Written by Jane Lawrence Thursday, 13 February 2014 00:00
This winter has been brutal, hitting Long Island with colder temperatures and more snow than we have seen in recent years, but this has not stopped Toniann Lordi from driving all the way from Centereach to Glen Cove each week to play kickball in LI-Kick’s innovative co-ed adult indoor kickball league.
Innovation is nothing new to Glen Cove resident Sal Farruggia. When he founded LI-Kick in the spring of 2013, it was the first co-ed adult kickball league on Long Island. Now it is the first to bring the game indoors for the winter months.
“I’ve done my research,” said Farruggia, “and we are totally unique. Most other leagues stop playing for the winter months and one league is offering an indoor dodge ball league, but no other league has indoor kickball.”
The indoor league meets in the gymnasium of the Glen Cove Boys and Girls Club and the parameters of a gymnasium have dictated some changes to the game.
“The balls used in outdoor kickball proved to be too robust,” Farruggia explained, “so we switched to smaller gatorskin balls. They have a good bounce and give a good kick, but they are squishy so they can’t damage the lighting and the basketball hoops in the gym.”
The rules of the game are a bit different as well. The ball is in play the entire time and can bounce off the walls or the ceiling. Nothing is out of bounds and there are no foul balls. Since the “playing field” is smaller, the kicking is easier but the defense is harder.
Chris Pascucci, 41, of Glen Cove, started playing kickball in the fall outdoor league and is now playing in the indoor league.
“It is a faster pace,” said Pascucci, “but it is really relaxing fun. It’s something to do when it is freezing outside and,” he added, “I am playing with a great bunch of people.”
Glen Cove’s Oswald twins, Wendy and Cindy, and their friend, Sharon Jones, concurred. They agreed that “the league is awesome and more than exceeded our expectations.”
Centereach’s Lordi, who had never played in a kick ball league before and joined at the urging of a co-worker, echoed that sentiment.
“Everyone is so friendly and it is so much fun to be playing a sport I haven’t played since elementary school.”
Melissa Rhodes, executive director of the Glen Cove Boys and Girls Club, said, “We’re happy to have the league here. Our kids play kickball, but not like this!”
Rhodes and Farruggia are considering plans to have LI Kick players give the kids a few pointers and perhaps even play a game together in the near future.