COLUMBIA — Songs such as "Thriller" and "It's Getting Hot in Herre" blasted from large black speakers, and cheers and clapping could be heard throughout the softball fields at Cosmopolitan Park, encouraging players as they ran up to kick a bright red ball.
More than 300 people gathered at the Rainbow Softball Center on Wednesday for Kickballapalooza. Fourteen co-ed kickball teams participated in a one-day tournament put on by the Columbia Chamber of Commerce.
Craig Brumfield a board member on the chamber, helped organize the event that involved five fields of kickball over the course of five hours. He said he wanted an event to gather people within the community.
"Summer is a down time for us, and we wanted something fun for our members to do," Brumfield said. "We picked kickball because it was a sport that people of all ages could play."
Aflac Insurance, Commerce Bank and Quest Diagnostics were among the businesses that entered teams in the tournament.
As players ran up to kick the ball, they could hear commentary from Jet Roberts, a sport talk host for KFRU/1400 AM 's show "The Closers." He made jokes at some of the chamber members as they played.
"These teams have built up a rivalry over the past three days, and there has been a lot of trash talk between The Kickers With a Drinking Problem and Columbia College," Roberts said over the microphone about two of the teams engaged in a game. "The scoreboard can't handle that one run on the board."
Larry Moore, the chamber president, said the group holds various events throughout the year, usually breakfast banquets. This was the chamber's first time holding a sporting event.
"We wanted to get people together to create enthusiasm in the chamber," Moore said. "We like to get involved with as many activities as we can."