Wiffle ball, a team sport developed in 1953 in Fairfield, Connecticut, is a scaled back variation of baseball designed for playing in a confined space. The sport is played using a perforated light-weight plastic ball and a long hollow plastic bat. Two teams of one to five players each attempt to advance imaginary runners to home plate, and score, based on where each batter places the ball on the field. The term Wiffle ball may refer to the sport as a whole, or the ball used in the sport. Wiffle is a registered trademark of Wiffle Ball, Inc. and was derived from the slang word whiff meaning to strikeout.
Miniature versions of baseball have been played for decades, including stickball, improvised by children, using everything from rolled up socks to tennis balls. The ball most commonly used in the game was invented by David N. Mullany at his home in Fairfield, Connecticut in 1953 when he designed a ball that curved easily for his 12-year-old son. It was named when his son and his friends would refer to a strikeout as a "whiff". The Wiffle Ball is about the same size as a regulation baseball, but is hollow, lightweight, of resilient plastic, and no more than 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick. One half is perforated with eight .75-inch (19 mm) oblong holes; the other half is non-perforated. This construction allows pitchers to throw a tremendous variety of curveballs and risers.
In April 2011, the government of the State of New York proclaimed that wiffle ball, as well as kickball, freeze tag and dodgeball were a "significant risk of injury" for children, and declared that any summer camp program that included two or more of such activities would be subject to government regulation. The story became a frequent source of ridicule and amusement, with Parenting.com sarcastically commenting, "According to new legislation introduced in New York State, to survive classic schoolyard games like capture the flag is to cheat death." Wiffle ball executives originally thought the order was a joke. The company has never been sued over safety issues in its 50+ year history. The disapproval of people from across the nation pressured the New York legislature to remove wiffle ball and other entries such as archery and scuba diving from the list of high-risk activities, that require state government oversight.
To play the game, get a wiffle ball and a bat. If a bat is not available, a broomstick or other such stick may be used. Marking a playing field is not necessary, but if a field is marked, it is shaped like an isosceles triangle. The batter stands at the top of the triangle looking down the two equal sides that are about 60 feet in length. A ball hit about thirty feet counts as a "single" and a ball hit about 45 feet counts as a "double." When a ball is hit outside of the sides of the triangle, it counts as a foul ball. The line across the bottom of the triangle is about twenty feet in length, and a ball hit across this line counts as a "home run." Scoring of this game is similar to scoring in baseball as are the terms used, i.e., "single," "double," "foul ball" and "home run." However, there is no running around bases for the batter(s), and there is no chasing the ball for the pitcher and fielders.
Tournaments have been the driving force in modern wiffle ball and have been held in the United States and Europe since 1977. That year, Rick Ferroli began holding tournaments in his backyard tribute to Fenway Park in Hanover, Massachusetts. In 1980, the World Wiffle Ball Championship was established in Mishawaka, Indiana by Jim Bottorff and Larry Grau. With the explosion of the Internet in the 1990s, there are now hundreds of Wiffle ball tournaments played in the United States, most in the same place every year, with a few tournament "circuits". The World Wiffle Ball Championship remains the oldest tournament in the nation, having moved to the Chicago suburbs in 2013, after introducing regional stops over three decades in Baltimore; Los Angeles; Indianapolis; Eugene, Oregon; and Barcelona, Spain. The tournament is featured at #27 in the book, "101 Baseball Places to Visit Before You Strike Out."
There are many competitive wiffle ball leagues in the United States, which include the prominent American Wiffle Association (AWA) or Major League Wiffle Ball (MLW), although they are unrelated. Another one was a small wiffleball league started in June 2000 by Shaun Breen in the town of Cohoes, New York. The league operated until June 2004 and in its three years of operation it attracted players from Long Island, New York and garnered the attention of ESPN Magazine.
MLW was established by Kyle Schultz in Brighton, Michigan in 2009. As of 2022, the league has eight teams: Eastern Eagles, Midwest Mallards, Great Lakes Gators, Downtown Diamondbacks, Western Wildcats, Pacific Predators, Metro Magic, and the Coastal Cobras. MLW has a strong following on social media, uploads highlights of all of their games to YouTube, and has also hosted open public tournaments in 8 different states (Michigan, Ohio, Arizona, Texas, Illinois, New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania). The league gained notoriety throughout its 2020 season, after several other professional sports were postponed or cancelled. The league has been featured by TBS, The Athletic, Whistle Sports, and twice been highlighted on ESPN's SportsCenter Top 10 Plays. The most recent champions are the Downtown Diamondbacks, managed by Jimmy Knorp. 
