboards, schedules, league standings, and playoffs,” says Johnson. “But at the same time, we all know there is a lot more to life than kickball.”

Competitive edge

This past season, WAKA split the league into a competitive side (a little tougher and a sidearm ball pitch) and a fun side (slower ball pitch), of which Johnson chose the competitive side. “I want to be competitive; I don’t want to be a wimp. I’m out to win!” jokes Johnson. “The thing about the leagues is, yes, everyone wants to win and, yes, you want to be competitive, but it’s really about the social aspect that is more important.

“I started doing this in ’07 and I’ve noticed that it is tougher to play now than it was when I started,” says Johnson. “Physically I can tell I am older now than I was just a few years ago, but I intend to keep playing as long as my body holds out.”

Keith E. Johnson CPA, is owner of Keith E. Johnson CPA PA in Jacksonville, Fla., a full-service CPA firm providing accounting, auditing, consulting, and tax services to individuals, businesses, and non-profits. He can be contacted at 904-727-0077 or kejcpa@comcast.net.


Leave a Reply