Wiffle ball is now a very popular sport in the USA probably because of the fact that it is similar to baseball but requires less space.
Unlike baseball, it can be played indoor and the equipment required is also inexpensive. Another big difference between both the games is in Wiffle ball any lightweight ball can be used as a ball, the ball which is most commonly used in this game was invented by David N. Mullany in 1953. It is also known as curveball.
Wiffle ball became quite popular in kids in 2011 but then the government of New York state declared this game as unsafe for children. However, as per the parents the Wiffle ball is a safe game for children and by using the right equipment they can experience the joy and excitement equal to playing baseball.
However, the game of Wiffleball is still quite popular in the USA, Spain and a few other countries. Kids and adults of ages can be seen playing it in backyards, city streets, beaches and anywhere they find enough space to play it.
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Object of Playing Wiffle Ball
The object of the game is to score more runs than your opponent. The runs are scored in similar fashion as in baseball. There is a pitcher who throws the ball and there is a batter from the opposite team who hits the ball. By hitting the ball in different zones, you become eligible to run certain bases.
How to Play?
Wiffle ball is played between two sides of equal number of players. Both teams bat alternatively in up to 7 innings, with every team having their batters scoring runs by hitting every pitch coming from the pitcher’s hands. There are scoring zones and by hitting the ball into a certain scoring zone you get the opportunity to run that number of runs. The other side tries to stop the batter from scoring runs by getting him out in different ways.
The complete set of rules covering Wiffleball can be read below along with the equipment required and dimensions of the playing field.
General Rules of the Game
- Wiffle ball can be played individually, on one-on-one bases or each team can have up to 10 players.
- There are different scoring zones which allow you to run a certain number of bases.
- Like there is a single zone, by hitting the ball in this zone you can run one base. Similarly, there is a double and triple zone. By hitting the ball in the triple zone, you can make a home run, which means you can run all 3 bases and a run is scored.
- There is no base stealing and running, so there is no mode of dismissal while running.
- Failure to hit the ball 3 times within these three pitches results in batter given out.
- You can be out in two ways. By either being caught in the field or missing the ball three times.
- The innings finish when three batters from a side are out or every batter has batted for 3 to 4 pitches, it can vary.
- The team with the most number of runs at the end of the game is declared winner.
- In case of draw another inning is played and the winner is determined at any cost.
To decide who will bat first, a coin toss takes place between the two captains of the team.
Time Duration of the Game
Wiffle ball can be played in two ways. Either they set up a time limit of 30-50 minutes, the team scoring more runs in a combined number of innings during this duration is declared the winner.
No new inning is started when less than one minute is left for the end of the game. Or, it can be played in 5-7 innings per side. The team that’d score more runs in these 5-7 innings combined will be declared winner.
The Wiffle ball is played in a triangular field with three bases. It can also be played indoor if you have enough space to mark three bases around you. There is a batting box, behind which a black strike zone sits instead of a catcher. This zone is 24 by 28 inches.
In general, you may not find Wiffle ball fields with any such specifications. People set up bases and zones as per the space available.
Wiffle ball is an inexpensive sport and all you need is a bat and ball to start playing.
Bat: In casual games, this bat can be anything from a badminton racket to any object that fulfills the objective. However, there are wiffle ball bats available but they don’t have any specific dimensions.
Ball: The wiffle ball’s ball is usually light in weight and of white colour.
Roles of Players
In a game of Wiffle ball, following roles are fulfilled by players from both sides.
Pitcher: A pitcher is the one who throws the ball to the batter. Unlike baseball, the pitcher and fielders don’t wear hand gloves while catching or pitching.
Batter: A batter is the one who faces the ball and hits it to any scoring zone to run a few bases.
Fielders: The rest of the players field in different zones to catch the ball in order to get the batter out.
Numerous Wiffle ball tournaments are held in the USA at national level for both adults and kids.
There is no governing body of the game at international level. The game is still in its early days and is played with slight variations in the rules and in different fields at different levels.