The Divine Nine organizations have been competing in just about everything for more than 100 years. As college graduates move into their careers, and away from university campuses, people tend to lose touch with each other. But the friendly competition from events such as the Frat Games brings the Black fraternities and sororities back together.
Now through late August, every Sunday afternoon at Darby Park, 3400 W. Arbor Vitae St., Inglewood, members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., will battle it out on the softball field for bragging rights.
“It’s a good, fun-filled Sunday,” said Eric Johnson, a member of Alpha Phi Alpha. “It’s good entertainment through games. Both the good parts and the bad parts of the game. The blunders, the trips and falls. Some guys in their prime, some past their prime, as they try to win for their organization.”
The event is not just about softball, it’s more like a Black Greek picnic or reunion. Members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc., and Iota Phi Theta Fraternity Inc., will also be on hand to enjoy in the festivities.
“You have people that haven’t seen each other in several months, or sometimes years,” Johnson said. “You’ll get line brothers and sisters who are reunited, and different people from different eras of different chapters, who might be 20 or 30 years apart, that can all hang out at the park.”
There will be a DJ playing old-school and new-school hits, and organizations will perform their distinctive train dances, and folks will be able to mix and mingle with a diverse crowd.
There is a clear favorite to win the title this year.
“Traditionally over the years, each team has had their run,” Johnson said. “Lately it’s been the Alphas. They kind of have dominance over the league. It creates an interesting dynamic, because the other fraternities are trying harder and harder every year to make sure that that they don’t win.”
No matter what the outcome on the field is, hanging out with old friends and tossing out friendly jokes to members of the other organizations is well worth the trip out to the Frat Games.
There will be two games played every Sunday at 2 p.m., through to the championship which will also feature an exhibition game between the sororities.
This is a family friendly event, and guests are welcome to bring their own food. There will be a snack shack, with the funds going to the Sportsmen Little League, which plays at Darby Park.