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                              Teams and Players Poised for Breakout Years

                                                        by the gang


     With the 2013 year fast approaching we thought it would be fun to poll our COWL pals and see who

you think is poised for a breakout year - both individual players and teams.


     By virtue of their improvement from year to year, or maybe it's their second year or maybe a team has

picked up some new talent - tell us who and why 2013 will be a banner year from them - and we will keep

this strictly ANONYMOUS brag away !


     We will compile your comments and add our own $.02 in the near future.

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   Comment : replies from the Commissioners are in orange

The Knights will rule in 2013, if they keep Whitey and the other guy.  Made it to the championship series in

year 1 and gave Legends all they wanted.

I heard the Young Guns are loading up...if they can get all their guys there they will make some noise !

Legends are fading this will be the year someone else wins it all
Amos, from the Knights, will have a breakout year. Speed, pitching, power. Turning into a good player.

Amos showed one of the single greatest improvements from 1st to 2nd year in history, quadrupling his HRs from 10 to 39 and tripling his RBIs from 31 to 91, finishing in the top 10 in both categories.  Another jump of that magnitude will make him the league leader in both...but that's a tall order...good luck !

I'm picking the Knights to win it also.  If they keep all their guys and Dustin and Amos keep getting better,

they will definitely rule this league.

Not so fast my friend...there are several other very experienced and very competitive teams in this league, and the Tigers from London will be joining us this year.  I wouldn't write ANYONE's name in just yet.

I will be glad not to get beat by PVB from Game hitting HRs with solid balls against us.  My team is recruiting some new guys this year so maybe we will be champs

Word on the street is that Tyler Wiget from the U is forming his own team this year...don't know what impact this will have on one of the historically solid teams in the league - the U.  John ?

Count the Dirt Dogs back in.  New and improved and ready for year 2 !

Winners of the most fun team to play against - the Dirt Dogs return (with a new flat tip I might add)

Any word from PVB ? Redlegs ?

None yet.  Will be interesting to see how they fill out their roster.  Trevor has mentioned in the past he would like to get a team of his baseball players in the league.  We are confident, if all the teams we had last year

return, we will have at least 12 this year.

The Tigers are very much looking foward to playing with you guys this year. We wont have our full team, but what will have is the youngest bomb dropper in wiffleball history!! Haha
Jace will be in good company...have had several youngsters come up thru the ranks (including my Levi).  As noted above, they can be some of the most feared / scorned players in the league...had a youngster (Gabe Fisher - PVB) in the top 5 in HRs last year (grumble, grumble, grumble)...we will put you in a division with other similar teams
Not sure what's up with us (the U), think some of our players are playing with another team.  we will have to find a couple of new players.  Anyone know any good players looking for a team ?
Hearing Nick Easterday Jimmy Lump and Jordan Squibb fielding a squad. If so, they will be a real danger
Well I will have to say the NEW team I'm bringing in will be one of the most power hitting teams we do not have a "captain" we are all "captains"
Why don't other baseball teams have teams ?   half a dozen from Unioto maybe Adena or PV or ZT should find a team would be interesting to see them play each other-ek
We want to have more medium speed pitching-with modified bats.  That was fun.
I think the Hill boys have disbanded their team. Think there will be any good FA come off their roster?

If our COWL Wifflers know the numbers of any guys considering getting a team in, please get me a cell

number so I can personally invite them to join us.  That seems to get teams considering it over the hump.


As for the PV, ZT, Adena angle, we have tried but if you know someone, ask them and then pass their

number to me so we can arrange some scrimmages.   If we get them out for a few games they are hooked.


Collin is one of the best in the league and Corbin's stats per inning average is nearly as good as Collin's.

Either one would be a huge pickup for a struggling team...if you are interested text me and I will put you

in touch with them.


We are all for 1 night of medium pitch - and it is no trouble to set up.  We will take a league vote and let

you guys decide.

Put me down for a night of overhand medium pitch, as long as it is not to fast and hittable
Some places call it "pitch to hit" speed we are interested too didn't do any of that last year when I played JW

How do you measuer /  control pitch speed ? are walks still doubles ? the pitcher mounds are way too close

for fastpitch

We moved the mounds back to 40' for overhand.  A stopwatch can be used from pitch release to plate.  At 40', 40mph (which is very hittable) is 1 second even.  Less than 1 second and the pitch is too fast (and you can tell this just by watching - it looks to fast).  Six balls is a walk.  It was a single last go around, but this did

not work too well - would suggest sticking with normal rules - walk = double.

