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Issachar Conference Group

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Jacob Taylor
Jacob Taylor

Buy Wiffle Ball

Wiffle ball, a team sport developed in 1953 in Fairfield, Connecticut, is a scaled back variation of baseball designed for playing in a confined space.[1] The sport is played using a perforated light-weight plastic ball and a long hollow plastic bat. Two teams of one to five players each attempt to advance imaginary runners to home plate, and score, based on where each batter places the ball on the field. The term Wiffle ball may refer to the sport as a whole, or the ball used in the sport. Wiffle is a registered trademark of Wiffle Ball, Inc. and was derived from the slang word whiff meaning to strikeout.[1]

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Miniature versions of baseball have been played for decades, including stickball, improvised by children, using everything from rolled up socks to tennis balls. The ball most commonly used in the game was invented by David N. Mullany at his home in Fairfield, Connecticut in 1953[2] when he designed a ball that curved easily for his 12-year-old son. It was named when his son and his friends would refer to a strikeout as a "whiff". The Wiffle Ball is about the same size as a regulation baseball, but is hollow, lightweight, of resilient plastic, and no more than 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick. One half is perforated with eight .75-inch (19 mm) oblong holes; the other half is non-perforated. This construction allows pitchers to throw a tremendous variety of curveballs and risers.[citation needed]

In April 2011, the government of the State of New York proclaimed that wiffle ball, as well as kickball, freeze tag and dodgeball were a "significant risk of injury" for children, and declared that any summer camp program that included two or more of such activities would be subject to government regulation.[3] The story became a frequent source of ridicule and amusement, with sarcastically commenting, "According to new legislation introduced in New York State, to survive classic schoolyard games like capture the flag is to cheat death."[4] Wiffle ball executives originally thought the order was a joke. The company has never been sued over safety issues in its 50+ year history.[5] The disapproval of people from across the nation pressured the New York legislature to remove wiffle ball and other entries such as archery and scuba diving from the list of high-risk activities, that require state government oversight.[6]

To play the game, get a wiffle ball and a bat. If a bat is not available, a broomstick or other such stick may be used. Marking a playing field is not necessary, but if a field is marked, it is shaped like an isosceles triangle. The batter stands at the top of the triangle looking down the two equal sides that are about 60 feet in length. A ball hit about thirty feet counts as a "single" and a ball hit about 45 feet counts as a "double." When a ball is hit outside of the sides of the triangle, it counts as a foul ball. The line across the bottom of the triangle is about twenty feet in length, and a ball hit across this line counts as a "home run." Scoring of this game is similar to scoring in baseball as are the terms used, i.e., "single," "double," "foul ball" and "home run." However, there is no running around bases for the batter(s), and there is no chasing the ball for the pitcher and fielders.[9]

Tournaments have been the driving force in modern wiffle ball and have been held in the United States and Europe since 1977. That year, Rick Ferroli began holding tournaments in his backyard tribute to Fenway Park in Hanover, Massachusetts.[10] In 1980, the World Wiffle Ball Championship was established in Mishawaka, Indiana by Jim Bottorff and Larry Grau. With the explosion of the Internet in the 1990s, there are now hundreds of Wiffle ball tournaments played in the United States, most in the same place every year, with a few tournament "circuits". The World Wiffle Ball Championship remains the oldest tournament in the nation, having moved to the Chicago suburbs in 2013, after introducing regional stops over three decades in Baltimore; Los Angeles; Indianapolis; Eugene, Oregon; and Barcelona, Spain.[11] The tournament is featured at #27 in the book, "101 Baseball Places to Visit Before You Strike Out."[12]

There are many competitive wiffle ball leagues in the United States, which include the prominent American Wiffle Association (AWA)[15] or Major League Wiffle Ball (MLW),[16] although they are unrelated. Another one was a small wiffleball league started in June 2000 by Shaun Breen in the town of Cohoes, New York. The league operated until June 2004 and in its three years of operation it attracted players from Long Island, New York and garnered the attention of ESPN Magazine.[17]

The name has also been associated with a small league in the southwestern Illinois city of Granite City,[30] which has come to be a hub of the sport with the Lakeside Kings having won multiple world championships in the Wiffle Ball National Championship Series. The League's inaugural national championship was held in October 2001 in Granite City,[31]whose wiffle only stadium[32] has long been known for its similarity to Fenway Park and Busch Stadium.[33] The national championship was launched following a decade long increase in interest in the sport,[34] among fans and players of all ages.[35]

In 2013, the Greater Cincinnati Wiffleball League was founded in Cincinnati, Ohio. The GCWL season runs from May through October. Averaging 10 teams and over 50 players each season, it is recognized as one of the premier wiffleball leagues in the United States.

