Entering its 16th season, it is hard to believe today’s Golden Stick Wiffle® League is the same league that spent the initial 2002 season in the front yard of a humble mansion in Danvers, MA. The true lineage of Golden Stick, often lost in the (muddy waters) of social media, online forums, and pop tent scuttlebutt, is a pedigree rich with ambition, vision, commitment, and the purist form of American competition. For its players, GSWL has extended the spotlight days, putting them on stages simply not found in post scholastic sports. The 1st and only officially licensed Wiffle® league in the world, Golden Stick is a cornerstone of today’s Wiffle® landscape.
It is often said that history is cyclical. Cresting 15 seasons of play, that saying now proves true here as well. Known for attention to detail, impressive venues, rigid qualifications, and a seeming separation from grass roots Wiffle®, Golden Stick again returns to the backyard…This time the backyard is yours!
In 2016, as teams across America play their own version of this 60 year old game, they can do so in pursuit of the sport’s only National Title. In any of the country’s amazing leagues, a local tournament, mom’s house, or at the beach on a Summer day, teams joust in the ultimate national points race. Each team’s position in the OPEN is a mere matter of results, as tens of thousands of pitches dodge the swing of the bat.
Our pricing model has been completely re-written. Gone are the days of $300 player fees and an upfront Spring commitment to league play. A simple, low cost membership process puts players & teams into the chase on their own terms. In addition to our traditional tourney style events, 3 new styles of sanctioned play now yield important standings points to winners. No longer is there a set schedule. No longer do you have to wait to play. Now, there is a Golden Stick game near you, just waiting to happen. Book it. Play it. Win it. One way or another…GET YOUR GAMES IN!
As you are about to read, the 2016 competitive format offers 4 robust styles of Golden Stick play, much of which is free!
Players sign up individually indicating a team they’ll be on, OR if they are free agents looking to be signed.
$100 - Returning players
$50 - Rookie 1st year players
Paid rookie teams get entrance to their 1st Golden Stick event (Super Qualifier -or- OPEN) for FREE!
-Your team’s official status in the 2016 GSWL Season
-Earn standings points in play across 4 GSWL sanctioned platforms *See above.
-Guaranteed spot in the OPEN, Golden Stick’s National Championships - Staten Island, NY August 26 & 27
-Insane online national points race for Super Sixteen Bracket seeding at the OPEN
-Official embroidered GSWL hat in your team’s colors
-Inclusion in the most robust Wiffle® experience in the game, and more…
*Players returning with a hat can elect to receive a GSWL T-shirt instead.
YOUR FOUR WAYS TO PLAY, EARN POINTS, AND CHASE A NATIONAL TITLE:
#1 SUPER QUALIFIER TOURNAMENTS
An event with 8 or more teams can become a Super Qualifier Tournament! Super Qualifiers are a blend of previous GSWL Regular Season events and the traditional single-day tournaments well known in the game. With many Super Qualifier events already scheduled pre-season, and more being added as we go, these events will serve as proving grounds as teams prepare for Nationals.
*Super Qualifier Details & Qualifications:
-$125/Team - Registration closes 24 hours before start time
-Ranked pool play in AM followed by single elimination bracket in afternoon
-Minimum of 4 games at each event for every team
-Medium pitch Yard League style pitching. Note: Yard is NOT slow pitch!
-Equipment & logistics managed by tourney promoter
-EVERY team plays for at least $50 in cash their last game of the day, via the “Exit Game”!
-Prize structure is as follows: (1st) $500, (2nd) $125, (3rd) $125, (Winners of ALL Exit Games) $50
-Double the points for a win (2). *All other sanctioned event styles are only 1pt for win.
-Incredible points bonuses for placing in event:
1st Place @ Super Qualifier = 10pts.
2nd Place @ Super Qualifier = 6pts.
3rd Place @ Super Qualifier = 4pts.
Super Qualifier Registration includes (3) FREE GSWL League Memberships! *For 1st time teams only.
These free memberships do not include the hats required in future league play. *(3) Official hats for just $25 more!
#2 TOURNEY TOUR
Bring your GSWL team on the road! Whether a local charity tournament, a known circuit event, or an annual Summer tradition between you and some friends, your team can advance in the GSWL standings by taking down the trophy!
Win 1st place in a qualified* tournament and you earn 5 points in the race to the OPEN!
*Tourney Tour Details & Qualifications:
-Tournament must be in good standing with WIFFLE, Inc.
-Team must be registered as a league team in GSWL prior to tourney
-Tournament must have 8 or more teams
-Tournament must be publicly posted for a minimum of 2 weeks prior
-All playing styles, bat types, pitch speeds, rule structures, & formats honored *WIFFLE® Balls only.