Put the U down for a night of fastpitch - or whoever I end up playing with, I guess just me
so looking forward to this season !
Kerry with the SLWL in St. Louis here love your site and wish our league was as active we play fastpitch cause we think slow pitch is too easy but it looks like your teams enjoy it
Tim Meade from the Southern California Wiffle league (SCWL) we think slow pitch is gay old fat men who cant hit anymore
Our new Commissioners will be canvassing our players to determine our fast pitch interest...Kerry, slow pitch is NOT easier, just different.  You have to be a much better fielder because of the increased hitting and base running skills are crucial...As for you Mr. Meade, I will take your word on what constitutes gay since Southern California wrote the book on that !  Although I am sure our definitions would be significantly different....'nough, I saw where you don't even run bases in your league and you have one of those narrow lined laughing stocks for a field...seems like you would be the old fat guys who have shrunk your field down to a postage stamp then outlawed baserunning.  Can I get an AMEN !?!
What kind of bats are we allowed to use ?  Anything with 1 5/8 inch diameter ?
Rules page, Section 1-3 :. Equipment - All bats used in league play must be official regulation, yellow WIFFLE bats. They may not be stuffed or altered in any way other than listed below. Bats may have tape on the handle. Bats may be painted with spray paint in colors suitable to your team.
Are pink bats allowed ? 

We at COWL do not discriminate on color.  We are equal opportunity official Wiffle bat users, except that

most of us are partial to the standard issue yellow.

So I can use a pink Moonshot bats ? 

No.  Only official Wiffle bats are permitted.  We considered Moonshot and aluminum wiffle bats in the past

but were hesitant due to the huge difference in bat performance between these highly modified bats and the standard issue bats - upon which all our stats have been built.   It was also appearant after some investigation that our fields would not be large enough given the increased performance and that Wiffle ball usage would nearly triple due to cracking by the harder bats.  So, in order to prevent a bat war we settled

on the Official Wiffle Bat as our standard bearer.

Who would you say is the best player in our league ? 

That's a loaded question.  Funny, Phil and I were just kicking this around the other day.  I will give you my 2 cents worth and you can give me yours.   If I had 1st pick and was choosing a team, my 1st pick would be...Levi, for 3 reasons.  First, I have never played or seen anyone who hits the ball as far with such regularity.  When he is on all you can do is shake your head and laugh.  #2 He is deceptively good in the field, despite those size 15's and that little teeny head.  #3 He is family.  I don't relish the thought of sleeping on the porch much.


Given that, there are anyone of 20 guys in our league who are 3.5+ star (to use recruiting vernacular) guys - and probably 10 who are at least 4 star guys. 


Using the same football recruiting theme, I would take the Coach Tressel divisions ; Speed guys, Strength guys and Athletes.  In the Speed guy bucket I would put Blake Lansing and Phil King.  Both lightning fast down the line, hit a fair number of HRs and 5 star fielders.  Either one of those guys is a 4 star hitter with 5 star fielding and base running.


In the Strength bucket I would put the Andy Russell, Dave Fisher and Dave Page trio.  All hit for power but hustle out base hits.  All are better than average fielders, pitchers and know their way around the diamond - would rate them as 4+ star guys.


In the Athlete bucket I would put Tyler Manion, Corey White and Josh Wonderleigh.  Each can do pretty much everything well - 4+ stars at a minimum.


If you forced me into a corner I would probably narrowly pick Tyler from those 3 buckets.  He cannot be beat down the line (the left handed thing is a huge advantage), there are no holes in his half of the field and he was hitting HRs at an alarming rate before Wall-to-Wall threw in the towel.  That's a combo that is almost impossible to beat.  There is my call, with apologies to other names who deserve to be on the list but due to

space constraints could not be.

those seem like good picks but I don't know who Tyler is why isn't Jerry on the list

Tyler is a left handed speed demon who played outfield for Wall-2-Wall then BladeSharp...they folded in the middle of last season..Tyler missed perodically due to open gyms as he was a key cog in the CHS bball team.

As for Jerry he prefers to fly below the can leave me out of the

If the Legends could win a world series with three players last year I'm not sure anyone could take the crown if they find a decent 4th
Is there a list of teams signed up so far for the league?

We are hoping Ben rejoins us this year.... wereally missed him last year for a bunch of reasons.  On the team front it is still early but I have had several new teams inquire about joining us...the Tigers from London have signed on and I have had several high school baseball players indicate they are getting teams together.  Most of the teams who played last year have indicated they will be playing again so I am hopeful we may

manage to have 12 teams this year and need to utilize all 4 fields on a regular basis.  But, only time will tell and I imagine it will be May before we start to know for sure.

