43rd World Wiffle® Ball Championship Details

For the last two years, COVID-19 has caused some re-shuffling of tournament dates (and even locations). We’ve gone back to Mishawaka for the 41st WWBC, had a tournament in September with frost in the morning, and crowned a new World Champion in the return to Midlothian in 2021.

We are happy to be back to our standard spot on the calendar in mid-July – July 16-17, 2022 – for the 43rd World Wiffle® Ball Championship. Registration is now open!

Reminder, each team is guaranteed the following:

*Four pool play games on Saturday with the opportunity to qualify for Sunday’s single-elimination tournament.

*Official WWBC T-shirts for all team members, if registered by June 15, 2022.

*The opportunity to lift the Princess City Crown and become a World Champion.

For the fifth straight year, we are thrilled to be able to donate proceeds from the WWBC to South Suburban Humane Society. Every dollar, after tournament costs, directly goes to help animals in need. This year, we will cross the $10,000 mark, and we can’t thank you all enough for playing and doing your part.

We have some exciting things “brewing” in the near future as we lead up to the oldest Wiffle® Ball tournament on planet Earth. If you have questions about the tournament, please reach out to us at worldwiffleballchampionship@gmail.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook (@worldwiffleball) and Instagram (@worldwiffleballchampionship) for further tournament updates.

The Sure Things – 3-Time World Champs

Forty-two players are enshrined in the World Wiffle® Ball Championship Hall-of-Fame, all with their own unique contribution to this tournament and this game. When we lose a HOFer with the stature of Skip Wright, a tribute doesn’t do enough, but we asked WWBC founder, Jim Bottorff, to share more about Skip and his wiffle legacy.

Hall-of-Fame Pitcher was a Wiffle® Ball Force-of-nature

On December 10, the World Wiffle® Ball Championship community lost, not only one of its greatest players, but one of the game’s greatest characters and a beautiful human being.
Skip Wright played for the Sure Things from 1987-2011 and again in 2020 in the WWBC’s one-year return to Mishawaka.

His team won three world championships in 1992, 1998 and 2001, interrupting the reigns of the two greatest teams in history, Dud’s Gang and the Blue Ribbon Builders. Skip was a crafty and feared pitcher over four decades and a prodigious home run hitter. I played against him many times. He was one of the toughest pitchers to hit in the history of the game. Skip was named to the World Wiffle® Ball Championship Hall-of-Fame in 1991. 

To steal from a bit from his published obituary:

“Christopher ‘Skip’ Wright had many opportunities to further his work career by moving out of South Bend, but he loved his hometown and he loved the people, so he stayed put. If you met Skip, you were a friend for life. Within hours of notice of Skip’s passing, texts, calls and emails began to flood in: Utah, San Francisco, Dallas, Jacksonville, Texas, Colorado, Florida. Skip has friends everywhere. Traveling with Skip is what one can imagine it was like traveling with Elvis; from airport lounges to dive bars in Austin, there was always someone who knew the ‘unelected mayor of South Bend.’

Skip was many things, among them a collegiate baseball player; hockey goalie; dart thrower; sports handicapper; world-class tailgater; card player; Chicago White Sox fanatic; two-time cancer fighter; and a quadruple bypass survivor. But nothing was more important to him than his role as a dad. The arrival of his son, Jackson, nine years ago, changed his life immeasurably for the better. Skip spoke glowingly of Jackson and cherished every second they spent together. Jackson is the spitting image of Skip and has the same blue eyes and long lashes, for which Skip will be remembered. Thankfully, Jackson will have a vast network of family and friends lifting him up, letting him know what a great guy his father was, and crucially, reminding Jackson how much he was loved by his dad.”

I was never close with Skip (although we enjoyed chatting at wiffle tourneys) until 2016, when I selected him to do my first episode of “Wiffleballers in Bars Having Beers.” We talked about wiffleball on camera and off, and about our lives, thirty years after our best years as wifflers. Skip was not only funny, he was thoughtful and kind. In 2019 I emailed him to ask if the Sure Things would be able to attend the 40th Annual World Wiffle® Ball Championship tournament and VIP party. He told me that he was unable to make it and then dropped a confidential bomb. He had Stage 4 cancer. For another year we emailed back and forth, me checking on him, and he and I talking wiffleball and life.

In 2020, I did some research and collected the names of 11 players who had homered in all four decades of the tournament. Skip was one of them. I emailed all 11 players, suggesting they return to Mishawaka in September 2020 to take a crack at homering in an astounding five decades. Skip responded and said that he would try to put his band the Sure Things back together for one more go. He also told me that he would love to play one last time in front of his then eight-year-old son, Jackson, who was enthralled with his old wiffle stories and accomplishments.

Skip notified me in August 2020, that he had indeed put the Sure Things back together. For me, this was one of the most exciting moments in my 41 years of wiffleball, only I couldn’t tell anyone the story. After my own morning games on 9/20/20, I made a beeline across the park to where the Sure Things were playing. A bit tired, but still looking every bit the athlete he always was, Skip, 55, and his teammates, informed me that indeed, he had homered, making him and teammate Mike Weber the first two players to enter the 5-Decade Home Run Club.

The news of his death 15 months later –– although it was expected –– hit me hard. I cried for an hour and am tearing up now as I write this about my friend. Suffice it to say that Skip Wright was everything that this tournament has been about for 43 years. 

Friendship and fun.

Skip’s life? Wright on!

Our condolences to Skip’s family and friends, and especially to friends and his wiffleball family, Ken, Jeff & Shawn Humphrey, and Mike Weber. (Ken & Mike are also in the Hall-of-Fame.)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s