Category Archives: Uncategorized

They’re Playing Wiffleball In Argentina now…

I discovered this league called Wiffleball Argentina this afternoon. They’ve uploaded a handful of videos so far. They are ahead of many leagues just starting out in the regard that they have and use a strike zone board. My Spanish isn’t what it used to be so I can’t translate much in the description of their videos. What I can make out is that they play in San Miguel, Argentina. But Argentina is just another country outside of the United States that we’ve noticed starting to play wiffleball over the past few years. This is the first league we, at Wiffler’s Digest, have seen in South America though.


U.S. Government Shut Down Affects Potomac Wiffleball League

The Potomac Wiffl64852_10151336747155073_2107646425_ne League is presently in the midst of their summer season playoffs but the pressure has not only been on the teams striving to get to the top but on the league’s commissioner, Chris Gallaway, to maintain a place for them to play. “We’ve actually had a scare [like this] once but it was averted,” Galloway commented. The PWL normally plays at Gravelly Point Park in the George Washington Memorial Parkway National Park but due to the U.S. Government shutdown that began October 1, all national parks have been closed and effectively putting Galloway, and his league, in a jam. “Now…it’s not like there is a gate [to the park] or anything, it’s a wide open area. But, legally, it’s closed, and they’d kick us off, and probably never give us a permit again if we played there during the shut down.”

“We were REALLY close to being done with the season,” Galloway admitted. But anyone who knows Chris Galloway knows that he is rarely caught off guard. “I knew this was a possibility, so I went ahead and booked a backup field, rented from the county of Arlington, Virginia not far from our fields.” The new facility they are playing at is a soccer complex that is similar to Soccer First in which the NWLA Tournament was played this year. An unforeseen perk to the move is that they have been able to play under the lights instead of relying completely on sunlight.

It’s easy to forget just how far the effects of the government shut down reaches. It’s been since 1995 since we last had a government shut down and it’s unclear just how long this present shut down will last. Could Galloway be forced to find a permanent new home for the PWL? Perhaps. This is a problem that could be facing many leagues if there is no resolution before spring.

WSEM’s Latest Podcast

Wiffle in Southeast Michigan has done it again. “It” of course means release another fabulous podcast episode. Lately they’ve done a great job focusing on the national level of the sport rather than their own league. This time Carl Coffee, Brandon Corbett, and Alex Shore hosted the podcast with interviews with PWL’s Chris Gallaway and the entire roster of OCWA’s Freaky Franchise. These two interviewees won a lot of NWLA Wiffy Awards in 2012 and Coffee, Corbett, and Shore had plenty of questions for them. This episode quite robust and lengthy, finishing at around 45 minutes.

If you listen to the end of the podcast you’ll notice a taste of what’s to come in the next episode that’s due for release in mid-January. There will be interviews with members from the Tampa Bay Wiffleball League and yours truly (Josh Smith) of Wiffler’s Digest. Tampa Bay will be beginning their season by that point and I will be plugging the latest issue of the magazine. I know it’s been a long wait but much work has went into this long lost issue recently and it should be ready by New Year’s Day. It will be a long issue (probably longer than the last) and will feature an interview with Sean “Wiffleboy” Steffy and many other articles. This issue has been a long time coming and I can only offer an apology for it not coming out sooner. 2013 should feature more regular publication of issues.

WWL 2012 Defensive Highlights

Washburn Wiffleball League out of New York has given the web some impressive weekly videos this past summer. Now they have began releasing highlight footage showcasing their best plays. We can only assume that there will be an offensive highlights video coming soon. WWL sent a team to the NWLA Tournament in July and did quite well, showing that they are well-trained baseball players who can apply those same methods in wiffleball. Their background in baseball is evident in this video as plays at first seem commonplace. Washburn is already hard at work on making 2013 a memorable season. Brandon Corbett, of Wiffle Logos Resource, has been keeping everyone up to date on leagues adding new teams. Washburn has added two new teams – the Southampton Senators and the Livingston Lightning. The addition of the new teams brings WWL up to 8 teams for 2013 and there could be more to come.

This Month in Wiffleball Reaches 20 Episodes

Yes, it’s hard to believe that there are already 20 episodes of the highly popular This Month in Wiffleball. Palisades WBL had been marching to the beat of their own drum for a few years now and are making noticeable strides at becoming bigger and better. This year they reached 10 teams and the standings were tighter than ever. They launched their GTSOH bat, which has received rave reviews. 2012 has been without a doubt their year and we can only hope that next year will be even better. Palisades continues to be the exception to show leagues that you don’t have to necessarily join Golden Stick to be in a highly-competitive fast pitch wiffleball league. Congratulations to the Mets for winning the 2012 title this year.

Junkball Unveils Commercial

The commercial speaks for itself but the “Junk Ball USA! Woo!” at the end is really what sells this product. Am I right? Anyone? No? Fair enough.

Unstoppable? Could Freaky Franchise really go all the way?

Disclaimer: This article will not likely appeal to anyone who is not affiliated in some way with the NWLA. If you are not informed on the fantasy tournament that takes place at the end of the year then avert your eyes to another story on the site. If you’d like to know more about the subject then you may benefit from visiting the NWLA website where you can learn more. Please withhold any comments about how the premise of such an event is preposterous. If you play in tournaments or are involved with Golden Stick – awesome. However, commenting on how your team would destroy any team in the tournament will not be approved for posting. Those types of comments become a catalyst for divisive discussion in the wiffleball community and this is not the place for it. So if you are relatively knowledgeable or interested in this yearly fantasy tournament feel free to continue reading. If you just don’t “get it”, that’s fine. This article just won’t be your cup of tea. It’s all good.