Have you heard from the Knights ? Is there team staying together.
Any feedback on the teams and what handicap level they will choose ?
When will our league start ?  Will we have an early tournament to start the season again ?
Same format - 3 game series again ?

As far as I know the Knights will return - not really sure what their team makeup will be.  Contract negotiations underway I am sure.


The handicap question is a mystery to me - almost no reaction from teams about what they will do. ?????


We hope to start the league in late May as normal, with a tournament in mid May, per normal, for charity.  


The reaction to the 3 game series has been positive - so unless teams start complaining we will stick to it. The only caveat is that tWo will be playing every other week - so we will need to schedule 2 series for them

on their night (or after opening night they will have 3-4 teams who only have 2 games left with them).


I would like to have a BIG opening night - on a Saturday, where each team plays a game with 3 different teams - the 1st game of the 3 game series to be finished during the regular season - just to kick things off with a bang and give teams the chance to play on different fields and get to meet each other.   I would like to do free hotdogs and chips that night...just a fun time with announcing to get things jacked up and rolling.


The Gazette guys have even asked about getting a team in the league this year...which could mean pictures and some more pub for our league, which would be way cool.

The handicap rules are a joke, why would anyone want to limit themselves to the amount of home runs they can hit in this league. That is suicide unless you are great at playing small ball and on 2 out of the 3 fields it is impossible with the stellar defense that is currently exhibited in this league.
Our team has talked about being AAA.  We don't think we can compete with the best teams like UMH and Legends on a regular bases without help, and we never hit 6 HRs in a game last year anyway, so why not give ourselves a chance and make some games interesting.

We really like both the above comments.  I am assuming the 1st is from a team that will be ML team, and they feel they can compete without any assistance.   The 2nd comment exactly encapsulates why we came up with this change - to give the teams without the big hitters a chance against the league's best.


But I would like to provide the science behind our madness, in hopes of showing that you have to chew on this proposal before it really makes sense.  At 1st glance it can seem kind of self-defeating for teams to choose AA or AAA, but it is really not.   And the advantage grows on certain fields.


First, these are the field averages from 2012;

         TLC Field      - 22 runs total per game, 13-9 avg score, 12 avg HRs per game

         Shelley Field - 18 runs total per game, 11-7 avg score, 10 avg HRs per game

         CC Field        - 16 runs total per game, 9-7 avg score, 8 avg HRs per game

         J&M Field    - 13 runs total per game, 8-5 avg score, 4 avg HRs per game


Assuming the HRs are split evenly between the teams (which is being generous to the losing - or generally less skilled team) only on TLC would the average team use up all 6 HRs allowed as a AAA team.   The trade off for taking only 6 would be a 3 run head start, or in equivalent, 3 automatic HRs to start the game.   Given the way the balls fly out of TLC this indeed could be a risky proposition.


On every other field however, the stats say a AAA team of average ability would be ahead with the 3 run head start and only 6 HRs to use.  On J&M field in 2012 over 90% of the games found at least one team not hitting 6 HRs.   In over 70% of the games neither team hit 6 HRs.  On CC field the percentages were 80% for a single team not hitting 6 HRs and 60% for neither hitting 6.   On Shelley the stats were 70% and 50%.


The reality is, eliminate the 2 best HR hitting teams in the league and in fully 75% of the games on any field except TLC NEITHER team hit 6 HRs.   In 40% of these games NEITHER team hit 4 HRs each..


Ergo, being a AA or AAA team on at least CC and J&M fields would overwhelming be NO penalty for the majority of the teams in the league - they would simply not use up the 3 or 6 HRs alloted for AA or AAA teams.  Indeed, they would be money ahead as they would trade those HRs they weren't going to use anyway for a guaranteed 3 or 6 runs...a VERY big deal when you consider the average winning score on J&M was just 8 runs, and 9 on CC.    Trading automatic runs for HRs which would not be used anyway.


The last nail in this coffin is supplied by the average HRs per game for each team.  2012 stats clearly show only 2 teams would be significantly hurt by dropping to AAA and 6 HRs - because their average HRs per game were greater than 6.   UMH, one of the best HR hitting teams in COWL history, averaged 6.1 HRs per game.  The stats actually show 3 teams that would not be terribly hurt by declaring as AA teams, restricting themselves to 3 HRs per game, but getting 6 run head starts vs ML teams.  


