The Journey of Tiak Hikiya Ohoyo (Standing Pine Women)
Choctaw stickball or kapotcha toli is known as “The Little Brother of War” because it was used to settle disputes between Southeastern Tribes. Earliest recordings of the game took place in 1729 making it the oldest sport in America. It is the ancient game of the Choctaw people, their identity, and is continued today in a tournamet on the Choctaw reservation in Mississippi known as The World Series of Stickball.
The Tiak Hikiya Ohoyo (Standing Pine Women) comes from one of the smallest reservations and has competed every year but never won. In some years they haven’t had enough to field a team. Compared to the surrounding reservations with more experience, the Standing Pine team were consided a “one and done” team, meaning whoever played them would beat them. The journey of Tiak Hikiya Ohoyo tells the story of two new coaches trying to change that by implementing new training techniques and mindset. The film follows some of the players and what motivates them to play this ancient game. The 2021 tournament was the first tournamet held since the Covid Pandemic as the Tribe lost many members. Many players were playing for lost loved ones included the coaches. The 2021 tournament just took on a different meaning. While trying to bring home the first championship to their small reservation, the ladies of Standing Pine now play for something bigger.