Wednesday, March 2, 2011

10 Rules of Wiffle

As a kid chances are you played Wiffle Ball. The plastic ball that moved with the wind and the yellow plastic bat provided many an hours worth of entertainment to kids who couldn't play baseball due to yard and housing restrictions. We all loved it and best of all it didn't hurt when you got hit by the ball.

My good friends over at Big League Wiffle Ball asked me to out together a list of rules for wiffle ball to be published on their site. While you can read the article here, I decided to share the list with all of you as well. So here are the 10 Rules of Wiffle. And by all means, visit our friends at Big League Wiffle Ball and check for our interview with them next podcast!

The 10 Rules of Wiffle

1.) Know the Rules
I don't mean these rules.  Different players, different rules.  At the outset make sure you set up your base rules.  If you're not sure about any rules, ask.  How many strikes, how many balls, how do base runners work?  This and #10 are probably the most important rules out there.  Memorize them.  Know them better than your social security number, your birthday, and your anniversary.  Actually scratch that.  You probably forgot the last one anyway.  You're so inconsiderate.

2.) Respect the Ghost Runner
The beauty of wiffle ball is that you can play with as little as four people.  This is only an issue when it comes time to have base runners.  If the ghost runner is on second and the person at the plate hits a double that ghost runner is scoring.  Never, ever argue that it stopped at third because it had a pulled ghost ham string.

3.) Don't Abuse the Ghost Runner
At the same time, don't be a jerk with your base runner.  If you hit a single then there's no chance that your ghost runner on first gets to home plate let alone third base.  Use common sense.  Don't abuse it.  Your ghost runner is not Willie Mays Hayes.  No matter how fast you think you may be, your ghost runner isn't pulling a single into a three bagger like Ichiro, Robinson, or Clemente.

4.) No Stealing
Chances are there's no catcher, just a square where the strike zone is.  Roughly.  If you're on base there's no one stopping you.  Stealing in wiffle ball is like taking candy from a baby.  After you punched it.  And turned over the stroller.  And stole their bottle.

5.) Never Use a Glove
A small round piece of plastic is not going to test your manhood.  A mild stinger is survivable.  There is absolutely no need to wear a ball glove when trying to catch something that is about as heavy as a small rock and will do as much harm as an amazingly powerful high five.  Which you'll get after your amazingly awesome barehanded diving catch.

6.) Know When "You Hit It You Get It" Applies
For such a cheap, little ball they are like gold.  There is nothing worse than losing all of your balls (hur hur) in the middle of a game.  For this there is the "You hit it, you get it" rule.  It loosely means if you lose the ball by your bat you have to go track it down.  This applies in most cases, with the exception of a home run.  The opposing team having to track down your sweet dinger adds to their humiliation and your awesome.  Any other time, go get it.

7.) Have Clear Fair/Foul Markings
Use anything you can.  A fence post, a building corner, anything.  Just make sure it's clearly marked.  Never use "the black scrape on the wall" or "the fifth brick up".  It's far too confusing and leads to way too many debates.  Which leads to someone getting swung on.  By a bat.

8.) No Free Base If You're Hit
The wiffle ball is not hard.  It's hollow.  And plastic.  No matter how hard it's thrown it's not going to harm you.  Maybe a minor stinger at best.  Suck it up.  Stay and home and take your hacks.  If you're good you'll get more than that one base anyway.

9.) Respect Home Field Advantage
The home team gets to pick who is up first and who is down last.  None of this first to the top of the bat nonsense.  They set the boundaries and you respect them.  You don't go into someone elses house and start bossing them around, do you?  Behave accordingly.

10.) Just Have Fun
I know it's sappy and silly but in the end it's true.  Even though it's a competition it's still a game.  The whole point of games is to have fun.  If you're having fun, take the stick out and relax because as the internet adage says, "You're doing it wrong"

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