Teams travel to Cherokee Nation for inaugural stickball tournament

August 21, 2013

Citizens play a social game of stickball during the 60th Cherokee National Holiday.Citizens play a social game of stickball during the 60th Cherokee National Holiday.

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TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — Five stickball teams from Oklahoma and Mississippi will showcase their skills Saturday in the inaugural Cherokee National Holiday men’s stickball tournament at Sequoyah Schools’ Thompson Field.

The double-elimination tournament using traditional Choctaw rules will start at 8 a.m. Admission is free.

“If we don’t show everyone our traditional games, we will lose them,” said stickball tournament coordinator Marcus Thompson, who will also play with his team, the Nighthawks. “Men’s stickball is the roughest sport there is, but we want people to know you can still play the game and that it is fun.”

Stickball was traditionally used to settle disputes or prepare for war. Today, teams of 20-30 people take the field and play an hour-long game consisting of four 15-minute quarters or two 30-minute halves.

The object is to hit the pole in the center of the field by throwing the ball with stickball sticks or running the ball and touching the pole while possessing the ball. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.

Social stickball games will also be played at Sequoyah Schools’ football field at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m., Aug. 31. For more information on the stickball tournament or social games, contact Marcus Thompson at 918-453-7866 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Other sporting events at the 61st Cherokee National Holiday Aug. 30-Sept. 1 include the following:


• 5K Holiday Veterans Run will begin at the Cherokee Nation War Memorial on Aug. 31. Registration begins at 6 a.m. and race starts at 7:30 a.m. Cost is $20 for day of race. For more information, contact Hillary Mead at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

• Co-ed volleyball tournament will be played west of the Cherokee Nation W.W. Keeler Complex starting at 9 a.m., Aug. 31. Entry deadline is Aug. 23. For more information, contact Denise Honawa at 918-816-1995.

• 3-on-3 basketball tournament on Aug. 30-31 at the Cherokee Nation Male Seminary Recreation Center. For more information, call Kim Arneecher at 479-427-9494.

• Cherokee National Holiday softball tournaments will be played at the Cherokee Nation Softball Complex near Sequoyah Schools. The fast-pitch tournaments will be played Aug. 23-25, and slow-pitch tournaments Aug. 30-Sept.1. For more information, call Sherwin Johnson at 918-696-5760 or Crystal Bogle at 918-316-1940.

• Children’s fishing derby will held Aug. 31 from 7:30 a.m. to noon at the pond east of the W.W. Keeler Complex. Angler Jason Christie will be on site to take photos and sign autographs, and 300 fishing poles will be given out to participants. For more information, contact Ryan Callison at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

• Three golf tournaments will be hosted at Cherokee Springs Golf Course Aug. 29-31. The Thursday tournament will be a senior two-man scramble and the Friday tournament a two-man scramble open to all ages. The Saturday tournament will be a four-man scramble with tee times at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. Entry fee for all tournaments is $40 for golf course members at Cherokee Springs or Cherokee Trails and $50 for non-members, and all entries must be pre-paid. For more information, call Tyler Crouch at 918-456-5100. Traditional

• Finals in the marble tournament will be held at 9 a.m., Aug. 31, at the Cherokee Heritage Center. For more information, contact Phil King at 918-837-1940.

• Cornstalk shoot competition will be held at 7:30 a.m. west of the W.W. Keeler Complex on Aug. 31-Sept. 1, with registration at 7:30 a.m. and competition at 8 a.m. For more information, call Charolette Jackson at 918-316-2932.

• Horseshoe pitch competition will be held west of the W.W. Keeler Complex at 9 a.m. on Aug. 31 For more information, call Jody Slover at 918-822-2428.

For a full list of Cherokee National Holiday events, visit