In the Southeast, Wiffle® on a national platform has been in flux. Arguably at it's best during the Fast Plastic days, the region has had ebbs and flows since.
In 2010, when Golden Stick stepped in for the fallen Fast Plastic with it's tournament format, GSTC (Golden Stick Tournament Circuit), the region had a spike again. February that year saw an 8 team Opening Day event at Georgia Southern, won by NH's 603 All-Stars who traveled down the coast to kick off an amazing Golden Stick tourney year. That same year, GA's Super Savvy Psychos traveled to Phoenix for GSTC's National Championships falling, in Sunday's later rounds.
In 2011, the region continued with GSTC, running 4 more events on way to Nationals. That year, the event held in Boston saw Savvy again travel to represent the South.
In 2012, the region adopted league style play yielding both Rome GA's Muscadines and the Savvy gang as contenders in the repeat of Nationals in Boston.
While missing are the old vets, Ken Flammia, TJ Goelz, "Banjo", and the core of what was S.E. Wiffle® 2004-'12, the region still has a pulse. There is still great hope that this bustling area of so many Wiffleing states can re-emerge as a powerhouse.
As Golden Stick streamlines itself, trying to do ever tying from stay afloat to explode the game, there is a rally call brewing. While simpler to exhaust no effort, focusing on the bustling Yard League (Medium Pitch) movement in the North, it goes against the grain of what GSWL is, was, and should be. "We were built on fast pitch" offered league President Lou Levesque. "We worked hard to spread to the South and I know there are teams there. We've just be unable to get them organized enough to achieve what we have up North."
Not giving up, Levesque sees 2014 as the year to turn things around. For the second year, GSWL will bring it's National Championship "The OPEN" to the South. Last year Savannah, GA played host and it appears they will again in 2014. With a distant shot the event would be brought to FL, the league has promised a June 15 closing of the polls.
As have many things with the brand, Golden Stick's formatting has evolved over the years. While a complex league/tourney hybrid system rules the North, GSWL will offer a basic platform in it's Southern, Western, and Central locations.
Here it is in a most basic form:
-With 1-4 additional events being offered in the South, the first of which is scheduled for June 28 in Savannah, GA.
-The tournament will be, fast pitch, pool play AM rounds, leading to single elimination.
-Cost will be $100/team, $50 of which will go into the event's prize pool paying 1st.
-The event will be confirmed once 4 teams register to play.
-The winner of the 4-12 team event will earn a BID to Nationals on October 11 & 12, 2014.
-Based on interest, we also hold events on 8/2, 8/30, and 9/13.
-Teams not securing a bid, will be invited to The OPEN to play in Saturday's Wildcard Tournament. the WC Tourney will run side by side with the National Championship Bracket for teams with bids.
-Winners of the Wildcard Bracket at The OPEN will earn the final spots in Sunday's Super 8, just 3 games away from a national title.
-Team uniforms will be required. Teams from other leagues, including all-star teams from other leagues are invited to represent their organizations on the fields of Golden Stick. It is time to work together and make our great sport…greater.
Teams will need to register by paying a $50 registration fee. The remaining $50 should be brought to the fields in cash as it will be paid out at day's end.
**We are working hard to get this region into focus. We would appreciate it if teams from the Southeast would email us if they know:
A. know they are not able to make the 6/28 event and
B. if they have interest for other events and/or the future of this potentially amazing region.
PLEASE RESPOND BY 6/10.