By Darren DeLaune, MNN Sports Writer
PHILADELPHIA, Miss. — Daniel “Supaktv” Roberts started playing stickball in March 2011. Since that time, Roberts has turned it into a game he absolutely loves. Native American tribes used stickball as a way to settle intertribal disputes without going resorting to war. This is how the sport received its name, “Little Brother of War.”
There are different styles of stickball play, according to tribe, including the “Choctaw” and “Mvskoke” or “East and West.” “Choctaw style is played when you go to the different tournaments throughout the season,” Roberts said. “With Choctaw style, you can not hit with sticks, you can only use your body. With Mvskoke style, you can only hit with the sticks, and there are no body hits. Both are violent. With Choctaw style, you can get more broken bones, with Mvskoke style, you get more cuts that will open up. Mvskoke style is more for ceremonial grounds and Choctaw is tournament. With both there are a lot of injuries.”
Both teams have 30 people on the field at all times,” Roberts said. “They consist of shooters, centers, defenders. Centers will control the middle of the field and their job is to get the ball to the shooters. The defenders’ job is to protect the goal and to help centers move ball down the field to shooters. The shooters job is to score and get the points. The shooters are the ones that the opponents are trying to hit and trying to stop.”
Roberts is a shooter on his team. “As a shooter, you are going to get hit,” Roberts said. “And you are going to get hit hard, but it is our
job to stay focused and score the points for our team.”Roberts plays for a team called “6town,” which he considers an inter-tribal team.
“My team is a lot like me; we are a very young team,” Roberts said. “I have been playing for a little bit over a year. My cousin Jake Roberts was the one who got me involved with 6town. We have more than one tribe that represents our team. Our team has members of Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Cherokee.”
Roberts and his team recently returned from the “World Series of Stickball” held annually in Philadelphia, Miss. “Stickball in Mississippi is a lot like football here on Friday nights,” Roberts said. “If you are a stickball player there, you are the top dog. There is no other feeling like it. Walking out into the field and hearing everybody either cheering or booing you and your team, it is crazy. It is an unreal feeling. When you hit that field you are walking into the biggest game in the world,” Roberts said.
Although the series didn’t turn out the way 6town wanted, they know what the competition is like and will be ready next year.
“We have a few tournaments that are coming up, around here in Oklahoma,” Roberts said. Until then, we will practice and continue getting better. We will be ready and prepared for next year.”
Roberts is Creek, Choctaw and Aleut. His parents are Danny and Janelle Roberts. His Tribal Town is Nuyaka and his Clan is Hotvle
(Story courtesy of the Muscogee Nation News department, to read this story and others please visit them@ http://www.muscogeenation-nsn.gov/images/stories/pdf/MNN/aug01_2012.pdf)