If you stroll by the Blue field starting Week 2, you’ll notice an extra foul line and arc in orange paint in the general vicinity of the existing foul lines. Do not be alarmed, some other league isn’t invading our turf. During weeks 2, 3, and 4 the Blue field is pulling double duty for both the PWL regular season, and tryouts for the PWL All Star team that will be heading to the National Wiffle League Association Tournament in Columbus, Ohio, this July.
The third annual tournament, which was co-founded and is largely hosted by the PWL, will be July 18th through 20th. The PWL is one of sixteen leagues who each send an all star team to represent their league in the National Tournament. The rules are a combination of rules used throughout the leagues. The tournament is fast pitch, with walks, and the field is the official 90 degree width like a traditional baseball field. (2 fielders and a pitcher are used to make up for the wider field.)
The PWL team, called the Nationals, finished tied for 5th out of eight teams in the 2012 tournament. They finished tied for 5th again in 2013, but improved this time out of twelve teams. Holding tryouts throughout the Spring season is part of Commissioner Gallaway’s strategy, he manages the team, to improve again this year.
“Our biggest disadvantage in this tournament is the pitching”, Gallaway said. “Our league is medium pitch, and that’s what our pitchers and hitters are used to. This is an entirely different game. So just because you’re a great PWL player doesn’t mean you’ll be a great NWLA player, and vice versa. We’re looking for pitchers who can throw heat, not finess the radar gun.”
Tryouts for the team are open to all players who are on a roster for the Spring season. Interested players are encouraged to contact the Commissioner in advance to express interest. There will be seven tryout sessions. Each session will last an hour, with the first 15 to 20 minutes including pitching and batting practice, followed by a scrimmage game, or simulated at-bats for the remaining part of the hour. Players must attend at least four of the seven sessions to be considered for the team. Players who were previously on the NWLA roster and wish to return only need to attend two sessions.
NWLA Tryout Sessions
- Week 2 (4/17) – 3:30 PM and 4:30 PM
- Week 3 (5/4) – 3:30 PM and 4:30 PM
- Week 4 (5/11) – 2:30 PM, 3:30 PM, and 4:30 PM
The finalists will be narrowed down after the tryouts. The roster is traditionally six players. There is talk of expanding the NWLA rules to allow for more than six players, but it’s unclear if that proposal will pass, or even if it does, the PWL will expand its representation.
“There are six open spots on the team as of today. I’m sure some of the players from 2013 will be coming back, but everyone has to earn their spot. We need to open this up, cast a wide net, and find some arms built for fast pitch, not medium pitch. I think they’re out there, they just need a chance to prove it,” Gallaway said.
PWL players who are not able to go to Ohio, are welcome to scrimmage during the tryout times if they’d like to join in. Especially if you’ve got an hour time slot open to kill and want to take some AB’s.
Players who are selected will have an all-expense paid trip, including airfare, hotel and meals, to Columbus. In addition, each player will get home, away and alternate jerseys provided by the league.
Sign up for the tryouts today, email the Commish.