After 33 years, the oldest and largest wiffleball tournament in the nation is moving to Skokie.
Due to a takeover of the Indiana agency that had run the tournament for eight years, the ownership of the legendary World Wiffle®Ball Championship, founded in Mishawaka, Indiana in 1980, has reverted to the tournament's original founder, who is moving the bat-and-ball institution to Skokie, Illinois, to be run by the Skokie Park District.
“Many options were explored, including several plans that might have kept the event in Indiana,” said tournament founder Jim Bottorff, “but ultimately, this deal made the most sense for keeping the tournament alive and healthy.”
The not-for-profit tournament features five-person teams playing with perforated plastic Wiffle® balls, on miniature ball fields with six-foot home run fences. Over the years, the open event — which grew up in the shadow of Notre Dame's famed golden dome — has been featured in ESPN The Magazine, Men’s Health, USA Today, on Fox, CBS, ABC and NBC-TV, and in the book “101 Baseball Places to See Before You Strike Out.” The tournament has hosted thousands of teams over four decades, including regional stops in Baltimore; Los Angeles; Eugene, Oregon; and Barcelona, Spain.
The Skokie Park District is no stranger to the Indiana game, as it was home to the National Wiffle®Ball Championship from 2008 to 2012.
“I have no doubt that the tournament will thrive in its new home in the Chicago suburbs,” said local attorney Nate Hansen, 30, a player since he was 10-years-old. “Hopefully all the familiar faces that made the pilgrimage every summer to Indiana will now make the trip to nearby Skokie to continue this great tradition.”
The 34th Annual World Wiffle®Ball Championship will be played on 12 fields at Skokie’s Channelside Park on June 29 and 30, 2013. Teams of men and women, 10-years-old and older are guaranteed four games in a round-robin format, with division winners advancing to a single-elimination playoff.
Call (847) 929-7171 for more information.