Watts Ball: A Fun New Playground Sport for Kids and Cops to Play Together

submission by MylesNye

About Your Application

Organization(s) name(s):

Wise Guys Events

Organization(s) website(s):


Organization(s) twitter handle(s):


Organization(s) facebook handle(s):


Organization(s) instagram handle(s):


Describe Your Organization(s)

Non-profit organization

For-profit organization


Other (please specify below):

In one sentence, please describe what your organization does.


Wise Guys Events is the premiere source for real life games in Southern California and beyond.

In one to three sentences, please describe your proposal.


A new alt sport played by kids and cops together. Each team contains young people and cadets from the police academy. Playing together builds a relationship to transform neighborhoods.

Where will you be working? Please be specific (e.g. Third Street Middle School; Boyle Heights; LA County).

Central LA

East LA

San Gabriel Valley

San Fernando Valley

South LA


South Bay

Antelope Valley

County of Los Angeles (countywide)

City of Los Angeles (citywide)


Other (please specify below):

(e.g. Third Street Middle School; Boyle Heights; LA County):

Watts Towers

How do you plan to use these resources to make change? (check all that apply)

Conduct research

Engage residents and stakeholders

Implement a pilot or new project

Expand a pilot or program

Mobilize for systems change

Advocate with policymakers and leaders

Implement and track policy

Other (please specify below):

How will your proposal improve the following “Play” metrics? (check all that apply)

Access to open space and park facilities

Number of children enrolled in afterschool programs

Per capita crime rates

Percentage of residents that feel safe in their neighborhoods

Attendance at major league sporting events

Residents within 1⁄4 mile of a park (Dream Metric)

Number of residents with easy access to a “vibrant” park (Dream Metric)

Number of parks with intergenerational play opportunities (Dream Metric)

Number (and quality) of informal spaces for play (Dream Metric)

Describe in greater detail how you will make LA the best place to play.


With all the bad news in recent years about violence and strife between police officers and residents of poor or predominantly black neighborhoods, it's clear that change is needed. Though bodycams, accountability, and better communication are important, there are no quick fixes. It's said in a proverb that the best time to plant an apple tree is 20 years ago and the second best time is now. What if we could plant seeds now that would transform the way police officers interacted with residents in South LA for generations to come? What if, using play and community building, we could build the foundation for a better relationship between cops and the citizens they protect, starting right now?

WATTS BALL is a new playground game or alt sport. Each team consists of Blockers and Strikers, and the object of the game is to get the ball in your team's goal. However, there are two things that makes this game very different: it is played around Watts Towers, and every team is made of an equal split of kids and cadets from the police academy.

For the cadets, playing with the kids will give them a new perspective on who exactly is in the community they're protecting, and what's at stake. For the kids, playing with the cadets will help them build trust and combat preconceived notions about the role of police in their neighborhood. For years to come, the players will remember their shared team experiences, victories, and challenges, and the spirit of good sportsmanship and team play will be a welcome new kind of interaction between these two populations that, historically, have been all too often connected only in tragic situations.

The added benefit of this proposal is that the game is played at Watts Towers to revitalize this LA landmark that is in peril of neglect and underfunding.

Once neighborhood and regional leagues are established and tournament play becomes regularized - culminating in a first-ever championship Watts Ball team! - we can spread the rules and practices of the game to other communities throughout LA and beyond, but it will always be heralded as a true Los Angeles original, like Hollywood and Fortune Cookies.

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.


We'll play test the game with our network of seasoned new-game enthusiasts. We'll debrief with the kid players and their families as well as the cadets via in-person interviews and anonymized reports to find out what we could do to make playing the game and participating in a team more appealing. But make no mistake, we want to build something that will last a long time and change the city in a meaningful way for good, so we want to always have an eye on the long-term success of the project: 5, 10, 15 years down the line. So getting feedback from the players is critical, but we must always remember that in the olden days, baseball was played without a glove and never at night. Sports change over time. Watts Ball will change too.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed? (check all that apply)

Money (financial capital)

Volunteers/staff (human capital)

Publicity/awareness (social capital)

Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles, etc.)


Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)

Community outreach

Network/relationship support

Quality improvement research

Other (please specify below):

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by WillaWilla
6 months ago

Friend are saying they're having a hard time voting on mobile devices... any advice?

by MylesNye
6 months ago

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Award topvotedidea 5a5ae14e3d56a10363ea2a398cece46cf4df891213cbe68677c19d8903a1932a
Circle 1 inactive e7784182a1bd5eace578987db27fc19ec6337f418c48c6c8732605b9043d50d0 Step1 title submission inactive cde083e53089b973e7c9dc80a44a038c1ce4cf3b2650aeb5549157d1ed58a2d9

Submission Began
Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Submission Ended
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
at 07:00 PM UTC

Circle 2 inactive 74a43088831beb43fdbd7591ef5d50a5a7a26ff92c9e8ed489782459fa31a8d9 Step2 title voting inactive 96be722f53c417edddb5742ba9a6dc2fd403f7e4f6c19dbe883d50d20d93689d

Voting Began
Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Voting Ended
Tuesday, November 03, 2015
at 08:00 PM UTC

Circle 3 83da7a9432aeea960e1a9e9ee93e7ea1221af6c8f42b27964f2e9999d94b2b8d Step3 title 3d9e2a65d6ea1ad301f8fc607f5f828bd96362932c71d81c0da5b1fd964422b0
A shady oasis for everyone in Grand Park
A shady oasis for everyone in Grand Park

Winner Announced
Tuesday, December 08, 2015