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Cover Story: Hot Wiff

A Game for the Passionate

By Katie Moser · May 31st, 2001 · Cover Story
  It's one, two strikes you're out at Wifflepalooza
It's one, two strikes you're out at Wifflepalooza

Some people are passionate for a sport because they get paid millions to play. Others are passionate for a sport because of the bragging rights -- like the hearty souls who organized Wifflepalooza, a 3-on-3 wiffle ball tournament with the slogan, "We've Got the Balls, You Bring the Game."

This summer, die-hard players from all over the region -- from Canton to Louisville to Pittsburgh -- are bringing their passion and their yellow plastic bats to Robert W.

Short Park in Newtown for the second annual Wifflepalooza.

"It's competitive, but it's fun," organizer Matt Gray says. "There are so many avid wiffle ball players out there that we try to give them a place to play. Wifflepalooza is well-run, and we listen to the players. The environment is really positive."

The event was so popular in its inaugural year that Gray decided to host two events. The first is June 16, the second Aug. 4. Registration deadline is two weeks before each tournament, and up to 60 teams can play at each event. (Last year 28 teams competed.)

The registration fee is $25 per player, with a maximum of four players per team. A portion of the proceeds go to the Newtown Park and Recreation Board.

Wifflepalooza is divided into two rounds ­ a qualification round (aka division play) and a single-elimination round (aka tournament play). The basic rules include five innings, two outs per inning, two strikes for a strikeout, five balls for a walk and the backwards K, which honors good pitching by recording when the batter looks at a called second strike.

Wifflepalooza belongs to any team who has the stamina and the pitching to hang on. Last year's champions, the Dukes, were a wild card team that came back to win it all. Of course, by "all" we mean a trophy and, most importantly, the bragging rights.

Let the wiffs begin.

WHO: Wifflepalooza 2001. · WHEN: Two tournaments, June 16 and Aug. 4. First pitch is 10 a.m. · WHERE: Robert W. Short Park, Debolt Road, Newtown. · TICKETS: Free to watch. · INFO: www.wifflepalooza.com.



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