October 6, 2010
By Brittany Risher
Take your wiffle ball skills to the next level with these tips
The concept of hitting a dinky plastic ball with a lightweight yellow bat seems easy. But there's something about wiffle ball that makes it both challenging and one of the best games ever invented.
Mention wiffle ball, and everyone has a story. Maybe it's how you were the king of your neighborhood in fifth grade, or maybe you pitched a no-hitter last weekend with your friends.
Got a great wiffle ball story? Share it below.
There are a few things you can do to impress your friends, kids, and opponents the next time you play. (And every time you tell your next story.)
Before you try to tackle a new pitch, scuff your ball. You'll get more movement on your pitches if you sand or file the ball first.
If you've mastered the classic wiffle curve, World Wiffleball Championship commissioner Jim Bottorff suggests trying the super knuckleball: Dent the center of the ball above the ball's holes and bend your three middle fingers, placing them in the dent you created. Your thumb and pinky go out over the side of the ball. When throwing, flick your middle fingers for an amazing knuckler.
Once you have that one down, check out WiffleBallUSA.com for other advanced pitches.
Make sure your bat is ready when you step up to the plate. You want one with hard plastic; soft plastic won't hit the ball as far. Mike Palinczar, president of the New Jersey Wiffle Ball Association, recommends a wide barrel that's at least 2 inches in diameter.
Unlike baseball, wiffle ball encourages doctoring with your bat. Stuff newspaper or foam packing peanuts into it, then tape it back up with electrical tape. "Stuffing the bat makes it a little heavier and acts as a type of 'spring' to hit the ball farther," Palinczar says.
When you hit the ball, arm extension is key. "On an outside pitch, get your arms out and roll your wrists very little. Then watch the ball fly," Bottorff says.
And don't always swing for the fences—grounders can be challenging for fielders.
If you're new to the game or haven't played since you were a kid, focus on the basic pitches first and remember that hitting a wiffle ball is just like hitting a baseball: Try to figure out what type of pitch is coming at you, and adjust accordingly.
Now get out and start playing so you have better stories to tell the next time wiffle ball trash talk starts.