Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

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Stickball is great fun to watch

From the desk of Assistant Chief Gary Batton

June 2011

I enjoyed watching the stickball game in front of Pushmataha Hall at the Trail of Tears Walk. Sometimes called “Little Brother of War,” because the game used to settle disputes instead of going to war, these guys can get pretty rough! It looked a little like “war” out there on the field at times! They all seemed to be having fun and the crowd watching the game were all cheering them on. Playing on the lawn of such an historic site as the old academy boarding school was especially touching and I appreciate all the people who stayed the afternoon to participate.

These same players put on an exhibition game during the Red Earth Festival at Oklahoma City the first Saturday in June prior to the Grand Entry of the Pow Wow, and they are also set to compete in the World Series in Mississippi in July! There has been a recent revival in the interest of stickball as a sport for men and women!

There will be a short film at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian on stickball during Choctaw Days June 22-25 that shows highlights from the games at the 2010 Labor Day Festival. If you get a chance, I encourage you to either watch a live game, or at least see the film to become familiar with this exciting activity.