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Tribal Groups In Tahlequah Revive Ancient Sport Of Stickball

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The game of stickball is often referred to as the "little brother of war." The game of stickball is often referred to as the "little brother of war."
Now, the game is much more modernized, although still true to its roots. Now, the game is much more modernized, although still true to its roots.
TAHLEQUAH, Oklahoma -

It's been around for hundreds of years, but these days, it is seeing a resurgence. Some Native American communities in Tahlequah are reviving the ancient sport.

The game of stickball is often referred to as the "little brother of war." The game consist of 30 players with two sticks each on each team, trying to throw a golf ball-sized ball at a pole for a point. The game used to be much more violent than it is now, though.

The game takes a lot of skill, but back in the pre-Columbus days. Indian tribes used the game of stick ball as means to settle disputes between tribes, so games would consist of hundreds of players from each side and the poles would be much further than a football field apart.

There would be deaths that occurred during the game, but the tribes thought this game would prevent more deaths than war.

Now, the game is much more modernized, although still true to its roots.

The UKB Tribal Council in Tahlequah started the first annual Intertribal Stickball Tournament.

Five teams participated this year and the host group, the Qadugi Warriors led by Wes Proctor, started off the tournament, which featured teams from the Cherokee, Choctaw, Muskogee and Chickasaw tribes.

Event coordinators say they hope this event will help get the youth into the sport, to remember their culture and also to grow the event into more than five teams.

The event was also set up to raise awareness for the John Hair Cultural Center. Hair is the former Head Chief of the United Keetohwah Tribe.

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