A Tale of Two Tournaments

Written by Josh Smith (@HWLcommissioner)  |  Commissioner and Author/Editor  |  04.22.2013 

Tournament season will soon be upon us. I know we've all been having a great time over the past few weeks as the season is heating up but I wanted to introduce the possibility of more competition. There are two great tournaments happening this summer in central Ohio. I would like to get a team together for both tournaments but I wanted to tell you about these events first before proceeding to recruit any further. 

The London Wiffleball Tournament is help annually in rural London, Ohio in either June or July. This year it will be July 20, 2013. It's the largest slow-pitch wiffleball tournaments in the world and one of the longest consistent tournaments in the country. The rules mandate that pitchers throw under-handed to batters but don't let that make you think that it's an easy tournament. Hitting and fielding are what really matters in this tournament while pitching takes a back seat. They use the skinny yellow bats and play on 20 different fields set up on a piece of property surrounded by crops such as soybean. It has a real field of dreams vibe to it and it's not unusual to have over 60 teams involved each year. Many people come to watch as well. I've attended the tournament as a spectator and photographer over the past couple of years and I've seen around 300 people total at this tournament - it's a big deal in London. 

I took Greg to London with me to help share the workload of shooting video and we were both itching to play. So he and I are wanting to get a team together for this tournament this year and we need three people interested in joining us. You do not have to be the best player out there to participate in this tournament. There's a festive care-free attitude there and some of the teams have been playing in the tournament for nearly a decade. The people are friendly and there are teams from as far as Indiana and Washington D.C. that participate in this tournament. So if you want to be in an atmosphere with people from a broad area that have an appreciation for the game - get with Greg and I so we can get a team together for this. If more than a few of you are wanting to participate in this we can set a second team up for the venture if needed. Registration for the tournament is rather cheap at $100 and gas will not be too much of an issue since it's pretty close to Columbus, so it's not that far away.

There is another tournament taking place the same weekend in Columbus for the National Wiffleball League Association (NWLA). If you do not yet know what the NWLA is, it's a federation of recreational leagues from around the nation and Canada. The website has articles, a message board, and releases team rankings every week throughout late spring and summer. Last year was the inaugural year for the NWLA Tournament and it was a huge success. 8 teams from all over the eastern part of the U.S. took part in the tournament. Some of the teams were from far away as Tampa Bay, Washington D.C., New York, Indiana, and Michigan. The tournament is 3-days long from July 19-21 and is a double elimination tournament that has round robin seeding games before the actual tournament begins on Saturday afternoon. 

This competition features some of each league's best players so we are advised to do the same. Anyone interested in participating in this tournament needs to step forward. Greg and I will be coaching this team, not playing. This tournament uses the skinny yellow bats and is fast-pitch (pitches could be coming at you in the high 80s). Participants cannot play in the London Tournament and compete in this tournament as well since there will be some over-lapping so whoever wants to represent our league in the NWLA tournament can't play in London. The registration for this tournament is also $100 but since we'd be there 2 nights there are costs to consider with hotels, etc. The NWLA Tournament organizing committee went through the trouble of making sample budgets for teams so we have an idea of how much it'd cost. From this we estimate that it'll cost about $100 to $125 per person if we get 6 players on the team. Like with the London Tournament you get to meet some interesting players from across the country and learn more about the game. The tournament is run in a very legitimate manner. There's catering and a trophy. Also, the hotel teams stay at is just across the street from the fields. Greg and I went to this tournament as well and had a fantastic time. The people who run this tournament really know what they are doing and they're fun to hang out with too.

So if you're interested in playing in either of these tournaments, let me know. The one in London lasts only through Saturday so you can drive there and back in a single day although we recommend staying in a hotel Friday night because the tournament begins at 8:00 AM. The NWLA tournament lasts from Friday night through Sunday afternoon. If you want more information on these tournaments ask me Tuesday night at the games.