We are now less than four weeks away from the latest chapter in the World’s oldest Wiffle® ball tournament. We have a lot to cover this month, including:
- Upcoming Registration Deadline of August 31
- Tournament Format Changes due to COVID-19
- Collaboration with Solemn Oath / Beer Release on September 11, 2020
- Final Player of the Decade Profiles
- Oddball at the 41st WWBC
Registration Deadline Rapidly Approaching
If you missed our announcement at the beginning of the month, we’re excited to be “Back Home Again in Indiana” for 2020 at Rose Park in Mishawaka on September 19-20, 2020.
The deadline to register for the 41st World Wiffle® Ball Championship is Monday, August 31, 2020 (with one limited exception below). While the shirt deadline has passed, our IT guy is notoriously slow to change the entry form on the website, so you may still be able to sign up and get shirts for the next few hours.
If you can’t make the tournament, but want to buy a shirt, you can purchase one HERE for $20 this week. Shirts will be shipped the week of September 14.
Proceeds from the entry fees and the shirt sales will continue to benefit South Suburban Humane Society.
COVID-19 has forced us to not only move the tournament back a few months from its usual sweltering mid-July date, but also to move the location back to Mishawaka for this year.
The safety of the WWBC participants is our highest priority, and full COVID-19 guidelines will be released in advance of the 41st WWBC. Of course, masks and social distancing will be of great importance while at Rose Park.
In the meantime, here are some details on the tournament format:
- Saturday pool play will look different this year, taking place in two sessions (morning / afternoon) in order to limit the amount of participants and spectators at Rose Park at one time.
- The morning session on Saturday will begin at 9 AM (Eastern time), with teams playing their four games consecutively. The afternoon session will begin at 2 PM (Eastern time).
- Sunday’s single-elimination tournament will likely begin at 8 AM (Eastern time). Games may be staggered depending on the amount of teams that qualify for Sunday. All 2-2 teams will be guaranteed a spot on Sunday. During the Sunday single-elimination tournament, the higher seeded team will be the home team.
Collaboration with Solemn Oath
As you may have noticed on social media on Friday, we were out in Naperville, Illinois with our friends at Solemn Oath Brewery.
With a shared love of Wiffle® and tasty beers, we have collaborated on a Hazy IPA that will be released on Friday, September 11 at Solemn Oath and for distribution in the following days.
More details to follow regarding the specifics of the event on social media, but there will be a HR Derby and one final opportunity for teams to register for the 41st WWBC at the event.
Our final two Player of the Decade candidates are teammates, two-time champions, and hall-of-famers.
Current Team: Balco Boys
First WWBC: 1998
Champion: 2008, 2010
Having started young in the Wiffle® pipeline of Mishawaka, Balco’s Joe Stratton has become one of the premier power-hitters in the history of the WWBC.
Stratton hit one of the more memorable homers in tournament history in a championship win over Funky Plastic Offspring. The road at Rose Park sits about 70 feet past the fence on the championship field, which is unreachable for most even with the most favorable of winds. With the wind blowing slightly out, Stratton put one onto the road on a drive to left-center, leaving those in attendance in awe.
Over a decade later, Balco continues to compete, reaching the Final Four in 2018. Stratton has also won multiple tournaments with Grandmother’s Quilt.
Current Team: Balco Boys
First WWBC: 2003
Champion: 2008, 2010
In a game filled with prolific hitters of the long ball, Hall-of-Famer Eric Wodrich has made a name for himself on the mound and his ability to hit to all fields.
Though the rangy right-hander has moved to the outfield in recent years, his quickness and length getting off the mound resulted in one of the most suffocating defenses of all time.
Wodrich credits the mental aspect of the game of Wiffle® with Balco’s success, as well as being able to hit effectively into the wind. Balco comes into the 41st WWBC in good form, as the Quilt reached the championship game of The Wiffle®Ball Championship in New Carlisle in July.
Oddball at the 41st WWBC
Our friends at Oddball Sports will be out at the World Wiffle® Ball Championship all weekend capturing the action, with livestreams of the championship game and some featured games on Saturday. Additionally, on Friday evening before the 41st WWBC, the Player of the Decade will be announced on the WWBC preview show.
If you haven’t already, check out oddballsports.tv for our Why We Wiffle® and Player of the Decade features. Our Player of the Decade series takes center stage this week, as we chat with Dan Schuster (Tuesday) and Joe Stratton (Friday). Recent vids:
Have questions? Want tournament updates? Keep up with the WWBC: