It would not be fair to invite you all to join us in the annual Wiffle Ball World Series without properly instructing you in our rules. For I have heard it said this way,
Information without application leads to frustration.
I cannot and will not do that to you, my fellow travelers on this road called Fatherhood.
Rules of the Game
- Choose Handicaps Upon Dad – In most cases, Dads should be better at wiffle ball than their 6-12-year-old sons. The goal of the handicap is to place Dad at a disadvantage such that he can play his best within the handicaps for a competitive game. I recommend these as ones we have used.
- Bat from the other side – I have bat left-handed every year until this year. Kenny is finally letting me bat right-handed. However, after five years of left, I am great from both sides. That one back-fired for him!
- Balls, Strikes, and Outs – In the early years, I would not allow him to walk me. Plus, I would make my at-bats 2-strike outs and 2-out innings. When Kenny was 6, I gave him more than 3 strikes for an out (I think it was 4).
- Extra Bases – The older Kenny got, the closer I moved his double, triple, and home run lines to mine. Last year was the first year, we used the same (he’s that good)!
- Base-Running – Kenny can run out every hit. I had to walk out a hit, then I was able to lightly jog. This year, I can lightly run.
- Mulligan (Extra Ball) – When Kenny was 6 to 9, I gave him 1 Mulligan per game. This is just like golf for amateurs. As a strategy, Kenny would choose 1 pitch he would like again (usually at the end of games).
- Balls, Strikes, and Outs – Use the same as in a real baseball game – 4 balls to a walk, 3 strikes to an out, and 3 outs in an inning (see “Handicap” section for younger boys). There are “called” 3rd strikes for perfect pitches.
- Pitcher’s Paradise and Foul Balls – A hit that makes it beyond the pitcher’s mound can be brought back and called “Pitcher’s Paradise” before the runner reaches first base for an out. Balls that do not make it to the pitcher’s mound are foul. Balls that land off the diamond are foul (as in baseball). All hits may be caught (fair or foul) for an out.
- Automatic Hits – Balls hit past the pitcher can be called “single” automatically, so the hitter doesn’t need to run. In general, balls hit over the infield are doubles and triples are generally at the wall.
- Ghost Runners – If you are playing 1-against-1 or 2-against-1, use ghost runners. For example, you hit a double and have to hit again. “There is a man on second.“
- Home Runs – Must land over assigned boundary and batter must run out every base for runs to count.
- Length of Game, Extra Innings, and Continuation – Every game is 3 innings long. Home team gets last at-bat (as in baseball). Extra innings are played until a winner is crowned. If dusk precedes the conclusion of the game, record the box score and resume at next available date.
- Bonus Ball – This is the most exciting and strategic rule in the Wiffle Ball World Series. The Bonus Ball is double the size of the regular ball, thus is counts double… in every possible scenario.
- Balls count as 2 balls. A strike counts as 2 strikes. An out counts as 2 outs.
- Bonus Ball strikes thrown with 1 out and 1 strike, ends the inning!!! Here’s why. The strike counts double, causing an out (from 1 strike to 3). But an out counts double too (from 1 out to 3). Inning over. This is one of the most strategic ways to end innings. You can conceal the Bonus Ball. There is no need to announce it.
- Walks or hit-by-pitch counts as a double.
- Singles count as doubles. Doubles count as home runs. Triples count as home runs plus a double.
- Home runs double the runs scored. Example: If the bases are loaded and a Bonus Ball home run is hit, the batter scores 8 runs!!!
- There are no limits on the number of Bonus Balls the pitcher can throw, but weigh the risk verses reward of the throw.
Now Dads… get your white boards ready for your Wiffle Ball World Series. Go purchase rubber bases, 20 wiffle balls, 4 Bonus Balls, and a wiffle ball bat. Get on your gear, mark out your field, and join the movement!
And that’s what I envision. The Dad-Son Wiffle Ball World Series WILL become a movement. It’s too much fun not to.