The World Series of Stickball tournament is in full swing at the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians Reservation this week with the division championships to be decided Friday and Saturday. In the top photo, members of the Unified and Wolfpack teams battle to advance the ball. The bottom photo shows action from the Women’s Division. The stickball tournament is part of the Choctaw Indian Fair.
The World Series of Stickball tournament is in full swing at the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians Reservation this week with the division championships to be decided Friday and Saturday. In the top photo, members of the Unified and Wolfpack teams battle to advance the ball. The bottom photo shows action from the Women’s Division. The stickball tournament is part of the Choctaw Indian Fair.
There is one thing about the World Series of Stickball tournament that is going on this week at the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians Reservation, lose and you are done for the year.

The teams have been competing in their respective brackets since last Monday, July 2, and all entered the tournament with the hope of advancing to the championship game of their respective division this weekend. The Men’s Over 35 division championship will be played Friday night starting at 10:15 p.m., and the Women’s championship game will follow. Then on Saturday night, the Men’s Division championship game will start at 10:15 p.m.

The stickball tournament is part of the Choctaw Indian Fair which starts Wednesday.

Stickball is a traditional game for the Choctaw Indians which dates back for centuries. Instead of wars, disputes between communities were settled by stickball games. It is described as the little brother of war, and it lives up to its reputation each year. According to Choctaw information, games were first recorded in the 1700s, but most likely games were played much earlier.

The tournament brackets are set up in early June. Teams and the public were invited to observe as teams were drawn for each position in the bracket. In years past, the men’s division championship usually came down to two of three teams: Beaver Dam, Koni Hata and Pearl River. But this year, all three ended up on the same side of the bracket.

Koni Hata, the defending men’s division champion, defeated Beaver Dam in the first round. Pearl River, meanwhile, defeated Chikasha Toll and Tushka Homma to advance. Pearl River and Koni Hata will play Wednesday night at 10:15 p.m. in the semifinals with the winners advancing to the championship game. At this writing, the semifinal teams for the other side of the bracket had not been decided.

In the Women’s division, defending champion Koni Hata was to play Bok Cito Tuesday night in the semifinals on one side of the bracket. The semifinal teams on the other side of the bracket had not been decided.

“We have played a lot of stickball over the past week and we still have a lot more to play,” said tournament director Thomas Ben. “Some of these teams have been practicing since February. A lot of pride is at stake and it is win or go home.”

The youth tournaments are also being played. The championship game for the Pushmataha (ages 10-13) division will be played at 5 p.m. Friday, followed by the Tulli Okchi Ishko (ages 14-17) division.