Padua to enter world record book after kickball game in Parma

June 01, 2011  |  Posted by Susan Ketchum

Padua Franciscan students are kicking back a little this week, after kicking their way into the Guinness Book of World Records Sunday.

Students from the Parma school’s Peer Ministry, Teen Institute and Key Club divided into two teams and began playing kickball at 3 p.m. May 27. By the time the game ended at 6 p.m. May 29, they had played 474 innings with a final score of 431-306. The 51 consecutive hours of kickball were enough to earn the title of world’s longest continuous kickball game.

The 40 teens played in hot, beating sunshine and cold rain, said history teacher Roseanne Cook, coordinator of the event. The players got about two hours of sleep for every eight hours they played. They stayed near the field at all times, even when attending mass, which was offered several times to accommodate the game.

“The weather was extreme, but we played through,” Cook said. “I could not be more proud of these kids. They played through the elements, they played through the pain and fatigue, they raised a lot of money for pediatric cancer, and they are better people for it.”

The Guinness Book will verify the record after Cook submits video of the event and precise records, including the score after each inning and which students were playing at the time. The previous record was 50 innings, set by a school in Texas.

The game is organized through Kick-It, which raises money for children’s cancer research. The game raised more than $10,000 for the cause. Quinn Clarke, 10, who founded Kick-It in Northeast Ohio, was at the State Road school for the beginning and end of the game.

Cook came up with the idea as one of the 50 events Padua plans in the next year to celebrate its 50th anniversary. She thanked Campus Minister Bob Grgic, Teen Institute Advisor Joan Giulivo and the rest of the Padua faculty, staff, and parents who helped throughout the weekend.

“This is the kind of event that shows what Padua Franciscan High School is all about. It was indeed a community event.”

The original intent was to play for 52 innings, but the decision was made to end after setting the record at 51 innings because of fatigue and an impending storm, Cook said. Heavy rain hit about 20 minutes after the game ended.

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