Some wiffle ball players have built fields to resemble major league ballparks. Thomas P. Hannon, Jr. authored a book, Backyard Ball, on his experiences building a smaller version of Ebbets Field. Patrick M. O'Connor wrote a book, Little Fenway, about building his versions of Fenway Park and Wrigley Field.[37] But not all wiffle ball fields have been modeled from major league ball parks. Some have created original fields, Strawberry Field in Encino, California being the most exquisite. Rick Messina spent over $700,000 constructing Strawberry Field, which features lights for night games, bleachers, and a press box.[38] He also converted a neighboring house into a clubhouse/pub.[39]

Building fields can lead to controversy and legal issues. In 2008, The New York Times published an article about Greenwich, Connecticut teenagers who were forced by the city to tear down a wiffle ball field they had built because of neighbor complaints.[40]

In his 2003 book The Complete Far Side, cartoonist Gary Larson reproduces a letter he received after including a "wiffle swatter" in his cartoon. The letter contains language from Wiffle Ball Incorporated's attorneys: "In the future, when you use the brand name WIFFLE, the entire brand should be capitalized, and it should only be used in reference to a product currently manufactured by The Wiffle Ball, Inc."[42][43] In 2009, video game developer Skyworks Technologies released a game based on Wiffle ball, simply titled Wiffle Ball.[44]

This inaugural season of unified league of competitive wiffle ball league will feature four weeks of league play and an end of the season tournament. All games will be played on Wednesday evenings. This league is competitive, therefore scores will be kept and rules will be enforced. Please understand that buddies will be not be provided for this competitive league. This league is for players age 13-30. If provided, practices will be at the discretion of the coach.

Stephen Mullany, who runs The Wiffle Ball Inc. with his brother David, poses in front of the machine that presses the two plastic ball halves together at a factory in Shelton, Conn. Mullany's grandfather invented the Wiffle Ball in the 1950s. Chris Arnold/NPR hide caption

Over the years, the Wiffle Ball has wound its way into the fabric of America. Those who don't even like baseball very much have taken a swing at that white plastic ball with the oval slots around one side.

Four balls at a time fall out of the bottom of the machine every eight seconds. And that's eventually enough to fill big crates full of Wiffle Balls that are then shipped out to thousands of toy stores around the country.

The Mullanys' grandfather, David N. Mullany, invented the Wiffle Ball. The story goes that in the early 1950s, he was an out of work semi-pro baseball pitcher, so he set about to make a ball that kids could throw curveballs with. And then he started selling the balls at a local diner.

Wiffleball is a simplified version of the game of baseball that is designed to be a miniature version of the game that is suitable to be played both indoor and outdoors, often in confined spaces. Such simplified baseball games have existed for decades in one form or another, but the modern game of Wiffle Ball came into existence in 1953 when a gentleman by the name of David Mullany designed an easily curvable ball for his 12 years old son.

The object for each team in Wiffle Ball is to score more runs than their opponent, thus winning the game. The game of Wiffle Ball itself also has an overriding objective, and that is to be a miniature game of baseball that requires very little equipment and can be played in a wide variety of places safely and enjoyably.

Scoring is done in Wiffle Ball by hitting the ball into a marked zone without it being intercepted by an opposition fielder. Hitting the ball into the single zone enables the player to advance one base, hitting into the double zone enables them to advance two bases, and a triple three bases. Hitting past the triple zone is a home run. Each player that completes the circuit and runs past the final base scores a run for the team.

The tournament kicked off at 9 a.m. with Eric Sr. reading the rules aloud, followed by a rendition of the national anthem and the releasing of dozens and dozens of biodegradable balloons to honor Little Eric, all the lives lost to pediatric cancer and all the children still fighting their fight. 041b061a72


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