It’s off to the field for one of America’s favorite backyard games – Wiffle Ball.
The ND Wiffle Ball Club has opened up registration for this coming season.
Teams must consist of three players – men, women, or co-ed — and must be at least 16 years old.
We talked to Mike Epperson, a Bismarck man in charge of getting the league started.
Q: Ok, so, Wiffle ball…. We don’t really hear about adults playing this game! How did this get started? When did it start?
It started in the fall of 2017 with a couple of us who love the game of baseball. We had a wiffleball and a bat and started playing. Then we thought, “We need to make a legitimate field with fences.” And it just ballooned from there. One of the guys’ family has a hobby farm with facilities that allows us to get creative and just pretend like we are kids again in the back yard. We hosted our first tournament in September of 2017, and then, last year had our first full season, with four teams total, and had a blast!
Q: How many teams are there, usually?
We have never had more than four participate in a league or a tournament. But this year, we already have six teams committed for the fall season, so it is our biggest one yet.
Q: This year you said it’s co-ed and there are women’s teams? Have you seen interest from females that want to play?
In the past we have only had men’s teams, but this year we discovered that there was an interest for a women’s team. There has actually been a huge interest — so far, we have two women’s teams and one co-ed team to go along with the three men’s teams.
Q: I see you take it pretty seriously — there are stats as well as people recognized for standing out… tell us about the awards and how you keep track of stats.
We love stats and it adds to the competition of having awards to strive to. So, last year was our first year keeping stats and so we were experimenting with what to keep track of. We made scorebooks for each team that are similar to classic baseball and softball scorebooks that keep track of runs, and hits and all that comes with it. This year, we will be doing something similar, but have tried to make it more simplified to keep track of the stats that everyone likes: Batting Average, Home Run, and pitching Strikeouts. At the end of each year, we give an award to the best pitcher and hitter and home run leader. We don’t have physical awards, but pride and knowing you’re the best is always a great feeling! But at the end of it all, we are out there to have fun, I mean, it is still a plastic ball and a plastic bat — can’t take ourselves too seriously.
Q: How long is the season?
Our season is six weeks long, but spans seven weeks since one of those weeks will be Labor day weekend. We will start Sunday, August 25th, at 4:00 p.m., and the games will be on Sunday afternoon, with the goal of each team playing at least 10 games in the year.
Q: Where do you play?
We play out at a Hobby Farm northeast of Bismarck, on the corner of 106th St NE and 97th Ave NE. We call it Wiffleball Haven, because we have created three unique fields each with their own character. One is in a horse corral, one is in a yard with a building serving as the left field fence, and the newest one is starting to take shape and will have a tall, custom fence with some other unique characteristics. It really is Wiffleball Haven, for every person who dreams of being a kid again.
Q: How much does it cost to start a team?
It is very affordable to start a team, it is only $20 per team, or $5 a player. These fees serve to cover the cost of field maintenance and the wiffleballs that we provide.
Q: How do people register?
You can register by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
Send us the names of your players and a creative team name for us and we will send you more information about the start of the season.
Q: Do you have a Facebook page link?
Our Facebook page is ND Wiffleball Club.
Q: Anything else you’d like to add?
Each team must have a minimum of three players. You can have four players on defense at one time, but can have as many people on the team as you’d like, and everyone can bat. An ideal team is five to six players. They can be men’s, women’s or co-ed teams, with a minimum age of 16.