Tom's Wiffle Ball Page

Welcome to Tom's Wiffle Ball Page! In this page you can learn how to hit, pitch,
and throw a Wiffle Ball, as well as how to pick your playing field
and equipment. Enjoy, and most of all, learn something!

HOW TO PLAY WIFFLE BALL
The two ways of playing Wiffle ball are as follows: The official way, and The funner way.

THE OFFICIAL WAY:
The pitcher stands 42 feet away from the batter. Behind the batter is a box or something else to determine
the strike zone. if it hits the box, its a strike. If not, its a ball. You get 3 strikes per at bat (unlimited foul balls)
and 4 balls (2 outs per side). The fence is 100 feet away in dead center and like 75 down the lines. from right to left field corner
is 70 feet. If you hit a grounder past the pitcher, its a single, a fly past him its a double, unless it goes 26+ feet
past him, then its a triple. If it clears the fence, its a home run. There can be 3 or less people per team, and the
teams can be uneven. I think you can only have 1 or 2 pitchers per game, but im not sure. There are no baserunners,
just ghosties. Ghost runners advance the same number of bases as the person who got the hit to advance them.
I might have missed something, or i might have gotten some of the field dimensions wrong, but thats the general idea.
I tried playing Wiffle ball the official way a few times, and its not as fun as the less formal, backyard way.

THE FUN WAY:
The pitcher stands a reasonable distance from the batter, try to get around 40 feet. There is no box or anything for a strike zone.
3 strikes per batter, 3 outs per side. You can play with or without called strikes, but there are no balls. The reason for the no balls rule
(Yes, I know that sounds funny) is because Wiffle balls are so hard to control, especially when you throw some of the junk
that can be thrown. The foul lines should be at about 90 degrees, like in baseball, and you can set reasonable distances
for singles, doubles, triples and home runs. You can play with or without baserunners, but its better without.
With ghost runners, they advance the same amount of bases as the batter who advanced them, unless it was
a really hard hit ball, or it landed really close to the next type of hit, then they advance 1 extra base. Any error is an
automatic single, except for dropped fly balls, which are the area they land on. Thats really
all there is to it, although i might have overlooked something important.

When you play, no matter which way you play, change some of the rules to suit your 'field' or playing style better
dont just blindly use my rules.

HOW TO CATCH/THROW A WIFFLE BALL
When catching a Wiffle ball, ALWAYS, i repeat, ALWAYS, use 2 hands. Wiffle balls are really light, and when popped
up they spin very very fast, making then very hard to catch. A pop up in Wiffle ball is never a sure thing, but it can
be a lot closer if you use two hands. Also, catch it more like a football then a baseball. dont cup your hands and wait
it, wait for it to come down to about a foot over your head then kind of clap your hands on to it, but gently. this
stops the ball from hitting your hands and just rolling out of them, but nomatter how good you do it, its still hard.
all i can say is, good luck.
Throwing a wiffle ball straight, isn't easy, but its doable. Throw straight overhand, and grip it like the picture below.

Thats all there really is to know about throwing a wiffle ball straight, which, by the way, i wouldnt advise for
pitching, even for a fastball.

HOW TO PITCH IN WIFFLE BALL
This is the best part. When you pitch in Wiffle ball, you really dont need a windup or anything, just step
and throw. Below are the pitches i throw, although doing the same thing with the same grip may turn
out to be a drastically different pitch for you than it is for me. Also, if you are left-handed, the pitches
are VERY likely not to work the same way for you. One last thing, I recommend learning a whole bunch of pitches,
because thats what wiffle ball pitching is all about, plus only 3 to 5 pitches work for me on any given day, so
the more junk i (or you) know, the better.

FASTBALL
throw it fast with this grip, at an arm angle in-between straight over hand and three quarters. This grip makes
the ball move a lot more than a simple throw grip, so aim it up the middle, i guarantee it'll work better than
using a normal grip, unless you cant control this, then use a normal throw grip.

CURVEBALL
Throw this straight overhand, and mix up the speeds. when thrown just barely fast enough to go on a line, It curves
at least 6 feet for me. When thrown faster, it curves at most 2 feet, but curves later and is a bit more deceptive.
Mix up the speeds and its a filthy pitch.

KNUCKLEBALL
Do not think that if you can't throw this with a baseball that you cant with a Wiffle ball. It's a lot easier with a wiffle
ball that it is with a baseball. Mix up the speeds and arm angles, and you can go a whole game only throwing
Knuckleballs. A normal throw spins backwards, so when you release, push the 2 fingers forward to counter that spin.
this pitch takes touch to learn, but is a beast once you learn it.

SLIDER
Throw this pitch fast at an arm angle in between sidearm and three quarters. It goes straight, then at the end breaks
very sharply down and away from a righty. Very hard to control, because it breaks a little differently when thrown
in different locations, but when mastered, this pitch is almost un hittable.

SCREWBALL
Throw this pitch just a little slower than your fastball, and it'll curve in on a righty pretty late and sharp. This pitch though,
is actually a slider for a lot of people, and occasionally it goes the wrong way for me. It's inconsistent, but when i'm having
a good day with it, it's really hard to hit, and its a great strikeout pitch. Never throw this pitch when you need a strike
though, even if your having a good day with it, because it's always inconsistent. Try throwing it up the middle with 2
strikes, and just seeing which way it goes.

