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Kickball player banned from Tinder for using app to recruit teammates

Kickball player banned from Tinder for using app to recruit teammates
Gianna Pecchia used the dating app Tinder to help fill her team's roster for a Providence, R.I., Clubwaka kickball league. Photo courtesy of Clubwaka

May 11 (UPI) -- Rhode Island kickball player Gianna Pecchia was banned for life from Tinder when the service discovered she used the dating app to recruit teammates, according to adult kickball league Clubwaka.

"One day, I went to log in, and it said you're banned for life," Pecchia told Clubwaka.com. "For life! -- it seems a little severe. So that put a huge deterrent in my recruiting."

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A Tinder spokesperson told UPI on Wednesday that the company reviewed its decision and found that Pecchia was "banned appropriately."

Pecchia -- dubbed the "Kickball Cupid" -- told Clubwaka.com that she found 25 players through the app, including 18 for her team and another seven to help fill out other rosters in her league.

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"I would host dinner meet ups with people who were interested so that they could meet me and other people from the league," Pecchia told UPI.

"If we hit it off, and they liked everyone's personalities, they were added to our team. If they wanted more a competitive team, I would assign them to a different team who was competitive and looking for players."

Tinder guidelines state that "soliciting other users is prohibited."

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"It's fine to invite your matches to something that you're doing, but if the purpose of your profile is to advertise your event or business, non-profit, political campaign, contest, or to conduct research, we may delete your account," the Tinder guidelines stipulate.

Pecchia, 30, said she also used Bumble BFF to find potential kickball recruits. Clubwaka general manager Johanna Hueber told the Boston Globe that he backs Pecchia's efforts.

"I fully support it and totally encourage her," Hueber said. "This is ingenious. ... It's a great way for people to end up meeting people."

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Hueber said that the Rhode Island league features a season-best 245 players and 15 teams. Pecchia told Clubwaka.com that she struggled with social anxiety before she joined the league five years ago.

Clubwaka, formerly known as the World Adult Kickball League, operates in 15 states. Dallas, Boston, Phoenix, Miami, Los Angeles, New Orleans, San Francisco and Las Vegas are among major cities that host Clubwaka leagues.

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