A leather ball and wooden sticks are core components of modern stickball competitions. Members of the community will get a chance to see it in action during a Stickball World Series watch party 7 p.m., Monday, July 2 at Ada’s McSwain Theatre, 130 W. Main Street.
ADA, Okla. – The Chickasaw Nation’s adult stickball team, Chikasha Toli, will be competing in the 2018 World Series Stickball championship in Mississippi. Watch parties will be available to the public at no charge for every game Chikasha Toli plays during the bracketed competition.
The first watch party will begin 5:30 p.m., Monday, July 2, at Ada’s McSwain Theatre, 130 W. Main Street.
Before the game, available activities will include make-and-take classes, coloring sheets and food trucks. McSwain Theatre concessions will be available to attendees.
The game starts 8 p.m., when Chikasha Toli will be competing against Pearl River.
If Chikasha Toli earns a victory and moves on to the next bracket, another watch party will be offered in Tishomingo beginning 7 p.m., Saturday, July 7, at the Chickasaw Nation Capitol, 411 W. Ninth St.
A livestream of all Stickball World Series games will be available online at the Mississippi Choctaw’s YouTube channel “Choctaw Indian Fair.”
Stickball, also known as the “little brother of war,” has been handed down from generation to generation and was historically played to settle conflicts over land and politics between Native American tribes. Recorded accounts of stickball date back to the early 18th century.
It is played on a field similar to a football field, with two poles 100 yards apart. Players use stickball sticks to hurl the ball down the field to teammates, who then hit or touch the pole to score points.
Today, there are three types of stickball games. The first is the social game, played between men and women around a single pole, where men use sticks and women use their hands. The second is the ceremonial east-west game, played only by men. The third is the modern field game, played between men and women, everyone using sticks, with a specific set of rules and field dimensions as set forth by the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.
Chickasaws and many other tribes still play this game today, whether it is for fun at a festival or celebration, or for competition at games and tournaments.
The Chickasaw Nation currently has two competitive teams, one for youth, Chikasha Bak Bak and one for the adults, Chikasha Toli.