The wiffleball and wiffleball bat were invented by David Mullany of Fairfield, Connecticut in 1953.
The game of wiffleball (a variation of baseball) is played with a 32" plastic bat and a plastic ball. The ball has holes cut into one side which allows for a variety of different curves to be thrown by the pitcher. Specific rules, size of teams, distances between home plate and pitcher's mound, distance between the bases have always been left up to the individuals playing the game and the dimensions of backyards, front yards or parks in which the game is played.
Learning the best pitches in Wiffleball is of utmost importance. To be successful at wiffleball you need to know how to throw a variety of pitches. A pitcher with a good variety of pitches in wiffleball will be nearly unhittable. Below are what I believe to be the 5 most important pitches to be able to throw in wiffleball:
(These instructions are for right handed pitchers. For lefties, simply reverse the directions in the instructions).
- Curveball - The most basic of all wiffleball pitches. Place two fingers slightly apart with the holes of the ball facing to the right. Throw the pitch with an overhand motion. To a right handed batter, aim the pitch directly over the middle of the plate. It will look hittable to the batter but will curve out of the strike zone at the last second. to a left handed batter, aim the pitch about a foot outside of the strike zone. The ball will curve at the last second an catch the outside corner of the plate.
- Screwball - The opposite of the curveball. Place two fingers slightly apart with the holes of the ball facing to the left. Throw the pitch with and overhand motion. To a right handed batter, aim the pitch outside with the intention of cathing the outside corner at the last second. To a left handed batter, aim the pitch over the middle of the plate. It will look hittable to the batter but will curve out of the strike zone at the last second.
- Sinker Screwball - The most unhittable of all wiffleball pitches. Grip the ball the same as a screwball but when delivering the pitch, drop your arm down and throw the ball at a 3/4 sidearm angle. To a right handed batter, aim the ball over the middle of home plate. The bottom will drop out of the pitch and it will curve to the right at the last second and be unhittable. To a left handed batter, aim the pitch directly at the batter's head. As the batter bails out of the batter's box, the pitch will break down and across the middle of the plate.
- Sinker - A variation of the Sinker Screwball. Throw this pitch completely sidearm and watch the bottom drop out of the pitch as it crosses home plate. Start the pitch out directly over home plate, waist high. The goal should be for the pitch to drop down on home plate.
- Knuckleball - A wiffleball knuckleball is fun. A well thrown knuckleball will be impossible to control and next to impossible to hit. Hold the ball with the basic two finger grip but raise your index finger up and dig into the ball gently with your finger nail. You can experiment with the holes of the ball being in different locations. Practice throwing the ball so as to put as little to no spin on the ball as possible. To a right or left handed batter, aim the ball directly across home plate and let the fun begin. The ball will dance and dart all over the place when thrown correctly and often times the batter will swing and miss at a knuckleball only to have the pitch eventually hit them.
All of these pitches will take some practice to perfect and you can will develop your own strategies as to where the pitch needs to be aimed for the best result. But the end result will be a victory for you and your wiffleball team and the fun of watching your friend's futile attempts to hit your pitching.