Glen Cove’s adult co-ed kickball league has proven itself a force to be reckoned with on a national level. LI-Kick won the Brooklyn KickBrawl at McCarren Park on July 9, a tournament that consisted of 14 teams, with players from Brooklyn, Long Island, Providence, Portland, Toronto and Philadelphia. This was the first win for the league in this 10-year-old tournament, though it has competed for the past three years.
“It probably is the most unique tournament in the country,” said LI-Kick founder Sal Farruggia. “With only three fields and being organized by intoxicated hipsters, there is an ungodly amount of waiting time. One team had three hours in between games.”
The first game began at noon and the championship game began at 10 p.m.; in addition to the long day, the championship game was played under a “fierce” downpour and Farruggia said they had no choice but to play through.
“The all-dirt field was turned into a mud pit and nothing could be done to keep from getting wet,” said Farruggia. “Spectators went ducking for cover, but play continued with players completed saturated.”
LI-Kick, which has a total of 188 teams, sent three teams from its Super League to the tournament. Each team consisted of 10 players—six men and four women—who are considered the strongest players in the league. The Super League only plays during the summer and is the most competitive league within LI-Kick.
“All three of our teams carried significant fire power and were contenders to win it all,” said Farruggia.
He said that one team, named Bebop for the tournament, won their grouping and advanced to the semi-finals where they walloped their opponent 6 to 3. They then advanced to play in the finals against a team from Brooklyn that was 4-0 on the day and had given up just two runs in group play.
“The game started out with Brooklyn taking a 1-0 lead on a standard lead off bunt, first to third sacrifice and sac fly to score the run. At the moment I thought that one run would be pivotal to the outcome of the game. LI-Kick responded by raining down hit after hit,” said Farruggia. “Our kickballers were laying down bunts, driving the ball through the infield and our dazzling baserunning (on 75-foot bases) was making the defense’s head spin.”
He said the team went on to win 7 to 2, making hardly any errors despite the torrential rain.
Farruggia said that one thing he has noticed about watching the teams compete at tournaments is that LI-Kick players have a hidden advantage: the women.
“To find a girl that can keep up with the guys is not easy,” said Farruggia. “Our guys are at an equal level with others, but our girls really shine. That puts us at a competitive advantage.”
The grand prize, a kickball with Rollie Fingers’ face airbrushed on to it, is now in the hands of captain Thuan Huynh.
LI-Kick began in 2013 and has grown and expanded over the past three years. There are various leagues offered throughout the year, including an indoor league in the winter and a co-ed soccer league. Visit www.li-kick.com for more information.