Wiffleball tournament set for third go

After two consecutive years of nine-team tournaments, the Douglas County Parks & Recreation Department's White Lightning Wiffleball Tournament is hoping to expand.

"As far as the rules go, everything is going to stay pretty much the same," Douglas County recreation coordinator J.P. Albert said. "The biggest change is that we are going to move the pitcher's mound back to about 40 feet and we're going to lower the minimum age to 15."

Albert said he is hoping for a field of about 16 teams for the tournament, which is set for July 21 and 22.

"There will be a four-game guarantee," he said. "We'll do like last year, with pool play on Saturday and double elimination on Sunday."

Albert's team, which includes former Douglas standouts Scott, Brady and Jordan Ovard, has won the first two tournaments, but received strong challenges each year from a group led by former Douglas pitcher Kyle Wentz.

The idea for the tournament came from Albert's memories of playing backyard wiffleball with the Ovard family growing up.

"Everyone has fun playing it, but there's no really organized venue to play," Albert said. "That's why I wanted to start the tournament."

Teams struggled on the first day last year but as they got the hang of the rules of the game, the games got pretty intense on the second.

The tournament features six-inning or 40-minute games (whichever comes first) on fields about 80 feet down each foul line. Straightaway center measures about 100 feet.

Team have a lineup of four players, but the roster can be as big as six.

A strike-zone target (18 inches wide by 24 inches tall) is set up behind home plate. Any pitch that hits the target is considered a strike.

Players aren't allowed to wear gloves and must catch with their bare hands. Base runners can be tagged out or fielders can throw the ball at them to record an out.

"It's a good time and you generally get more than the four-game guarantee," Albert said. "Last year, each team played six games in pool play alone."

Cost is $100 per team, which includes T-shirts and awards.

For more information, or to register, call 782-9828.


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