A Hobby Turned Into a Sport: The Fascinating Game of Wiffleball


Wiffleball is a sport played like baseball with a plastic bat and ball. Wiffleball uses a strike zone typically constructed with PVC pipe and sheet metal. So at first glance, wiffleball seems like a fun and interesting hobby. But, wiffleball is a very competitive sport.

As someone who runs a wiffleball league, the cost, time, and effort should instantly qualify wiffleball as a sport. Wiffleball has shaped into the sport it is today through the use of social media. The main social media outlet used to spread wiffleball awareness is YouTube. In 2008, Wiffleboy 28, a.k.a. Sean Steffy, posted his first wiffleball pitching tutorial. Steffy is considered the father of wiffleball because he put the sport on the map. He used his homemade wiffleball strike zone constructed of PVC pipe and sheet metal. He used a wiffleball scuffed by a steak knife. He threw his famous drop ball which broke about four feet. That pitch caught many people’s attention.

Sean Steffy acquired millions of views and was featured on some news outlets which really brought light to wiffleball. Steffy played in competitive wiffleball tournaments such as the golden stick wiffleball tournament, which is the best wiffleball competition in the U.S. Despite losing this year in the United Wiffle Championship, Steffy had won the past three tournaments. Steffy really brought light to the sport of Wiffle. But there was also an uprising of another league.

MLW or Major League Wiffleball made their first post to YouTube around 2010-2011. MLW started to blow up on social media and has even made appearances on Sportscenter’s top ten plays. MLW had started off as a small account and slowly grew and now has 182k subscribers on YouTube. MLW was slightly different from Sean Steffy’s kind of wiffleball because the MLW is medium pitch while Steffy’s wiffleball allows pitchers to throw as hard as they want. Many pro wiffleball players throw around 85-90 mph with a wiffleball. In contrast, MLW is a medium pitch league meaning they throw at a slightly slower speed, but that does not take away the skill from these athletes.

I personally have played in a professional wiffleball tournament. I clocked in at about 75 mph with a wiffleball. Wiffleball is a no joke sport that will only continue to grow with the number of children that grow up watching the sport. What started as a quirky and fun game has now turned into a competitive sport. For that, we can thank Sean Steffy and MLW.