Kickball League of Rochester
Rochester’s first organized kickball league is
First formed in the fall of 2007 by Ryan “Kickball” Kimball, the Kickball League of Rochester began playing at Genesee Valley Park with just 4 teams and about 45 players. Having organized the teams by tirelessly handing out slips of paper to patrons outside J.D.Oxford’s Pub on Monroe Avenue, Ryan’s vision of a very social, fun league involving everyone’s favorite 4th grade sport was about to take Rochester by storm. With some intriguing, and soon to be very interesting team names on the roster, teams quickly relearned how much fun it was to play kickball.
With the first season under his belt and interest quickly spreading, the Kickball League of Rochester learned early on what the players desired. With the unique yellow shield logo created that November, and then doubling to 8 teams in the spring of 2008, the “Kickball T-shirt” that blankets Rochester every spring, summer, and fall with a sea of colors has quickly become a staple in the Rochester weeknight. In the spring of 2008, the patented “Challenge” rule was implemented and ultimately brought a whole new interest to the game. Capping off the 2008 year by increasing to 17 teams in the summer and then 28 in the fall, KLOR had quickly became one of the hottest things to do, and the easiest way to relieve stress after work in the ROC!
Experiencing significant growth in 2009 and eventually expanding to include Ellison Park, KLOR grew to 44 teams in the spring, followed by 88 in the summer, then 134 teams in the fall. That winter, KLOR piloted Rochester's first outdoor kickball league over the 2009-2010 winter season with 10 teams in embroidered and uniquely colored knit hats, which proved to be very successful.
In 2010, with the installment of the number one rule, "Let's Have Fun", the players began taking home the ideals of why the league was created for and what it is was all about. After almost tripling the number of teams from the previous spring to 116, KLOR then more than doubled to an AMAZING 236 teams for summer which carried over 228 teams for fall. Growing to over 5,000 players KLOR became not only the largest sports organization and or club in Rochester but the largest single division kickball league for any city in the nation. Outdoor winter kickball returned again for a snow covered season from 2010 to 2011 more than doubling from 10 to 22 teams on Saturday afternoons.
The outlook for the Spring of "Oh Eleven" seemed bright when KLOR reached a new Spring record of 184 teams. However, Mother Nature, seemed to have her own plan in store for Rochester. The month of April brought in a record setting 5.81 inches of rain, breaking the previous record that stood since 1929. Undoubtedly, miniature lakes sometimes waist high covered many of the usual playing fields. Through intense rescheduling and great patience from the league's players, most teams were able to complete at least half, if not most, of the regular season games. A rough start indeed, as it was the first time in KLOR's 14 season history that all regular season postponed games could not be made up. Dazed and bewildered, from the tough Spring season, the players pressed on, growing to an astonishing 324 teams for the Summer. Amassing more than 7,500 players, divisions aside, KLOR had become the largest single city kickball league in the nation.
The Fall of 2011 marked the 5 year anniversary of KLOR. With a season of 272 teams playing Monday through Friday. The league had grown exponentially since the original 4 teams in the Fall of 2007. 2011 ended up being challenging just like it's start. After a rather wet Fall playoff week, KLOR was determined to finish out the year strong by managing to fit in 47 games across 7 fields during the championship Saturday. Shortly thereafter, the 3rd installment of outdoor Winter kickball started again, increasing from 22 to 30 teams.
2012 began with a bang. Online registration opened and closed; selling out completely in under 48 hours. After acquiring a waiting list more than 30 teams long, KLOR took the mild winter into account and secured additional fields at Ellison Park to accommodate the overflowing interest if the city. This was the first time Ellison had been utilized by KLOR for a spring season as the winter thaw normally inundates the area with wet conditions. With the intensity surrounding spring registration, locked out captains would be determined to play in summer! As the clock struck 6pm on April 15th. Registering hopefuls bombarded and completely took down the website hoping to secure their team registration With the website down for almost 90 minutes, KLOR regrouped and planned to re-open registration at 8pm. With the same number of website visitors pounding away at the registration page, the site again went up and down for another 8 minutes. As the website steadied itself, KLOR had eventually amassed over 250 teams within the first hour of registration. Eventually grossing over 400 online team registrations, the summer season kicked off with an actual count of 394 teams.
Not only is there a significant number of Rochestarians enjoying the beautiful Monroe County Parks, but on any given weeknight they are filling the local establishments as well, helping the local economy thrive. On average, over 1,100 patrons a night dressed in the highly recognizable KLOR t-shirt, are out networking and expanding their circle of friends; several have even met their soul mates.
Starting with a Foodlink canned food donation of 388lbs in the Fall of 2010, players in the Kickball League of Rochester have been helping out numerous charities in the Greater Rochester Area. In the Spring 2011 season, for any team that registered, $10 was automatically donated to the WNY Chapter of Make-A Wish. Bundled with donations from sponsors listed on the back of the league t-shirt and a charity raffle at the end of the season, the Kickball League of Rochester, its teams, and team sponsors gave back close to $6,000 that spring. Going forward with this trend, the Kickball League of Rochester has continued to give back to the Rochester community one season at a time. In 2011 KLOR also gave to the Ronald McDonald House of Charities of Rochester NY, the Hillside Children's Center, the Center for Youth, Foodlink, the Rochester Children's Scholarship Fund, the Wilmot Cancer Center, and donated school supplies to children in the Rochester City School District. In 2012, KLOR will be donating to the SPCC, Pitty Love Rescue, the RCSD, Camp Day Dreams, Food Link, the American Cancer Society, Children Awaiting Parents, and assisting with charitable donations in conjunction with the 2012 Ten Ugly Men festival.
With Labatt as the prominent league sponsor since 2010 up through 2012, along with events planned with many of the team's social sponsors, we’re sure you won’t be left unsatisfied.
The Kickball League of Rochester appeals to all individuals. Operating under the guise of an adult kickball league, the rules mimic that of 4th grade recess permitting kickball enthusiasts, of all athletic abilities and skill levels to play. KLOR provides a great excuse to get off the couch, kick a ball around, meet new friends, and of course laugh at your old ones.
If you’ve played with us, you know, if you haven’t, you will… We’re in business to have fun. There is absolutely no limit to the size of your team, and everyone plays!
“Just like recess but without getting picked last!” -Ryan Kimball