Indian Stickball game to be played Sept. 28

Published 10:01 am Wednesday, September 25, 2019

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As a part of Alabama’s Bicentennial celebration, an authentic Indian stickball game will be played in Thomasville this Saturday, Sept. 28.

The Poarch Creek Indians and Choctaw Indians from the Mississippi Band in Philadelphia will participate in events that day.

A Living History/American Indian Art and Food exhibit will be held at the Thomasville Civic Center from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. featuring Creek and Choctaw cultures. That evening, at 7 p.m., two teams from the Choctaw’s Mississippi Band will play an authentic game of Indian Stickball in the Thomasville High School football stadium.

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The game will commemorate one played circa 1808 west of present-day Thomasville between the Creek and Choctaw Indians to settle a boundary dispute between the tribes. The Choctaws won and the boundary became the watershed between the Alabama and Tombigbee rivers, running down a high ridge in what within a few years would become Clarke County.

Stickball is one of the oldest known team sports and was played by North American Indians for recreation, to toughen young warriors for combat and, as in the Choctaw Corner games, as an alternative to war to settle differences. It is a highly aggressive, hotly-contested sport. In the old days it could be brutal.

The game is played with 30 per team so there will be 60 players on the field as compared to 11 allowed on a field per team for football.

On Sunday, Sept. 29, the Clarke County Historical Society will meet in Thomasville to hear representatives from the Choctaw tribe talk about their heritage.

The historical society meeting will be at 2:30 p.m. at Thomasville United Methodist Church. The venue is significant in that the church is on the Indian boundary line.

Admission for the Living History Event is $2 and $5 for the stickball game. There is no charge to attend the historical society meeting on Sunday.