chapter  9
Interactions Between the Mississippi Choctaw and European Americans Through the Sport of Toli
ByJohn Richard Stepp
Pages 9

Toli or stickball is a Native American sport with pre-Columbian roots that remains an important sport for many Native American groups, especially the Mississippi Choctaw.

In 1989 a toli team was created at the University of Georgia, which subsequently established regular matches with a Choctaw team. This paper offers an analysis of

matches staged in the late 1990s. Despite the ritualized violence, this study finds that the shared experience of playing toli acts as a catalyst for integration. It is suggested,

moreover, that the sport serves an integrative function on several levels: cross-gender, intra-group and cross-cultural. Exploring the nature of toli and ethnic identity, it makes suggestions for increased interaction between Native Americans and non-Native

Americans through sport.