We all know about the popular league up in Kalamazoo. The Kalamazoo Wiffle League has been one of the premier wiffleball leagues in the nation for some time now. But there is another league — in the very same state as the famed KWL — that is really intriguing wiffleball fans around the country.
Wiffleball in Southeast Michigan (WSEM) is a league name most weren’t familiar with a year or two ago. But recently, and this upcoming year especially, I believe they’ll be turning many more heads. After fielding a very successful first year, highlighted by the WSEM champions, Git r’ Done, finishing as the #5 ranked team in the NWLA Final Rankings for 2011. Git r’ Done was surrounded in the final rankings by notable powerhouses such as CCWA’s (#4) Eastside Expos, PWL’s (#6) Blandsford Barnburners, and KWL’s (#3) Belly Itchers. Their 2nd season should produce a huge leap in success and the year may catapult WSEM up with the nation’s elite NWLA leagues.
They’ve proven themselves to have the talent necessary to make such a jump. Another thing worth noting is that their website was ranked 5th best in the country very recently. If you surf their site, at http://wiffleinsemistandings.blogspot.com/, you’ll find in-depth and up-to-date information. It’s certainly an impressive site for a newer league.
Also, they host one of the better podcasts in wiffleball. This is what got them initial mass interest among fanatics of the plastic, and it is still going strong. Podcasts are an excellent way to follow a league. While reading updates is also a great way to keep up, actually being able to hear the opinions and facts of those involved with the league is stellar when it comes to becoming familiar with the league, it’s teams, and it’s players.
WSEM has it’s stuff together. It’s been made clear through the actions of the league’s higher-ups that they are not only organized in a manner that makes sense, they are extremely knowledgeable of the game’s history. While they expanded from eight to 10 teams, they decided to split them into two five-team divisions. One of the divisions was named the Garcia Division, after Michigan wiffle legend Alan Garcia, who was a part of Michigan’s Wifflehouse. The other division has been dubbed the Ringler Division, named after Michigan’s Fat Bastard commissioner David Ringler. Another cool aspect to these divisions are their respective logos. The Garcia Division logo features a home plate-shaped outline, meant to represent the division’s five teams with it’s five corners. Also, the home plate is flipped to look like a house, representing Wifflehouse. The Ringler Division logo’s outline is a wiffleball ball. There are five holes that represent the five teams, and in both division’s logos, there are yellow bats to represent offense, while the league logo itself represents the defensive and pitching sides.
While many leagues play schedules from anywhere between 8- to 16-game seasons, each of the WSEM’s 10 teams play 28 games in their regular season. Each team plays 4 games against their in-division rivals, and 2 games against 4 of the 5 inter-division teams, while playing 4 games against an inter-division rival. I couldn’t think of a better way to preserve a 28-game season, and the way this league is run is just awesome.
There are several different types of leagues in the wiffleball world. Premier leagues, leagues on the downhill, small leagues, and up-and-coming leagues. I love following all wiffleball leagues, but I personally take interest into leagues on the upswing, such as WSEM.
While the Central Region of wiffleball has been dominated by the likes of Home Run League: Twin Cities and Kalamazoo Wiffle League for years past, it is my prediction that 2012 will mark the beginning of a 3-headed monster, with Wiffle in Southeast Michigan joining the two aforementioned Goliaths of the Midwest wiffleball world.