Freaky Franchise. It’s a name that has crossed the lips of almost everyone who has been paying attention to wiffleball in 2012. Last April they graced the virtual pages of the March/April issue of Wiffler’s Digest magazine where I ranted about their success from the 2011 season and the likelihood that they would repeat that success. At the time not everyone was so convinced of the prophecy. But in July when Freaky Franchise trekked to Ohio they meant business. I got a front row seat to the beat down they would lay on the NWLA teams from across the eastern half of the country. I caught my first glimpse of them at the London Wiffleball Tournament the afternoon before the NWLA tournament was scheduled to begin. When I was not ducking in and out of tents to escape the scattered rain showers and chatting with players I had met the year before, I was scouting the talent. I wanted to get a feel for what the teams had to offer. Only three of the leagues participating in the NWLA tournament decided to play in the London Wiffleball Tournament as well. Kalamazoo had a separate team for London and another team resting for the tournament in Columbus. OCWA’s Freaky Franchise participated in both tournaments as did WSEM.

Pre-NWLA Tournament power rankings were generally unkind to Freaky Franchise but that would change once we all started to see what they were capable of doing on the field. Time and time again they crushed teams with home runs and spectacular catches. They seemed to move in slow motion. Their style was well rehearsed and perfectly executed. However, in the end they did not make it very far in the London Wiffleball Tournament but that was not the reason they came to Ohio. As I watched them I could tell they were playing but not necessarily competing. Their eyes wandered as if to suggest that their minds were not set to dominate the competition in London. Perhaps they were trapped in the unique  atmosphere that the London Wiffleball Tournament is known for and therefore did not rise to the occasion. Most teams play in that particular tournament for fun while the rest work tirelessly to glory. More could be said but let’s stick to the topic at hand.

By the fourth round of the tournament, I felt that I (along with two friends who had come to assist me film the event) had seen enough and decided to pack up and head back to Columbus. When the tournament began it did not take long to see which teams were going to do well and which were not. Freaky Franchise looked to be among the best teams and indeed won the NWLA Tournament. They only lost one game during pool play and were undefeated when the actual tournament began. They reigned victorious in Columbus! I should also mention that they went 20-0 in their league, won their second consecutive OCWA title, and are considered to be the #1 team in the country (according to the latest rankings). Shall I go on? Yes? Okay.

Let’s consider the three remaining teams in the tournament: Manchester Punchouts, Bad Meets Evil, & Whiteford Wicked Aces. Let’s begin with the team Freaky Franchise now faces off against in the bracket – the Punchouts. At 26-2 and ranked #4 in the country, the Punchouts are no pushovers. However, I feel that Freaky Franchise will advance past them. The Punchouts could have possibly won the WSEM championship if they had not forfeited games in the series. Two of their players (Evan Bortmas & Sam Hatt) were on the WSEM’s Big Wood team which represented the league in the NWLA tournament. Big Wood did not make it to the finals but Sam Hatt was one of the top 5 pitchers in the entire tournament with a 2-1 record, 1.67 ERA, and 47 K in only 18 innings pitched. However, it’s important to note that Ryan Bush still outperformed Hatt by going 5-0 with 68 K and a 0.96 ERA. Freaky Franchise appears to have an advantage in the batter’s box as well. Three out of the top ten hitters in the tournament were Freaky Franchise players. Only one of the ten were from Big Wood (Sam Hatt). So it’s safe to say that Freaky Franchise has a clear advantage at the plate against the Punchouts and would likely advance past them were they ever to meet and play each other.

So far we’ve established that Freaky Franchise, at least in the scenario I’ve listed, would make it to the championship. But who do they play for the title? On the other side of the bracket  Whiteford Wicked Aces (WSEM) battles Bad Meets Evil (BWBLPA). Freaky Franchise is likely to defeat whichever team advances to the championship. The Wicked Aces won the WSEM title partially due to the absenteeism of the Punchouts but that’s not to discount the power that this team has on the mound. Austin Bischoff is one of the league’s best pitchers and certainly did impress when he played for Big Wood in the NWLA Tournament. The Wicked Aces were 1-3 against the Punchouts so if the Franchise can defeat the Punchouts they can beat Whiteford Wicked Aces.

But let’s say that Bad Meets Evil beats Whiteford Wicked Aces. It’s a plausible scenario, after all they are 20-0 and the #3 team in the country (according to the rankings). Should be a tough decision, right? But so little is actually known about the style of play in BWBLPA that it’s tough to say just how good Bad Meets Evil really are. What can be said is that out of the four teams left in the tournament they have the highest team batting average and that could count for something. But what is the level of competition in their league? Are they fast pitch? These are important questions to consider for such a hypothetical matchup. This uncertainty of the talent of Bad Meets Evil gives me comfort in my choice to vote for Freaky Franchise as the victors of this tournament. Furthermore, I’m not sure I’m even comfortable voting for Bad Meets Evil over Whiteford Wicked Aces.

Maybe all of this was over analysis. Perhaps portions of my assumptions may be inaccurate to a degree in which you may disagree. Whatever the case, I am pretty certain that Freaky Franchise has what it takes to take on what remains of the competition. I’ve enjoyed picking winners of this tournament more than before since I’ve had the privilege of seeing how this tournament can turn out when some of these titanic teams collide. It’s made each round more fun as I have learned more about each league’s style and skill. I think that’s something all of us can agree on. I hope all of you have had as much fun voting for the winners of this tournament as I have. Here’s how I think the four remaining teams stack up. Perhaps it may help you decide who you think could win it all.