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LI-Kick offers new drop-in play option with dodgeball, wallyball, more

LI-Kick's pickup pickleball players Giancarlo Console, 23, of

LI-Kick's pickup pickleball players Giancarlo Console, 23, of Northport and Michael Hopper, 27, of West Babylon at the Carefree Tennis in North Merrick. Credit: Sal Farruggia

For those who can’t commit to a team but still want to be athletically active, LI-Kick has the answer. Pickup Play is a new option offered by the social sports community for busy Long Islanders.

"Pickup Play gives people the flexibility to come in, play for a night and go their own way," says LI-Kick owner Sal Farruggia. "There’s no commitment to join a league or bring friends. You can simply come in as an individual and participate. It’s also a way to try out new sports to see how you like it."

This format is offered in four different sports: soccer, dodgeball, pickleball and the newest addition, wallyball.

"Pickleball is a rapidly growing sport nationwide. It’s a game for everyone because it’s based on skill development rather than athleticism," says Farruggia. "Wallyball is indoor volleyball played on a racketball court where the ball can be hit off the side wall and still be in play."

People preregister up to seven days in advance then confirm with the LI-Kick director at the facility for a $20 per-night spot. On Mondays, pickup pickleball is held at Bethpage Park Tennis, Performance and Education Center at 8 p.m. Wednesdays feature pickup soccer at 360 Sports Center in Copiague at 9:30 p.m. and pickup dodgeball at Sid Jacobson Jewish Community Center in Roslyn at 8 p.m. Pickup wallyball is held on Fridays at Long Island Health & Racket in Bay Shore at 7 p.m. Sessions are typically two hours long.

"All ages and skill levels are welcome. I don’t care if they are in a league, playing a tournament or doing pickup play as long as people are having fun," says Farruggia. "We are on a mission to improve the social lives of adults across Long Island."

Laura Pollicino, 32, of Levittown works as a patient account representative for a health care system. However, to keep active in the evening she’s been playing pickup pickleball and wallyball games.

"Pickup play is more diverse than a league sport. Each week different people are playing so the teams are always rotating and changing," she says. "You can meet a whole bunch of new friends at a pickup."

COVID safety rules are in full effect as all players must wear masks, have their temperatures checked upon arrival and socially distance as much as possible. Additionally, all equipment is fully sanitized before each game.

HOW TO PLAY For more information, visit: li-kick.com/pickups or call 516-500-1386.

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