Wiffleball is a safe and fun alternative to playing baseball. With the use of a few pieces of equipment and some creativity, it's possible to transform any space into a wiffleball paradise. It's a great game to play with friends or family because it has no age limit, and all levels can participate. This piece tells you about the equipment you need for a wiffleball game.
The greatest thing about wiffleball is the simplicity of the game. The only two necessities for equipment are a plastic ball and bat, typically sold together at places as common as convenience stores, or any sporting goods store.
The original "Wiffle Ball" is plastic and baseball shaped, with eight ¾ inch holes. The light weight of the ball with holes allows for enhanced airflow which results in aerial spins and curves. As Wiffleball has become more popular, there have been numerous new plastic balls designed for the game. Many argue you can't beat the classics, and prefer the original. However, it is highly suggested to try out multiple types of plastic balls to find your favorite. The best part about this game is there's no right or wrong, and it can be customized to your comfort level.
While not always necessary to play the game, official bases make wiffle ball more fun and competitive. These are not always necessary because you can create makeshift bases in many ways. You can do this with trees, rocks, sticks, clothes, or any material that can stay in place regardless of wind. As long as they are identified and known by all players before the game, almost anything can work! To give an official look of a baseball field, there are sets of bases available for purchase at many sporting goods stores. These sets are inexpensive and typically come with five pieces of rubber equipment: 3 bases, a home plate, and a pitcher's "rubber", which signifies the distance a pitcher must throw from.
The original "Wiffle Bat" is made of yellow plastic and is much thinner than a typical baseball bat. The dimensions are 32" long and 1" inch wide, with a weight of 4.8 ounces. The bottom (handle) has a small hole that allows for airflow into the hollow plastic bat. They're light-weight, super easy to swing, and good for practicing contact with the ball, as the barrel is much thinner than a regular baseball bat. Much like the ball, there have been a variety of new plastic bats made for the game. It is recommended to experiment with different types of bats to find your favorite!
To make a wiffleball set up more similar to baseball, create batters' boxes on opposite sides of home plate for a batter to stand in. Batters' boxes can be made with tape, powder, rubber mats, turf, and even wood! They all work well and give the game a more official feel, so experiment with batters' boxes to find the one that works best for you!
When playing wiffle ball with many people, it is always nice to have a team bench for players to sit and wait for their turn at bat. In baseball, we would call this a "dugout". For wiffle ball, use whatever seating equipment you have on hand. Plastic chairs (placed in foul territory) close to home plate are a perfect example of a bench or makeshift dugout.
Another optional piece of equipment to make the game of wiffleball more fun is an outfield fence. Who doesn't love to hit home runs? It is recommended to get a portable net fence at a proper length and height for your desired field. If you want to create your own, be sure you are using equipment that is safe for players to run into. The game will feel more like a baseball game when you have an outfield fence.
Once you have a plan for the layout of the bases, it's a good idea to distinguish between fair and foul balls by creating a foul line that runs from the batters' boxes to the fence. This is optional and you can choose to call the balls fair or foul yourselves, but a foul line helps to make a clear cut call. This is another piece of equipment to get creative with. Players can create foul lines using tape or powder (depending on the surface). This will truly enhance your in-game experience.
Another optional equipment piece to help enhance your game experience is a scoreboard. Sometimes the easiest makeshift scoreboard is a whiteboard with a marker and eraser. This works well and ensures all players know the score during the game. This is an easy piece of equipment that some may forget or think is unnecessary, but goes a long way to making your field look professional.
A proper strike zone or backstop helps speed up the game of wiffle ball by providing clear rules. If a strike zone is in place there is no need for an umpire or referee to call balls and strikes, and it also keeps the ball close to the batter to throw back to the pitcher. With most equipment for this game, this can be done as creatively as you please. One example is using a piece of wood or fence and drawing/taping a square box that represents the strike zone. If the ball pitched lands inside the box (strike zone), the pitcher and batter will mutually agree on the ruling of a called strike. Since we typically do not have catchers in the game of wiffle ball, this backstop gives pitchers a target to aim for. There are baseball backstops with strike zones available for purchase as well, with prices varying.
Get creative! There is no set "appropriate" uniform for a game of wiffle ball. Depending on the weather and field conditions, players can wear shorts or pants. It is smart to wear comfortable padded pants if you will be sliding into bases or diving to catch the ball.
Just like a uniform, there are no set "appropriate" shoes for a game of wiffle ball. However, it is recommended to wear closed toe shoes that you are comfortable moving and running around in, and not afraid to get a bit dirty. Depending on the surface you are playing on (muddy conditions vs. soft grass) some may choose to wear cleats if necessary.