New Wiffleball League A Success in Ellington

The Ellington Wiffle Ball League opened its doors to the town of Ellington in 2015 and Ellington did not disappoint. After the success of the Russell-Tautkus Tournament of 2014, the EWBL decided it was time to reach out to the Ellington Recreation Department and see if the league could become a sanctioned league.

With only about ten players remaining from the original league which was started in 1999, the EWBL was hoping the two could help provide a boost in numbers. With the help of Bob Tedford the EWBL became a town-sanctioned sport and the rest is history. Forty-seven players played in a league sanctioned game in 2015. “Looking back on this season it is pretty impressive how much we were able to grow the league in only one year”, says longtime EWBL commissioner Erick Knickerbocker. (See the rest of this story and photos on TheSportsDept.com)

After announcing plans for a league in the winter, teams signed up rapidly and before opening day the EWBL had eight teams signed up for league play. However due to some conflicts, and work schedules the league combined a few teams, lost a few teams and ended up with four really talented teams led by Erick Knickerbocker, Dustin Mocadlo, Neal Janiga, and Danny Hayes. “We were really happy with the four teams we had this year, these guys matched our love of the game and passion for Wiffleball”, says Knickerbocker.

The teams played a two-month regular season which consisted of weekly games against one another. Each team earned points for competing, and points for winning games. In early August the teams competed in the first EWBL playoffs since 2004. Team Knickerbocker and Team Mocadlo squared off in the championship and it was team Mocadlo who captured the 2015 crown with an impressive sweep of the championship series. “Although some of the scheduling was difficult, most guys really enjoyed the team format”, said Knickerbocker. Because of inconsistent numbers in the past the EWBL had become more of a pick-up league, and this year with consistent teams Knickerbocker said the level of competition and fun was both raised. “We ended up with four quality clubs that could really play the game of wiffle ball”, Knickerbocker said.

One of the things that makes the EWBL unique is that they have been compiling stats since 2003. In 2015 Neal Janiga led the league in homers with 32, while Knickerbocker led with 70 rbi’s. Danny Hayes had the highest league average hitting a smoldering .646 for the season. Dustin Mocadlo was 5-0 with a 3.20 ERA on the mound, while Art Allegra struck out a league leading 50 batters. All statistics were compiled by league statistician Anthony Allegra.

The league has also taken an active role in assisting Danny Hayes in his annual Tautkus-Russell tournament. “With all of the coverage, and great success Danny has had the past two years we are really looking to help him expand the tournament to forty teams next year”, says Knickerbocker. The league helped Danny expand the tournament to two fields in 2015, and the tournament may expand even more in 2016.

With all of the success in 2015, where does the league go in 2016? “We are hoping to secure two more full-time teams for the regular season next year, we also want to expand our pick-up games to once a week to give more people the opportunity to try the game and see if they want to join the league”, says Knickerbocker. The league is also considering trying to get in some night games if possible. Teams are made up of 5-10 players, with a minimum of four players needed for each game.

If you are interested in joining the league, or finding out more about it please check our the Ellington Wiffle Ball’s website at www.ellingtonwiffle.tk

 

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