7/8 7/12 7/13 7/13 7/13 7/13 7/13 7/27 7/27 7/27 7/27 7/27 8/2 8/3 8/3 8/9 8/9 8/16 8/23
FS 3|3 FS 0|0 HB 0|2 BW 0|4 EL 1|1 ON 0|0 IS 0|13 EL 1|1 IS 0|0 WW 0|0 ON 3|0 KF 6|3 KF 0|1|0 FS 0 BW 1|2 EL 1|2 R★ 2 BW 0 The
WW 0|0 WA 1|1 KF 1|3 KF 1|10 HB 0|0 WA 3|3 WO 11|8 WA 0|2 WA 3|3 ON 3|3 WW 1|1 WO 0|0 EL 4|0|1 BW 2 WA 0|1 BW 0|0 G★ 0 EL 2 Thrill

NWLA Tournament Wrap-up

  by Commissioner Carl Coffee

The eight leagues that traveled to Columbus, OH, to play in the Inaugural NWLA Tournament all at one point had a vision to form a league. It took blood, sweat, and maybe some tears, but in the end we were all successful in forming our respectful leagues. I remember in early 2005 when I decided to form the Downriver Wiffleball League, and all of the struggles and frustration that came with trying to make the league succeed. I loved this sport and I wanted to spread that love in my hometown. Seven years later, with a lot of help from Brandon Corbett, WSEM is one of the largest leagues in the country.

Why am I writing about the early history of my league? Well, for me, the NWLA Tournament was more than just a tournament that league All-Stars got to play in. The NWLA Tournament to me felt like a giant ‘Thank You’ for all the work I put into this sport over the years. Many times during the weekend I just stood still, took it all in, and realized how monumental this event truly was for the game. I am very thankful that I was able to be a part of it all.

I am a guy who loves power rankings. If I had to power rank my favorite moment over the weekend, #1 is easy to pick. Nothing felt better than when the first pitch was thrown Saturday night and the tournament got underway. It was also even more special because our first game happened to be against our in-state rival, the KWL. That feeling was incredible; to see the enthusiasm and genuine fun all my guys were having, that is something I will never forget. Everyone's favorite stare-down expert, Alex Shore, agrees about that incredible opening moment.

"Favorite Memory would be the atmosphere on Saturday night during our first game. I felt like we were professional athletes. Every league was playing with something to prove. This tournament was an all around amazing event. Chris Galloway is owed a debt that can't be repaid for all he has done for the sport!"  - Alex Shore, #33 RF

My #2 was defeating Washburn to reach the Loser’s Bracket final. That would be the fifth and final victory for our team, and it left us as one of the three remaining teams in the tournament. Seeing your flag continue to fly as others came down is a site that is both inspiring and validating. My #3 moment was going out to the fields on Friday night under the lights to just hang out and mess around with some of the other leagues; it allowed for the first time we shared a field to be one in which we were not opponents. I could easily keep this list going to 10 or 20, but I will stop it at three, so I can share the thoughts of some other Big Wood members.

"I didn't know what to expect when I came down Friday night for the Wiffleball weekend. I knew I was playing for the London tournament for my third year, and I knew I'd have a great time. I didn't know, however, how much fun it would be just being the 3rd base coach for the NWLA tourny. Saturday night was such a blasty blast. We drank rum and sang Backstreet Boys. I remember sitting on my bed in the hotel room with 5-6 strangers who ended up being awesome people. My favorite memory is all 5-6 of us having fake drunk names and 'cheers'ing before each drink. The day of the tournament was so much fun too. I got along with all of my teammates and most of the opponents, too. I loved being the 3rd base coach and would like to think that I helped our team be 3rd best in the nation. Can't wait for next year!"  - Nick Coffee, 3rd Base Coach

"Favorite memory of the tournament would have to be pissing off Potomac after both of the home runs. In my opinion the tournament really brought together the Wiffleballers that were present, even with the rivalries that formed. This tournament showed that Wiffleball has a presence throughout the United States."  - Austin Bischoff, #24 P

"So many of great memories and great people at the tournament. To all of the umpires, security, caterers, and grounds crew, thanks so much for your effort and help in making this event run so smoothly and be an incredible experience. It was fun watching the slightly-bewildered looks about Wiffleball turn into "wow, this is a pretty cool deal!" impressions over the three days we were there. Bonus thanks to the ASA umpires who came out to call these games. I'll admit I was very wrong; I didn't like the idea of umps when I first heard it, but these blues were fantastic! They learned the game quick, called the games very well, engaged and were conversational with all the players. Those guys were a huge part of the fun this weekend."  - Brandon Corbett, #17 UT

Finally, if you read Sam Skibbe’s article on the NWLA website, he absolutely nailed it in regards to Chris Galloway. I also want to thank Chris many times over for all of his hard work. His attention to detail is incredible, and for someone who runs a league and occasionally hosts tournaments, I sure learned a lot. Thank you again, Chris!