Origins - Mojo Kickball
Field Mojo is actually based on a previous alt sport: Mojo Kickball. Mojo Kickball was invented (like Field Mojo) in Austin, TX by improv guru Eric Heiberg in May 2006. Eric hosted pickup games for 6 years in Austin where the sport enjoyed a dedicated following. Click here for the old Mojo Kickball website.
Key differences between the two sports are: Mojo Kickball is played on a softball diamond; one of the chasers in Mojo Kickball is restrained in not being able to enter the infield; and there are pitchers (on the offense). The pace and length of the innings are different, but overall the two sports have a similar feel.
After hosting for 7 years, Eric moved to Minneapolis, where Mojo Kickball in its original form is still hosted by Eric. If you're ever in Minneapolis look it up. And visit the Huge Improv Theater while you're there.
Tweaks - Field Mojo
Mojo Kickball addict and long time player Ryan Pierce decided to keep the Mojo Kickball tradition alive in Austin, hosting pick up games after Eric moved. The rapidly growing nature of Austin both in population and inflation meant that kickball fields were out of reach for pickup games inside the city. The sport was modified so that it was played on a 50ft x 80ft plain grass field, thus removing the need to reserve. The field area was reduced to a third, making the game more dense per capita than basketball - perfect for crowded cities.
Rules were reduced: The pitcher was removed and the two chasers were made equal. The resulting higher intensity meant that innings were reduced in time. Field Mojo was born, April 2013 - the word 'Mojo' was kept in the title in tribute to Mojo Kickball.
After the disasterous first five pick up games, where fewer than 10 people would show up, the new game began slowly building up a following. Somewhere along the line a council for formalizing the game rules and issues began being held. Pickup games were played every week and eventually got so large we could barely fit everyone into two simultaneous games.