Enter Wiffle Ball
What an awesome decision!
Why Wiffle Ball?
Here are the reasons I play wiffle ball, and why you may want to consider joining or starting your own neighborhood league:
Wiffle ball offered me a unique way to connect with other women in my neighborhood. Some of us have kids in school together. We all live near one another and frequent the same places. In a time where many women can feel isolated from one another even when in close proximity, games offer a time to commiserate not just about bad ref calls, but real life issues too.
One of my teammates, Amanda, shared: “The best part about wiffle ball is building relationships with so many amazing women in my community. I was surprised that I only knew one of my teammates before we started; and now I have a whole team of new friends.”
2. Stress Outlet:
For a couple of hours each week during the season, the only thing I had to worry about was hitting or catching a wiffle ball. Talk about freedom! As a wife, mother, daughter, counselor, friend, etc., I have unending worries and responsibilities. Letting that go to run around on a field and laugh with teammates was cathartic. My body appreciated the chance to move in different ways and use different muscles as well.
Another teammate Catherine agreed: “As a health care provider, wiffle ball provided such great opportunity for me to de-stress from the heaviness of the pandemic in a safe and healthy way!”
3. Self Confidence:
As I stated before, I am not an especially impressive athlete or “wiffler”. But I could see improvement in how I played over the course of the season. I improved in my ability to focus and tune out my internal chatter that can be so distracting. Laughing at my mistakes became easier. And, I noticed I felt more assured of myself. Encouraging ourselves to try new things, especially when it feels vulnerable, can often have that effect.
I also value my son watching me participate on a team. Hopefully he’s learning from my attitude. Getting to set that example felt good, and I’ve heard other moms say the same.
Start A League in Your Neighborhood!
I play for the Bluff Park Women’s Wiffle Ball League (BPWWL), which is open to those zoned for Simmon’s Middle School. If your neighborhood doesn’t have it’s own league, consider connecting with others who may be interested in creating one!
Sherrie Roberts, co-founder of the BPWWL, had the idea for the league after attending her niece’s wiffle ball game in Ross Bridge. She used social media to gauge community interest. Her post generated an overwhelming response, and soon the league was born. Co-founder Kimberly Barber joined Sherrie in pursuing hosting the league at the Children’s Fresh Air Farm (CFAF) in Bluff Park, and within 60 days the league began. 2021 was the league’s 3rd season and it now consists of eight teams.
According to Sherrie, giving back to the community is essential to the foundation and success of the league. CFAF is a staple in the Bluff Park community, and the league offers a way for neighbors to give back by monetarily supporting the work there in exchange for use of their field.
For anyone considering starting their own league, Sherrie has one suggestion, “Make [the league] have a purpose aside from just the friendly competition. The fact that our teams are made up of a cross section of all ages and abilities lends to our focus of meeting your neighbors and getting to know people you only know of through social media. And a charitable component even furthers that sense of common purpose.”
So what are you waiting for? Play ball!