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  • Wiffle Ball mania

    So... the oldest of my four boys is playing fall baseball now, but the other three are off of sports at present... BUT there's a new fad at our house, and it's Wiffle Ball.

    The kids have gone crazy with it... we have a common area in the subdivision that's a little too narrow for a proper field, so they have squashed the diamond, which actually works great for a two-on-two game with baserunners. They have beaten bare spots into the grass, so that it is starting to look like one of those 80's baseball diamonds with the dirt areas only around the bases.

    They have written a rulebook with some basic rules -- pegs for outs, a camping chair strikezone that can catch a foul tip, no ghost runners, no gloves > 12 inches and the hands ARE part of the bat. Play is with genuine Wiffle balls and bat.

    My boys are 16, 13, 10, and 10. The better of the twins is teamed up with the 13 year old. They keep track of wins and losses, as well as pitching stats. The 13+10 team had the early lead in the season, but the batting of the "worse" twin has greatly improved, so the 16+10 team has won the last three matchups. The games are usually pretty close.

    It's been a lot of fun to play with them and to watch them play as well. I think that this Wiffle obsession (this started early in the year when they played on a tiny field in our basement) has really helped the twins with their baseball swings... Early in this year's spring season, the twins stuck out often in their baseball games, but by the end of the season, they were putting the ball in play consistently. For the older kids, I'm not seeing much of a benefit, but they are having a good time.

    How about you and yours? Any Wiffle ballers out there?

  • #2
    My 8 Year Old plays in the backyard whenever friends are over. They dont even allow me to hit much....I'm the designated pitcher.

    In mid1980s, we had a few 3 on 3 tournaments at my parents house. $50 a team double elimination, winner takes all. We had about 15 teams the last year, but then college and a real life took over. That was a blast.

    As a attorney, I like that your boys have a rule book. As everyone has different house rules, that stops a lot of brotherly, and friends, fighting.

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    • #3
      Every year, I go to a professional conference in June for work. Throughout the week of the conference, we're working long hours all day during the day. Doing so requires that we let loose a bit at night. Well, a few years ago 6 of us (from all different parts of the country) decided to blow off steam playing a bit of Wiffle in the park next to the conference hotel (followed by drinks at a local watering hole of course). Since then, it's turned into a major thing. I think most of us are actually still going to this event for the Wiffle ball more than the professional development. LOL.

      I must admit that it took us a year or two to totally get on the same page with rules. Guys from different parts of the country tended to use different house rules growing up, so we had to endure some negotiations. We play a version that doesn't require running (some of us are in better shape than others!). The height and distance of an uncaught batted ball determines how many bases the batter gets.

      But overall, a week of Wiffle with colleagues I tend only to see once a year has turned into something of a highlight to look forward to every June.

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      • #4
        When I was a kid, we used to literally play wiffle ball sunrise to sunset.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Scrub View Post
          Every year, I go to a professional conference in June for work. Throughout the week of the conference, we're working long hours all day during the day. Doing so requires that we let loose a bit at night. Well, a few years ago 6 of us (from all different parts of the country) decided to blow off steam playing a bit of Wiffle in the park next to the conference hotel (followed by drinks at a local watering hole of course). Since then, it's turned into a major thing. I think most of us are actually still going to this event for the Wiffle ball more than the professional development. LOL.

          I must admit that it took us a year or two to totally get on the same page with rules. Guys from different parts of the country tended to use different house rules growing up, so we had to endure some negotiations. We play a version that doesn't require running (some of us are in better shape than others!). The height and distance of an uncaught batted ball determines how many bases the batter gets.

          But overall, a week of Wiffle with colleagues I tend only to see once a year has turned into something of a highlight to look forward to every June.
          This is tremendous! I need to go to that conference.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by bbrages View Post
            So... the oldest of my four boys is playing fall baseball now, but the other three are off of sports at present... BUT there's a new fad at our house, and it's Wiffle Ball.

            The kids have gone crazy with it... we have a common area in the subdivision that's a little too narrow for a proper field, so they have squashed the diamond, which actually works great for a two-on-two game with baserunners. They have beaten bare spots into the grass, so that it is starting to look like one of those 80's baseball diamonds with the dirt areas only around the bases.

            They have written a rulebook with some basic rules -- pegs for outs, a camping chair strikezone that can catch a foul tip, no ghost runners, no gloves > 12 inches and the hands ARE part of the bat. Play is with genuine Wiffle balls and bat.

            My boys are 16, 13, 10, and 10. The better of the twins is teamed up with the 13 year old. They keep track of wins and losses, as well as pitching stats. The 13+10 team had the early lead in the season, but the batting of the "worse" twin has greatly improved, so the 16+10 team has won the last three matchups. The games are usually pretty close.

            It's been a lot of fun to play with them and to watch them play as well. I think that this Wiffle obsession (this started early in the year when they played on a tiny field in our basement) has really helped the twins with their baseball swings... Early in this year's spring season, the twins stuck out often in their baseball games, but by the end of the season, they were putting the ball in play consistently. For the older kids, I'm not seeing much of a benefit, but they are having a good time.

            How about you and yours? Any Wiffle ballers out there?
            Yes! Not enough backyard wiffleballers out there. When my daughter was 7 and first year of coach pitch, it was painful to watch because she never practiced outside of team, would never come to my batting cage and so the result was the typical coach has to pitch to the player's swing plane or it would be a swing and miss. About 1/2 way through the Summer season, my son and I had the opportunity to treat her like I did him at that age. We had a backyard wiffle ball game. I told her to "take the barrel to the ball". No lessons, just a visual. We were going to have fun. And we did. All of a sudden she was smashing wiffle balls all over the yard and we were having fun playing a game. Fast forward to the next coach pitch game and she made adjustments to the ball, as opposed to the coach needing to find her swing path. We play with softer foam balls in the basement, but her friends find their way into our basement for a game or two when they are over.

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            • #7
              So your team is preparing for your 3rd game of the day and the players are sluggish - throw out a wiffle ball and bat for pregame and watch the energy rise.
              "Whata crowd, whata crowd! I tell ya, I'm all right now but last week I was in rough shape..."

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              • #8
                I had a team two years ago that was filled with "headcase" type kids. They would get themselves wound so tightly. (I learned in later years to allow those kids to spread out during the draft--lesson learned). At any rate, when I would determine that they were starting to wind too tightly, I would hold a practice in which I did just what you suggest, Wally. I would bring a Wiffle ball and bat and no other gear, and let them have a blast for the 90 minutes of practice time. Then at the end I would simply remind them that this is fun and it should be when playing with 5 oz. hardball too.

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