The name has also been associated with a small league in the southwestern Illinois city of Granite City, which has come to be a hub of the sport with the Lakeside Kings having won multiple world championships in the Wiffle Ball National Championship Series. The League's inaugural national championship was held in October 2001 in Granite City,whose wiffle only stadium has long been known for its similarity to Fenway Park and Busch Stadium. The national championship was launched following a decade long increase in interest in the sport, among fans and players of all ages.
In 2013, the Greater Cincinnati Wiffleball League was founded in Cincinnati, Ohio. The GCWL season runs from May through October. Averaging 10 teams and over 50 players each season, it is recognized as one of the premier wiffleball leagues in the United States.
Some wiffle ball players have built fields to resemble major league ballparks. Thomas P. Hannon, Jr. authored a book, Backyard Ball, on his experiences building a smaller version of Ebbets Field. Patrick M. O'Connor wrote a book, Little Fenway, about building his versions of Fenway Park and Wrigley Field. But not all wiffle ball fields have been modeled from major league ball parks. Some have created original fields, Strawberry Field in Encino, California being the most exquisite. Rick Messina spent over $700,000 constructing Strawberry Field, which features lights for night games, bleachers, and a press box. He also converted a neighboring house into a clubhouse/pub.
Building fields can lead to controversy and legal issues. In 2008, The New York Times published an article about Greenwich, Connecticut teenagers who were forced by the city to tear down a wiffle ball field they had built because of neighbor complaints.
In his 2003 book The Complete Far Side, cartoonist Gary Larson reproduces a letter he received after including a "wiffle swatter" in his cartoon. The letter contains language from Wiffle Ball Incorporated's attorneys: "In the future, when you use the brand name WIFFLE, the entire brand should be capitalized, and it should only be used in reference to a product currently manufactured by The Wiffle Ball, Inc." In 2009, video game developer Skyworks Technologies released a game based on Wiffle ball, simply titled Wiffle Ball.
Wiffleball is a simplified version of the game of baseball that is designed to be a miniature version of the game that is suitable to be played both indoor and outdoors, often in confined spaces. Such simplified baseball games have existed for decades in one form or another, but the modern game of Wiffle Ball came into existence in 1953 when a gentleman by the name of David Mullany designed an easily curvable ball for his 12 years old son.
The object for each team in Wiffle Ball is to score more runs than their opponent, thus winning the game. The game of Wiffle Ball itself also has an overriding objective, and that is to be a miniature game of baseball that requires very little equipment and can be played in a wide variety of places safely and enjoyably.
Scoring is done in Wiffle Ball by hitting the ball into a marked zone without it being intercepted by an opposition fielder. Hitting the ball into the single zone enables the player to advance one base, hitting into the double zone enables them to advance two bases, and a triple three bases. Hitting past the triple zone is a home run. Each player that completes the circuit and runs past the final base scores a run for the team.
Once both teams have completed their agreed number of innings (usually six), the team with the highest number of runs will be declared the winner. Should the number of runs be the same at the end of the game then the game is drawn. Some Wiffle Ball leagues allow tied games and the points are shared equally by the two teams whereas others will insist on one more innings each, with the highest score being declared the winner.
TWO BALL: Arrange the class with partners about 6-8 feet apart . Scatter as many tennis balls/wiffleballs in the gym area. On a signal the partners must go to as many different balls in a 30 second time limit. After two catches they move to the next ball. Chose different types of throw each time and try to beat the previous score(rollers, one bounce , no bounce) TWO BALL ALTERNATIVE: Arrange the class into each side of the midcourt area in a scattered formation. Use 2-4 wifffleballs on each side. The object is to have the opposite team "stuck" with more wiffleballs. The game starts with a thrower who must toss it to another person on their team.That person then throws to another person(2 throws). The second catch person then rolls the ball to the other side of the midcourt line . After a certain time limit -count the balls on each side. TWO BASE: Divide the class into groups of four with two poly spot bases and two traffic cones. The ply spots should be about 20-30 feet apart and the cones about 15-20 feet apart. Start a runner at each poly spot and thowers at each cone. The throwers will toss back and forth and runners back and forth. After the time limit , compare the tosses with the running bases and try to beat what the other group did . Repeat for a better score. WALL BALL: Arrange the teams between traffic cones(3) that are placed about 8 feet apart. The first cone should be about 4-5 feet away from the wall . There will be two players on offense who will bounce the ball off the floor and then rebound against the wall . After a toss the next player has a turn. The players in the field will try to catch the ball before it hits the floor and when there are 3 outs , switch teams and repeat the process . Here are some ideas for more play and less arguements: 1. Any ball outside the cones is an out. 2. Any ball that doesn't pass the first cone is an out. 3. A ball hitting the wall first is an out. 4. Make 7-8 courts for more action . 