New Players are Welcome to Join In for Friday Afternoon Activity
At least once a week for more than 20 years, a group of state employees has gathered to play floor hockey on the grounds of the State Office Park South in Concord.
Tony Cacciola, a member of Chapter 5, has been part of it since the beginning. At the time, Cacciola was working at the State Hospital, and he said it started as something to do other than playing volleyball. Having grown up in Massachusetts playing hockey, floor hockey was a natural choice.
“At the time, it was folks from the hospital,” he said. “Then we got a couple from the admin building and so on and so forth. Later, we ended up sending out emails trying to recruit people.”
The group initially played three days a week, but as people moved on to new jobs, that began to change. Finally, when Cacciola went back to school and got a new job working for DoIT, he had to scale back to just one day a week. They’ve kept up that Friday game ever since 2004.
With people coming and going, and others getting injured, bringing in new players is always helpful. After the DHHS online messageboard included a photo and blurb about the weekly game, Cacciola said they’ve gotten nine or 10 potential new players. He added that they’d welcome even more interest, and said all experience levels are welcome.
“You really don’t have to have a lot of experience playing hockey,” Cacciola said. “We’ll work with you. We’ve got a guy who’s still trying to figure out if he’s a righty or a lefty. We just want to make sure everybody’s involved.”
Games are 40 minutes and, as you might imagine, are played on the gym floor. Recommended equipment includes a stick and shin guards. Gloves and eye protection are advisable but not required. Cacciola said any public sector worker is welcome to join up, and help keep the game going.
“It’s a great thing we’re doing, and I’m glad it’s still going on,” he said. “As far as I know, it’s the longest running activity in the office park.”
If you’re interested in checking out the league, you can start by contacting Cacciola at 271-2613, ext. 3 or firstname.lastname@example.org.