Stickball action got under way Monday night with teams competing in the youth divisions taking the field. The World Series of Stickball starts Wednesday and will run their next Saturday night when the Men’s Open Division finals will be played.
Stickball action got under way Monday night with teams competing in the youth divisions taking the field. The World Series of Stickball starts Wednesday and will run their next Saturday night when the Men’s Open Division finals will be played.
There are three athletic competitions during the 70th annual Choctaw Indian Fair that always draw a lot of interest. First and most well-known is the annual World Series of Stickball which started this week.

Stickball has been a part of Choctaw life for hundreds of years. Opposing teams use handcrafted sticks or kabotcha, and a woven leather ball, or tówa. Each team tries to advance the ball down the field to the other team's goalpost using only their sticks, never touching or throwing the ball with their hands. Points are scored when a player hits the opposing team's goalpost with the ball.

It is a very physical game. Stickball is known in Choctaw Indian history as the “little brother of war,” and was once a way for communities to settle disputes.

Today, the World Series of Stickball is made up of three divisions: Men’s Open, the Women’s Open and the Men’s 35 and Over Division. There are also two youth division tournaments: the Tulli Okchi Division (ages 14-17) and the Pushmataha Division (ages 10-13).

Bok Cito is the defending champion. Last year, Bok Cito scored in overtime to defeat Pearl River 3-2 in the finals.

Bok Cito opens tournament play Tuesday, July 9, against the winner between Oka Homma and Unified. The finals for the 10-team tournament will be Saturday, July 13, starting at 10:30 p.m.

The Koni Hata women will be going for their third straight championship after defeating Tiak Hikiya Ohoyo 2-0 last year. There are 11 teams entered in the women’s division which starts Wednesday night. The finals will be Friday, July 12, starting at 11:30 p.m.

Red Clay is the defending champion in the Men’s 35-and-Under division. They defeated Bok Cito in the finals. This tournament will have seven teams and starts Wednesday night with one game. Two more will be played Friday. The finals will be July 12 starting at 10:30 p.m.

There are also ways to test your personal endurance and strength.

The first is the Iron Warrior competition, a strongman-strongwoman contest. There will be a men’s and women’s division. Qualification rounds will be held next Thursday and Friday with the finals set for Saturday. Competitions will include the Farmer’s Carry, Tire Deadlifts, Atlas Stones, Tire Flip, Sandbag Medley, the Yoke Carry, the Tractor Pull and the Sled Push.

There is also the eighth annual Rez Run which starts at 7 a.m. There is a 10K, a 5K and one-mile run. This run is held on the Native American reservation belonging to the Mississippi Band Of Choctaw Indians. Registration starts at the football field at 6 a.m.

For more information, please go to the Choctaw Indian Fair webpage or check it on Facebook.