-Same media, upload, uniform, & statistical requirements as an official Backyard Game apply
-GSWL teams meeting in outside tournaments count as an official Inter-League game *See below.
-Team entering/winning tournament must conform to all official GSWL Roster Rules to earn the points
-Official Tourney Tour play included in GSWL membership - No additional GSWL fees.
-Teams CAN play Inter-League games at outside tourneys. *See Playing Style #3, Inter-League play for details.
**Tourney Tour season Opens with the 1st Super Qualifier (4/30) and closes 7/9 which is 1 week prior to the final scheduled Super Qualifier.
#3 INTER-LEAGUE PLAY (Non Golden Stick Wiffle® Leagues)
Commish, do you love the league you built??? We love it too! Call us!
Now, any league or tournament in the wide world of Wiffle® is considered sanctioned play in Golden Stick's National Championship chase. Now, teams committed to other leagues, who want to win a National Title, can play THERE and climb the standings HERE. Same teams, same uniforms, same great history can now be put on the National Championship train in this first of its kind inter-league collaboration.
When GSWL registered teams play each other in other leagues or tourneys, they can earn points in both formats! We'll even add to the prize package of the other leagues.
***Champions from leagues outside of GSWL earn FREE entrance to the 2016 Golden Stick National Championships, The OPEN ($150 value).
*Inter-League Details & Qualifications:
-Outside league/tourney must be a legitimate, posted, accessible, league/tourney.
-Must be in good standing with WIFFLE, Inc.
-Teams must submit league/tourney details to GSWL prior to earning points in a non-Golden Stick events.
-Golden Stick will honor most Non-GSWL playing formats, equipment sets, & rules *WIFFLE® Balls only
-Team(s) must conform to all official GSWL Roster Rules to earn the points
-Must follow official media, upload, uniform, & statistical requirements -See "Earning Points - Make It Official" below.
-ONLY games between registered GSWL teams award standings points
-Maximum of 6 Inter-League / Backyard Games per opponent reflected in GSWL standings
-Official Inter-League play included in membership - No additional GSWL fees
**Inter-League season Opens with the 1st Super Qualifier (4/30) and closes 7/9 which is 1 week prior to the final scheduled Super Qualifier.
#4 GSWL BACKYARD GAMES
Has finding the big stage taken away from the love of an old fashioned backyard game? No longer does that have to be! Golden Stick Wiffle® League’s 2016 formatting offers the first ever universal sanctioning of your favorite Summer time activity - everywhere you play! Now, every game you play can help your team’s journey to a National Championship.
Utilizing GSWL Matchmaking, GSWL teams coordinate limitless games against one another as they jockey for points in the 2016 season. Whether meeting for a 3 game series on a Saturday, a double header in a local park after work, or at mini-events with multiple teams, Spring and Summer are now filled with as many league games as your team desires to play. Rack up the points and claim your spot in the dance!
Unable to win a big tourney but have some time on your hands? Need to grind your points out on weeknights? Limited to a few weekend events? The traditional road to the OPEN is now a system of trails. Only now, you blaze your own!
*Backyard Game Details & Qualifications - MAKE IT OFFICIAL!:
-Opponent must be registered as a league team in GSWL for game to count in standings
-Game must be scheduled and pre-approved by Golden Stick
-Standard sized strike zones are roughly 2’ x 3’ targets - Backstops should be 6’-8’ in any direction
-Field sizes vary - Width should range between 65’-95’ - HR Distance from plate should range between 80’-110’
-Every good Wiffle® Ball field comes with its own set of house rules. Discuss before 1st pitch
-Modified Wiffle® yellow bats, & Moonshot STick® are the only bats used in Backyard Play
-Medium pitch Yard League style pitching - Note: Yard is NOT slow pitch!
-Equipment often provided by the host, but logistics should be coordinated by teams
-Maximum of 6 Backyard / Inter-League games against single opponent reflected in GSWL standings
-Must follow official media, upload, uniform, & statistical requirements -See "Earning Points - Make It Official" below.
-Official Backyard Play included in membership - No additional GSWL fees.
**Backyard Game season Opens with the 1st Super Qualifier (4/30) and closes 7/9 which is 1 week prior to the final scheduled Super Qualifier.
THE AMAZING FIELDS OF WIFFLE®
For every game played inside the inflatable home run fences of Golden Stick, there have been thousands decided in homemade backyard fields across America. In this new format, we can finally celebrate the vast array of field styles Wiffle® is so commonly known for. Now, home filed advantage comes to you!
For an amazing overview of some of the country’s best playing fields, visit Excursions website. CLICK IMAGE --->
EARNING POINTS - MAKE IT OFFICIAL!
