Easthampton Wiffleball League hoping to grow after first season

Jeff Roberson

By BRADYN COTE

Staff Intern

Published: 10-24-2023 11:02 AM

This fall, the Easthampton Parks and Recreation Department pitched the idea of creating a local adult coed Wiffle Ball league. Sprouting from a couple of Facebook posts, the parks and rec department was able to conjure up a six-team league, each comprised of eight players. The selected location was Sheehan Field at the scenic Nonotuck Park, and since it was announced, the league has hit the ground running.

The first stretch of games started on Sept. 11 with action played the following six weeks between 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Each of the games is played on the grass outfield of Sheehan Field where there are painted lines, bases, Wiffle Balls, and bats provided for each team to use. Out of the eight players on each team, only four play in the field at a time — a pitcher, catcher, and two fielders. The remaining four players can be substituted throughout the seven-inning game.

The league quickly grew in popularity, as many people didn’t hesitate to comment on Facebook posts and share among their friends.

“One of my friends had seen [the Facebook post] first and next thing you know, he’s like ‘let’s get a team together,’” said league member Brian English. “We had a team together in about 15 minutes. For short notice, six teams is pretty solid, but I think if they gave it a good year to work into, they could probably get 10 to 12 teams.”

Not only has this backyard sport brought teams together for competitive and engaging community fun, it has attracted spectators as well.

“We’re finding that a lot of our older parents are showing up to watch us play,” said league member Molly Montgomery. “It’s been decades since they’ve shown up to watch their kids play sports so it’s just been really great and a lot of fun.”

Many of the members were surprised by how quickly teams came together and how they all showed great interest in the sport.

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“I got invited into it and then eight hours later I was making a logo for my team,” said league member Bill Perry. “I was wondering if anybody was going to play and if Wiffle Ball was actually happening, and all of a sudden there were six teams.”

Using this year as a way to test the water and see how many people they can get to join, the regular season was relatively short. Looking back on its success, many are hoping that the parks and rec department will develop the sport by adding more games to the season as well as a postseason come 2024.

Although this was the first year of the Easthampton Wiffle Ball League, it quickly gained traction and brought friends, families, and neighbors together in one place.