RISER/FLOATER
Throw this at any speed you want with an arm angle in between submarine and sidearm. It breaks up and in to a right
handed better. When its working real well, use it as a change up, but because of the distinct arm motion, every now
and then drop dow to that same arm angle and throw a fastball using the plain throw grip, so that they dont know
whats coming when you drop down. You can also ad a knuckler from that angle too, if you want even more deception.

SHARP CURVE
Throw this pretty fast with a wrist snap sideways so that it spins horizontaly with the holes up. It goes straight about 25
feet then the bottom drops out of it. Very good pitch, a bit tricky to control, but not that hard. The main problem is
that throwing to many of them can hurt your arm, so beware. if this grip doesnt work, try putting your fingers together
or adjusting the angle of the ball in your hand slightly.

*I took all the pictures of the grips from WiffleBallUSA.com and from some site about wiffle ball pitches, URL is
http://orion.wheatonma.edu/~scott/misc/wiffleballpitches.htm. I would have taken my own photos, but this is
my first web site, and i don't know how to get photos onto a webpage. I wrote the words about how to throw the
pitches If the makers of those sites have a problem with me using their pictures, they can email me and i'll take them down.

HITTING A WIFFLE BALL
Hitting a wiffle ball can be boringly easy or amazingly hard, depending on the pitcher. Unlike baseball,
the difference in difficulty of hitting a pitcher is mostly based on his stuff, not his speed. Also, when
you hit a wiffle ball, the distance it goes depends more on the smoothness of your swing than the force
behind it. When you add those two factors up, it becomes apparent that a long swing is better than a
compact one, unlike in baseball. if you have a long swing in baseball, then don't change anything.
If your baseball swing is quick and compact, then you have a little changing to do for wiffle ball.
instead of hitting taking the direct path to the inside of the ball when you swing, try to hit the outside
of the ball to pull it. Start with your hands above your back shoulder, and unleash a roundhouse swing
to the outside of the ball. Don't actually hit the outside of it, but think of it in terms of that. If you do
keep hitting the total outside part of it, just wait back on it longer, but use the same swing. With 2 strikes,
then you can use a more compact swing so that you can wait back on a pitch and hit sliders and sinkers
more easily. Good luck.

PICKING YOUR FIELD (if you haven't already)
When choosing a 'field', you have to take into consideration who is going to be playing there. If you and all your
wiffle ball buddies are right handed batters, then it doesn't matter if there's a tree in right field because it won't
mess up your game too often. Also, if your 12 years old, you'll want to be farther from the home run fence than
a bunch of 8 year-olds. Also take into consideration landmarks. It's a lot harder to tell the difference between a
double and a triple in an open field than on a street with trees groping along it because you have trees as landmarks
in the street scene, and only judgment in the open field scene. It's a lot harder to tell the difference between a dong
and a triple with out a fence there. Also, you want to be on level ground, not a hill or some slopey little area. If you
don't have space in your yard, play in the street. If your neighbors whine about you playing in the street and hitting balls
near their houses, tell them its a plastic ball that can't do damage at all, if they still whine, either slap them and keep playing
or go to a park to play. Also, add some crazy ground rules to the field. The best one I have is when my sister's little pool is out
for summer (its always right there in left field) and someone hits a ball into it, its an automatic dinger. Also, if a ball
gets stuck in a bush in foul territory and the pitcher pulls it out of the bush and the ball hasn't hit the ground yet,
it counts as an out. Think of your own little quirks for your field, the more the merrier, unless you have so many that
its not even real wiffle ball anymore.

EQUIPMENT
BAT
I recommend the thin yellow bat that comes with a ball at stores (you know, the actual WIFFLE brand type). It makes it
a bit harder to hit, but its a lot more fair to the pitchers than, say, one of those giant vortex air pressure beasts. If its
too hard to hit with that, buy one of those cheap, black ones that are about as fat as a little league bat, but with less
pop than the yellow ones. Anything thats fatter and/or more powerful is unfair and dumb. I also highly UN recommend
metal bats, even if their designed for wiffle balls, because it makes the balls break real quickly.

BALLS
Definitely buy the WIFFLE brand wiffle balls with the 8 holes in it. All the others get broken easier and curve very
differently. If you absolutely insist on using another type, use the ones that are covered in round holes. They curve
more realistically than wiffle balls, but you have to pitch them like baseballs, with snapping wrists and stuff. Never
buy imitation WIFFLE balls, because they don't curve right and they break easily.

ACCESORIES
You don't need any accessories, except maybe tape if you want to tape up your bat, or a piece of wood to put in the
ground for a permanent pitchers mound (my dad did that in our backyard and it rocks). Anything else is a waste
of money.

Wiffle Ball Links
Wiffle Ball USA
-This is a site for serious Wiffle Ball players who want to join tournaments and stuff
Wiffle Ball Game Online
- Play Wiffle Ball in your underwear!

The Author of this page is Tom von Geldern (St. Paul, Minnesota), Age 15. Email: AmericanWeasel6@hotmail.com
This picture is from WiffleBallUSA.com, If its an official copyrighted logo or something, then my mistake, but i think
it looks cool there. My page is done, thank you very much

The views and opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of the page author.
The contents of this page have not been reviewed or approved by the University of Minnesota.