5. Switch teams after 3-4 minutes 6. Next thrower should wait between the cones 7. Any interference is a replay NELLIE BALL: Use the same alignment but this time use a bigger ball like a volleyball/playball. Throw it above a designated line(8 feet on wall) and another player must catch it before it hits the floor. The ball must be thrown from where it is caught and may be thrown to a partner who may be closer to the wall. Points are scored with every ball on the floor or when a partner drops the ball from a teammate. As before make 7-8 courts , usually , this means that there will be four courts facinfgeast-west or north -south . Practice which ball best suits each class . The smaller the ball the harder it will be or the harder the ball , too. FOUR BASE RUN/THROW: Divide the class into 6-8 different areas in the following set-up: Place two bases about 25-30 feet apart. Next , and parallel to the bases are two cones about 15-20 feet apart . Arrange two players to throw the ball back and forth next to the cones. Place one runner to traverse the bases for 30 seconds. Count the number of throws and the number of runs to the bases . After the 30 seconds switch partners and try to beat the throws and runs each time. Repeat the process to improve on the previous score. CRICKET BALL Arrange the class into 2-3 courts with traffic cones dividing the games . Place two bases on each court -home and second . Put a hula hoop about 6-8 feet away from home and in foul ground. A catcher must stand in the hoop at all times. The players are arranged in positions on each court with 4-5 batters waitindg in a designated safe/dugout area. A batting tee may be used in some classes instead of the pitched ball(one or no bounce). After the ball is hit , the runner runs to second base first . The next batter does the same but the runner on second must come home. At any time the runners will go to the next base at their peril. When the ball is fielded , it must be thrown to second or home. If they are caught between the base(es) then it is an out . The catcher must stay in the hoop and an errant throw must be made by another player . Switch after 3 minutes and repeat the process . ANYTHING GOES Place tumbling mats at the origonal base positions. After the ball is hit , kicked , punched or from a stationary tee , the runner may run to any base as all the runners can BUT all bases must be touched before coming home. There is no limit to the number at each base . Have a pitcher stand in a hula hoop to receive the ball from the fielders . If a runner is caught in between the bases it can either be an out or return to the base area they just left. Switch after a few minutes and repaet the process. BOMBARDMENT Divide the class into two groups separated by the midcourt line of the b-ball court. Give each team 4-5 wiffleballs or beanbags that either must be sliding on the floor(bean bag) or rolled(wiffleball). The players are scattered throughout their half court. They must either block the oncoming tosses or throw the bal/beanbag themselves. They will try to hit the back wall on the opposite side of the floor. Any ball/beanbag that is scored is out of play and the team with the least amount on their side is deemed the winner . As a variation with the wiffleballs is to place teammates behind the endline and they will place the balls in a box . The beanbags will easily stay on the floor . NO player may take the ball from the scoring area - it must be kept there . FOUR LINE THROW Arrange the class into four parallel lines with the front line of each team abput 20 feet from their teams backline players. Make a free space or neutral area about 10-12 feet between the teams. Give 2-3 players a soft ball to each front line. They must only roll the ball or a one bounce toss for a score. The object is to get the ball past the front line and also the backline players for a score from head level. Place cones at each ends back line for boundries. The front line are blockers and tossers. The back line is a blocker and toss the ball to their own front line. Back line players may not score. After a few moments have the lines switch from front to back. ANYTHING GOES PART II Arrange the teams in baseball/softball position with the batting team given the opportunity to use any type of euipment they chose. They may be as follows : Paddle ball , racquet ball , wifflebat(stationary tee , too), tennis racquet or hockey stick. No upcoming batter may use the equipment of the previous batter. The next time at bat they must never use the implement twice during the activity. The fielding team may only tag the runners as there are no force outs. A ball that is caught in mid-air is also an out. The whole team bats and then switch places. As a variation have no outs but must freeze at the last position when the ball is received by the pitcher. CONEBALL Divide the areas into three sections with a batting team placed at each section(three batters from the same team hit similutaneously). Place a hula hoop(different color and the same color wiffleball for each section.(blue hoop/blue wiffleball). The teams are numbered 1,2,3 with (one's) at bat and (two/three) in the field at each section. Place traffic cones at designated distances. The batter must run around any number of cones that he/she thinks they can make safely. The furthest cone is 3 points , then two and then one. If the ball is retreived by the fielder and thrown to the catcher by the hoop , it is an out if that runner is caught in between the arranged cones. The catcher must catch the ball , boune it in the hoop once and catch it off the rebound. When the whole team bats , then call a new number to bat. 2b1af7f3a8