Golden Stick is excited to embrace the wide variety of Wiffle® styles out there, while still adhering to 15 years of building a brand. Attention to detail has been instrumental in turning GSWL into one of the game’s top organizations. Our media, upload, uniform, & statistical requirements will apply to ALL officially scored playing styles. Teams must meet the following requirements to record points throughout the season.
*Exception: GSWL hats are the only uniform requirement in beach play! And some trunks of course…
-3-5 players with a max of 3 Veterans per roster
*Players deemed Journeymen and returning (in-tact) rosters are exceptions to the 3 Vet Rule.
-Winning team must upload 30 seconds of video, a 3+ sentence summary, & a pic of the team to Golden Stick’s Facebook page for every game DEADLINE: 11:59p/same day
*Smart phone video acceptable. Additional video welcomed. Losing team encouraged to do same.
-STATS & STANDINGS:
-Game results & score reported to league, updating My Stats Online® database, and the National Standings Points Race on goldenstickwiffle.com, DEADLINE: Immediately following game.
-Full game stats into My Stats Online® DEADLINE: 11:59p/same day
ORGANIZERS & REGIONS
Now, YOU can run Golden Stick! Through new GSWL Backyard Game, national clusters of as few as 2 or 3 teams can enjoy their own regular season in GSWL! Challenge teams in your area, schedule games, fight for points, and even earn money promoting your own GSWL events.
Events of 2-7 teams can be run for FREE. Wiffle® organizers with 8 teams or more can get paid by running a GSWL Super Qualifier paying over $850 in prizes! The bigger you grow the game in your area, the more money you make for running the game you love.
*Territorial restrictions MAY apply to regional expansion. Contact the league office today to learn more about your role in growing the game.
Like many things in life, this sport has begun to thrive on social media. With an ever expanding list of matchups, the constant claiming of standings points will be relentlessly altering the national rankings. Your team’s standing is only as strong as your latest results. Where before, teams were protected by the time between weekend events, the league now lives and breathes daily, someone always on your heals. You’ll hear about it on Facebook.
NATIONAL RANKINGS - THE BRACKET
The Golden Stick website has traditionally been centered around articles, wrap ups, and varies types of long form media. In 2017, the focus will shift towards national rankings, games on the docket, results, and the layout of the coveted Super Sixteen Bracket. All year long, the home page will display the "If the OPEN were today" Super Sixteen Bracket. Earn your points and HANG ON!
THE SUPER SIXTEEN - The Place You Want To Be!
As you’ll see in the blueprint of the 2016 National Championships below, those successful enough to hold a spot in the league’s national Top 16, have a direct shot at the National Championship Game itself. Only four games from the big one, the Super Sixteen Bracket at the OPEN is the place you want to be!
THE PLAYER'S CUP - The Ultimate Second Chance At National Glory
Everybody looks forward to nationals. Countless sacrifices are made to get there. Yet, on such a big stage, success is reserved for a limited few as for most, their Wiffle® dreams are often shattered in one round or the next. However, as with much of Golden Stick's formatting, the aim is for inclusion for teams all levels. Our formatting offers a slugger's chance at a National Title all along the way complete with a safety net unlike any other in sports. Similar to how college basketball utilizes the N.I.T., in 2012 GSWL rolled out the "Player's Cup". You'll see below in the OPEN presentation, that teams bounced starting from Pool Play, and straight through Sunday's Elite Eight, get another shot at a national trophy via the Player's Cup. Furthermore, in an effort to cater to the common Wiffle® team, the Player's Cup blocks super teams deemed "Pro" from competition, allowing blue collar Golden Stick teams their own opportunity for bottom of the last, bases loaded, full count, and a chance for a heroic ending.
THE OPEN - NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
The name “The OPEN” was spawned by the event’s design both catering to Golden Stick league teams, but being truly open to those all throughout Wiffle®, whether in GSWL or not. Previous seasons offered a Widlcard Bracket at nationals for outside teams to utilize a as a gateway to our National Title. The Wildcard was also a place for in-league teams, who didn’t qualify for Nationals to enter through.
The top 16 teams play on a red carpet of sorts in the Super Sixteen Bracket. All others enter through pool play in the Wildcard Bracket. The visual below demonstrates the many twists and turns in this amazing event.
OPEN Details & Qualifications:
-2 Day event including Saturday AM qualification rounds, Saturday night elimination play UNDER THE LIGHTS, and extremely exciting single elimination rounds to the title on Sunday
-$150 for all teams *Except for champions of non-Golden Stick leagues who will be invited for FREE
-Members only -*New members get 1st event free. This includes The OPEN
-Deadline to enter the OPEN is 1 week prior
-National Champion earns $2,000 and acrylic plaques for all members
-Player's Cup Champion earns $1,000 and acrylic plaques for all members