5 WKYB AZ Fire - Spring 2009 Royal Blue
32 Code Name Panther CA Orange Crush- Spring 2009 Azalea
41 Ballz Deep CA Golden Gate Division - Spring 2009
68 Mooseknuckle Strikes Back CA Crown - Spring 2009 Yellow
Analysis: The returning national quarterfinalist – and arguably the strongest West Coast team in the field – is the prohibitive favorite out of pool 5. Fast, athletic, disciplined, and motivated – and, unlike their western brethren, resident in a slightly more competitive area of the country. Hard not to see a 3-0 here. Code Name Panther might actually contend well for 2nd fiddle here, as will the other also-rans in this pool. Ballz Deep just isn’t ever going to be a competitive team and probably doesn’t want it that way, even after a FC appearance last year. The Mooseknuckles play in a second-tier SoCal division – they certainly won’t be completely unfamiliar to competitive ball, but they won’t be engaging in much of it.
6 Bulletproof Tigers NY Star - Spring 2009 White
31 Super Skinnies FL Central - Summer 2009 Light Blue
42 The Monster Cartel CA Star Division - Summer 2009
67 Ball Busters CA Central - Spring 2009 Royal Blue
Analysis: Finally, another pool with some potentially exciting games. BT sports the core of surging Dumpster Fire, fresh off a win at the NYC Grand National. This team is headed in the right direction; it has to be the pool favorite despite getting a tough pool for the 2nd year in a row. We last saw the Skinnies at the SoFl open, where they hung tough in a very competitive field more than the 1-3 showing indicated. They are under no illusions as to how serious ball works, and they will give the Tigers and Monsters some hard-fought games. The Cartel looks like this year’s Superbad – a mix of top talent from Orange County’s best divisions. If so, expect a fierce battle between Central Florida and Southern California for the second slot. The Ball Busters will be at the end of a lot of frustrated beatdowns after their poolmates smash each other up.
7 The Others DC Capital - Spring 2009 Cardinal
30 Riff Raff - The Real Pinks FL Beach - Summer 2009 Azalea
43 Pitch Please! CA Hollywood Division - Summer 2009
66 Party Foul CA Tinseltown - Summer 2009 Cardinal
Analysis: Many early pundits are calling this the Pool of Death, given the top 2 squads are regularly in the national discussion of the leading teams. The Others is 1 of only 2 teams holding the competitive kickball banner aloft for DC and easily has the most tourney experience out of anyone in the FC field. No questions with them as to talent and depth. It'll be a matter of finding the so-far-elusive recipe to put together a consistent, mistake-free tourney from start to finish. Their national scene mates on Riff Raff are capable of a performance that can win them the whole thing (as a major part of an ensemble squad that won K365 in DC in July) – or send them to self-destruction in the early parts of single elim (as has been their fate at home). They have talent for days and an excellent defense – and FC would be a good time to get the rap about not advancing deep enough in the brackets off their backs. The Pitches are the second chairs in Hollywood to the noticeably absent Sofa Kings – so at least nothing is going to surprise them. They just may have third chair in this quarter. Party Foul will be making like their namesake – and taking a lot of pictures from the sidelines after 3:30.
8 Menace to Sobriety FL West Palm - Summer 2009 Royal Blue
29 Balls Deeper FL Riptide - Spring 2009 Yellow
44 Cobra Kai FL Atlantic Division - Winter 2009
65 Kick In A Box VA Arlington- Spring 2009 Light Blue
Analysis: If there was a pool that screamed: “please equalize the regions,” it’s this one (3 Florida teams – 2 from South Florida alone). Not only that, there is significant team overlap between the Menaces (the social team) and Balls Deeper (the nationally prominent one, and our favorite to top this pool). Balls Deeper is tall and long, and on their best days, they will give the best in the land runs for their money. On their worst days, the lack of depth can be fatal. Cobra Kai made a heck of an impression on the national scene at South Florida 2009 – easily the best 3rd seed in its pool not to advance to the bracket. A dangerous team to overlook, particularly with speed at key spots in the lineup. KIAB represents a once-proud competitive pillar in the DC/NoVA kickball scene … but let’s face it, they’ll need to target the Menaces for any sort of W in this deceptively top-heavy grouping.