Which demonstrates the method to our madness.  We figured 1/3 of the teams in ML (and these averaged

more than 6 HRs per game each), 1/3 of the teams in AAA (and these averaged from 4-6 HRs per game)

and 1/3 in AA (averaging less than 4 HRs per game).  s would be significantly hurt by dropping to AAA and 6 HRs - because their average HRs per game were greater than 6.  


The last fact to consider is when our games are played now.   Nearly all games are played after dark, since we start at 8 PM.   I don't have any quantitative data, but we all know that when the sun goes down and the air gets heavy, especially early in the year, HRs can be impossible to hit, especially on J&M and CC.  One series in 2012 the Legends played the Knights on TLC, of all places, and with a slight breeze blowing in and heavy air, a total of 7 HRs were hit in the ENTIRE series, by both teams, COMBINED.   On that night, a 6 run head start for one team or the other would have been lethal, even on TLC field.


We are hoping for that unpredictability.  We think our league needs it.   Plus, there are 2 fields a AA or AAA team could buy as home fields to complement their choice.  Can anyone imagine playing Wall2Wall on J&M and them having a 3 or 6 run lead.   That would be scareeey.    Better strategerize, as President Bush says.

2/10/2013 11:56 - My team is anxious to get going this year.  I don't know if we will be AA or AAA.  I say we should be AA - those 6 runs against the top teams could put us over the top.  We didn't win a single game against any team in the other division last year.  If we can steal 3 or 4 with help from a head start, we could put ourselves in way better position for the playoffs.  The rest of my team wants to be AAA so we don't lose any dingers, but I say we won't use on most nights anyway - better to get the automatic runs.
2/10/2013 16:24 - I don't know about everyone else, but I'm not stupid. With the roster changes, whether improvements or downgrades (yet to be determined), UMH and PVB can be scary but the make-up of those teams is something to ponder. The fact is going into their second season as a unit, the Knights will be slaying teams in a medieval fashion that can only be matched by the likes of the Legends. By the end of last season the moonshots these two teams were cranking out could be seen from orbit, I'm certain. Point being...AA, AAA, ML, just doesn't matter. My team could be spotted 15 runs and get slayed by the Knights. They could perhaps become stuff of Legend(s). However, there can only be one champion, and the Legends have a mortal lock on that moniker.
2/10/2013 22:05 - I agree with both of the above.  If the teams stay the same I don't think the results will be any different in the end.  I can see how the different brackets will make it more competitive in the league but during the playoffs will things go back to even ?  If so, we lose by double digits again also.

2/11/11:18 - All good points but based on past years I don't think the makeup of teams will stay the same - there have been way more changes the past couple of years than I anticipated and I think you will see even more this year.   Even Joey Davis of Paints fame indicated they were trying to get back together to play in the league.   With only 1 series per team you could see dramatic swings in where teams finish.   With the weighted rules - if your ML team has a bad night you are in serious trouble...which we think will bring way more parity to the league - but we will see.  I have been wrong before.


The playoffs will be played under the SAME rules as the regular season - so the handicapping will continue into the playoffs exactly like is done in the regular season.  That should give some teams at the bottom hope.   If you have a good series - and your opponent does not, your chances of beating even ML teams jumps way up...Parity, parity, parity...

2/11/2013 9:41 - I like it we finish top middle every year but don't hit that many HRs good pitchers, decent fielders, play small ball ok / may be just what we need to get over the top / if we can swallow the indignity of taking a head start
2/11/2013 12:23 - i don't know which is worse, getting beat mercyed 2 out of 3 games or admitting you can't compete and taking a head start ## but my team is tired of losing bad so i think we will try plan b
2/12/2013 01:17 - found your site while looking through league sites on the NWLA site - this site should be ranked much higher than 31st - you've got it all, except video -show us some games ! I hail from the Galactic Wiffle ball league in Medford, OR - good luck in the upcoming season - we will check back - Jim Mc
2/12/2013 11:38 - Drew Sevens - AWL (Arizona Wiffleball League) - Captain of the Papercuts - I agree with comments above, I have visited all of the top 50 sites on the NWLA board.  Although your site is kind of dated in its style and you use lots of different color big print, it is easy to read and you flat out destroy the entire rest of the list with your content about league play, fields, rules and tourneys, etc.  Your stats section is the best I have seen period.  I am looking forward to your articles and have bookmarked your site so I can return often.   I wish our league and site were this good.  Wiffle on !
2/14/2013 10:4 - We will be following your updates this year - we may bring our team from OU to play in one of your tournaments again - we had a great time a couple of years ago when we came.  See ya

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