2018-05-24 / Front Page

Champs Kick It Up a Notch

By James Merolla

After high-fives with their opponents as they walked off the field, the Ball Busters kickball team raised their hands again showing six fingers. That's how many times they have won the league playoffs. They have dubbed their sixth title "The Blitz for Six." The league was started in 2011 and their credo for success is simple: know the rules of the game, support your teammates, have fun, and know where the after-game party is being held. After high-fives with their opponents as they walked off the field, the Ball Busters kickball team raised their hands again showing six fingers. That's how many times they have won the league playoffs. They have dubbed their sixth title "The Blitz for Six." The league was started in 2011 and their credo for success is simple: know the rules of the game, support your teammates, have fun, and know where the after-game party is being held. “Break up the Ball Busters!”

That was one of the few printable chants on May 21 in Morton Park after the Ball Busters won their sixth title in seven seasons in Newport’s Kickball League.

It marked the end of the 11- game season for the 12-team league, with the Ball Busters winning their semifinal match against Saved by the Balls, 4-3 in extra innings, then nicking Something Inappropriate in a five-inning nail-biter, 1-0, to take the crown.


At first base, Bobby Dyl of Ball Busters stretches back to the bag as the ball is caught by a player on team Something Inappropriate. (Photo by James Merolla ) At first base, Bobby Dyl of Ball Busters stretches back to the bag as the ball is caught by a player on team Something Inappropriate. (Photo by James Merolla ) Yes, the team names, usually a pun on round spheres, border on the edge of permissible.

“It’s competitive. It’s fun. And I get to yell a lot,” said Lauren “Maude” Ferri, second baseman for the Ball Busters. “We won two squeakers. It started with defense. We shut them down with our defense. But, seriously, we couldn’t do the league without our sponsors.”

Patrick Sampson, also of the Ball Busters, knows no limitations, despite holding a gluten free beer in his hands. “Why did we win? I’d say myself (mocking laughter heard) and then the eight other people on the team. Everybody played great,” he said.

They called their sixth title “The Blitz for Six.” Players dove into first base, slid into second, crashed into each other and generally reverted to their childhood recess or gym classes.

After the champs held on, nipping a final rally, Something Inappropriate congratulated them appropriately. Then, everyone picked a nice spot on the grassy hills and popped open cans that held various beverages.

The league began in 2011 with autumn and spring seasons, the brainchild of Carson and Lindsey Turowski after they played enough email tag with 100 friends to realize this would be a good idea. More than 300 players and 14 championships later, kickball thrives in the city.

Players must be 21, and there must be at least three women per team who are fielding and batting at all times. A team may not play more than nine players at any time. Pinch runners are only allowed due to ejection or injury.

Although trash-talking is permitted, league rules stipulate that it can’t be cruel, racially motivated, hateful or a personal attack on another player.

The language uttered on May 21 over the course of four games was only slightly less colorful than the hot pink and blazing orange uniforms of the teams.

Postgame gatherings are held at various pubs, bars and restaurants. The league pumps thousands of dollars into the local economy, and it also supports a cause each season, such as the Newport Summer Concert Series or to cover the cost of children’s registration fees for various local sports leagues.

As one player said as he walked off Morton Field and into the sunset, “We take these games very seriously. And what happens afterward, we take even more seriously.”

For more information, visit rikickball.org.

Return to top