More Than 40 Teams To Compete
In National and World Competitions
(September 29, 2023, York, Pa.) — This ain’t your backyard game of Wiffle®Ball. For one thing, the “backyard” will be a professional baseball stadium. For another, the guys throwing that plastic sphere from your childhood will do so at more than 90 miles per hour.
Next weekend, the 30th fast-pitch Wiffle®Ball Champions will be crowned at WellSpan Park as United Wiffle®Ball presents the 2023 World Wiffle®Ball Championship Tournament.
The two day, 40-team tournament takes place October 7 and 8, with a FanFest event scheduled for the evening of October 6. In addition, MLW – the world’s most popular Wiffle®Ball league – will host the 2nd annual U17 National Championship Invitational, which will run alongside the World Tournament on Saturday and Sunday. All events are open to the public. Tickets for Saturday and Sunday can be purchased for $10 each day at the Shipley Energy Ticket Office at WellSpan Park.
“Over the past decade, York has become home to fast pitch Wiffle®Ball in a way similar to how Williamsport is the center of Little League Baseball universe,” said United Wiffle®Ball event organizer Tim Cooke. “We are thrilled to once again partner with the York Revolution and WellSpan Park to bring both the World Championship and MLW U17 National Invitational to this historic and Wiffle®-friendly city.”
The Championship Tournament dates back 34 years to August 1989, when the World Wiffle®Ball Association crowned the inaugural national fast pitch Wiffle®Ball champions in a 32-team tournament in Boston. Except for five years in the 1990’s and early 2000’s, a fast-pitch champion has been crowned every year since. The tournament expanded from a National Championship to a World Championship last year in United Wiffle®Ball’s third year as tournament hosts, thanks to the participation of the Samurai Tigers from Saitama, Japan. This year, the Border City Bombers from Ontario, Canada, are the international representatives. International and domestic participants become eligible for the tournament by participating in one of hundreds of Wiffle®Ball leagues and tournaments found throughout the world.
Another first at last year’s festivities was the introduction of the MLW U17 National Championship Invitational. While the world tournament is open to players of all ages (13+), seasoned players in their 20’s and 30’s tend to dominate the event. The U17 tournament gives the game’s best young players (ages 13 to 17) a chance to compete against the best of their own age group. Teams earn invitations through their performances in one of MLW’s popular tournaments, as well as other events during the year. The inaugural 2022 tournament was won by Ohio Elite Wiffle®Ball. RJ Walgate, Ohio Elite’s 6 foot 5 14-year-old captain, has since become a phenom of sorts in the Wiffle®Ball world, emerging in 2023 as one of the top stars of the MLW league. A profile video on Walgate has garnered nearly 900,000 views on YouTube and Instagram.
“The U17 Invitational is quickly turning into one of my favorite things that MLW does,” said Kyle Schultz, the founder of MLW and one of the league’s most popular players. “Last year’s event was crucial in showing what a youth national championship could look like, and our teams knocked it out of the park. Players like RJ [Walgate], who truly embraced the new environment and game style, reaped the benefits, as he is now a very notable player in MLW that fans around the country adore. But now, like everything we do, we look at what worked from the year prior, what can be improved, and how we can grow the Invitational to be bigger and better.”
As for the defending world champs, the Juggernauts – a staple in championship games at tournaments in the greater Mid Atlantic area with players from Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, and New Jersey – have a shot at history this October. The team will enter as the two-time defending champions. A third straight title will put them in rarified air alongside Team Trenton (1995-1997) and C4 (2017-2019) as the only three-time champions in the history of the Championship.
For more information, visit www.unitedwiffleball.com.