Front yard kickball brings siblings outside

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 1, 2010

NATCHEZ — When The Dart landed on Smith Street, the area at first seemed deserted.

But then, the sound of a solid thwack of foot against ball revealed that at least two of the street’s residents were out and enjoying the Saturday sunshine.

Cameron Givens, 9, and his sister, Jordan, 7, were enjoying a game of two-man kickball in their front yard.

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“I think it is the best game in the world,” Jordan said.

The two had learned the game at day care, but had to improvise to bring it into their yard.

With only two players, sometimes they used the invisible “ghost man” to hold their place after a base hit, and sometimes they just switched to a one-pitch, one-kick per person rule, Cameron said.

But one thing always remained the same.

“If you kick it over the fence, it’s a home run,” he said.

There was one point of disagreement in the rules, however.

Jordan said that whoever kicked the ball over the fence had to be the one to retrieve it, while Cameron said that the person playing the field had to get it.

The bases were also improvised.

First base was a shrub, second base the corner of the front walk and third base another shrub.

Home plate was a certain fence post in the yard’s chain-link fence.

There were other points of disagreement, most notably about who was the better kickball pitcher.

“I roll the ball first, and I like to get people out,” Cameron said. “And she doesn’t know how to kick.”

Jordan could only shake her head in disapproval.

“I’m the best,” she said.

There was one place where the sibling rivalry ended and the two could agree.

“It’s better when there are other people,” Cameron said.

And their mother, Eva Givens, said it wasn’t uncommon to find that her children had recruited others from the neighborhood to play.

“Once the two of them go outside, I will come to the door and there will be seven or eight kids in the yard,” she said. “I didn’t know they were using my trees for bases.”