Mid Atlantic Whiffleball – May Update
The tweet below – from the producer of the “Boomer and Carton” show on New York’s WFAN radio station – was pointed out to me the other day.
(You can discuss this on the BSL Board here.)
Reactions like that are rather common. I just got back from my brother’s wedding where I felt like I got some variation of that from every other friend of his that I talked to. To most of the population, a Wiffle® Ball is a toy and toys are meant for kids. So the natural reaction is to assume that adults are using a children’s toy to play an easy kid’s game. The problem is that the Wiffle® Ball is only a toy in the same way a Frisbee, kick ball or soccer ball are toys. In the hands of kids, they can be used as toys. They can also be used by athletes (at least the weekend variety) as tools as part of a skilled, athletic game. Context – as always – is the key.
Imagine you lived your entire existence isolated somewhere, blissfully unaware of any popular American recreational sports. If one day I brought you out to a ball field and explained that there were two games you could play for fun on the weekends and that you should avoid choosing the “kid’s game”. One game involved throwing a small, perforated ball that moves in ways that seemingly defy physics at (sometimes) very fast speeds while another individual tries to hit the ball. The other game you could choose involves gently lobbing a grapefruit sized ball towards another individual who has plenty of time to muscle up in an attempt to hit the ball as far as possible. You tell me – which game sounds like the “kid’s game” when explained like that?
Nobody really questions the existence of slow pitch adult Softball because the ball never had the stigma of being labeled as “just a toy” and because the game is so engrained in our culture. Fast Pitch competitive Wiffle® Ball is the one with the stigma. Though I assure you, having tried my hand at both games and baseball, Wiffle® Ball is far more of an athletic and skilled game than slow pitch Softball and far closer of a facsimile of baseball.
None of this is meant as an indictment of Softball players, but rather an invitation to them. If you are a softball player living in the greater Baltimore area, I urge you to give one of the Mid Atlantic Wiffleball tournaments in York, PA a try this summer. You just might find what hundreds or thousands of other likeminded individuals have discovered over the years, which is that competitive Wiffle® Ball can quench you thirst for a baseball-like experience in ways that Softball simply cannot. Among the benefits I have heard listed over the years that the type of competitive fast pitch tournament Wiffle® Ball to be found in Mid Atlantic Wiffleball holds over Softball are:
- Minimal commitment – no need to buy expense equipment or find a weekly league to join, just grab a three dollar ball and bat set and enter whatever tournament best fits your schedule!
- No hassle – rather than rounding up 10 buddies to form a team, you need only to grab two to four friends to form a Wiffle® Ball team!
- No Running! A definite benefit for any aging and/or aching players who would rather not pull a hamstring while trying to beat out an infield single.
- An opportunity to try your hand at pitching – while it could be argued that there is some skill to pitching a softball in a slow pitch game, its nothing like the challenge and reward to trying to control and throw a Wiffle® Ball past a hitter. The need to have skillful pitchers makes Wiffle® Ball far more of a baseball-like game than Softball.
- Affordable and potentially lucrative – Mid Atlantic Wiffleball tournaments are only $100 per team per tournament and cash prizes are awarded to the winner of each tournament!
Those are just a few of the reasons why I would urge Softball players to give one of this summer’s tournaments a try. You might just be surprised about how fun and great of a game Wiffle® Ball can be. For those that do not play Softball for whatever reason but would nonetheless love to find a way to continue to play baseball after you hard ball days are over, we urge you to give a tournament a shot. You might find Wiffle® Ball to be just the thing you are looking for!
Mid Atlantic Wiffleball Notes:
- For a full recap of the April 29th “Opening Day” tournament, please visit the Upcoming & Past Tournaments results page at the Mid Atlantic Wiffleball website. This page includes a full tournament recap, game recaps, box scores, full stats, and more than a dozen highlight videos of the action!
- MAW’s next tournament is June 10th in York, Pennsylvania – just a 45 minute ride from downtown Baltimore. Four teams have already been confirmed for the even but we want you there as well so grab a group of friends, head over to the website, and register today!
- Can’t find a group of guys to play with on June 10th? Email us at ([email protected] or [email protected]) and we will find you a team to play with!