Great Wiffleball Myth
It is time to debunk the great wiffleball myth.
According to the myth, there is a question as to which game of wiffleball is superior - fast-pitch or slow-pitch? Actually, the myth is that the question is not really a question at all.
Why? Because so-called fast-pitch wiffleball is not really wiffleball.
It is lineball.
What is lineball? Lineball is the game we sometimes played as kids when we only had two players - a pitcher and a batter. Hits were obtained by hitting the ball over lines of varying distances drawn on the ground. Runs were scored when invisible men were forced across the plate. And of course, little or no defense was played.
This is exactly the same game currently being played in "fast-pitch wiffleball" tournaments all over the country. The only wrinkle in this "new lineball" is that adult fireballers are using the advanced technology of inventor David Mullany's incredible WiffleŽ Ball to throw virtually unhittable curve balls, while bored defensive players are stationed in the outfield attempting to make put outs by grabbing the occasional fly ball or one-hopper hit off of - check this out - wooden and aluminum bats.
In no way does new lineball resemble what happens on a baseball field. New lineball is nothing more than strikeout derby for pitchers. It allows a good pitcher to mow down a parade of batters - batters who never run the bases and do little moving around while playing the field.
Now we mean no disrespect to those who play in or organize new lineball tourneys. They love their game and for that we say "more power to them."
Of course, some people love going to batting cages or just playing catch, too.
So, enough of this lineball nonsense.
Only so-called "slow-pitch" wiffleball truly carries the torch as the rightful plastic descendant of baseball.
Consider the following. A six-foot home run fence on a miniature field, with defensive players frequently leaping high into the air and reaching over the wall to rob hitters of home runs. Double-plays, triple-plays, twelve-year-old players stealing home to win games. Fifty-year-old pitchers throwing magnificent junk and diving to make crucial putouts. Tense moments in games where defense and baserunners are as important as hitters and pitchers.
And best of all - home runs.
Not easy-to-come-by homers, for the fence is 85 to 100-feet away. But enough homers for a decent hitter to feel like Henry Aaron for a day. And pitches - while still coming in as huge breaking curves, sinkers and knucklers - are slow enough that hitters don't benefit from putting a fast bat to a lightning pitch.
The World WiffleŽBall Championship has it all. Defense. Homers. Great base running. Crafty pitchers. Defensive catchers. Base stealing. More action than baseball. And most importantly - by law - the Mullanys' magic WiffleŽ Ball and yellow plastic WiffleŽ Bat.
And fans! Hundreds of people hanging on the outcome of games - because the game looks like baseball and is exciting.
So, while you're surfing through the various tournaments posted on the Internet, ask yourself why you are looking to play wiffleball again?
For most of us, it's because we want to have fun playing a game that --- even if it's not actually baseball --- has all of the look, feel and excitement of baseball.