Yesterday marked the beginning of the anniversary season in Golden Stick's MA Region. Number 15 that is! So, it was fitting that the event was held at the old stomping grounds at Williams Field, behind the Art Association in Danvers, MA. Unlike the rolling greens of GSWL's Pingree School venue, this field is known more for its nostalgia than its rolling greens. Yet, for our beloved game of Wiffle®, it is perfect.
Also perfect is the season's start for the free agency masterpiece that is the MA Region's BB Yum Yums squad. Erik Anderson and Jimmy Flynn, first time teammates of one another, have reverted to Anderson's tourney team of old, the Yum Yums. Not since the days of NEWA (New England Wiffle Association) has this franchise name rolled out. Today, they're champs, running home with a 3 way split of the day's $500 purse. Only this time around, they've returned with an 'out of left field' signing. Few people in GSWL are only known by a single name, and Pucci is among them. He is also now among the Yum Yums in his first season outside of the Philly Region.
Prize money is of specific note this year, as corporate's new formatting not only dropped fees through the floor, but posts a very player friendly prize structure. This year, in events as small as 8 entrants, called "Super Qualifiers", teams play for a minimum of $850 via a $500 1st place prize (+10 pts.) and a $125 allotment for 2nd (+6 pts.). Like last year, losers of the Semis will face off in a 3rd place game, only now for an increased $125 (+4pts.). Also back from seasons past are the $50 Exit Games, where similarly ranked eliminees get one last shot at one another for cash before exiting the event.
As the Mass region enjoys the post juggernaut, MA Throwback days, it seeks to offer a mixed bag of championship matches in a more parity driven home region. Yesterday was a good start, John Lebrun's Boston Raiders making it to their first ever Regional Final, dropping the 1 run game amidst the controversy of a batting out of order call. Who knows what could have been?...
In the 3rd place game, we saw Lou's Diamonds pick up where they left off in the MA Region last year. They bested 2 man squad, The Runs, a Dave Fisher / Evan Reardon combo in a multi-extra-innings game for the $125.
While other MA Region teams are still forming, 2016 looks to be a great year just North of Boston. With the start of the Backyard Game season, a new component in GSWL's formatting, teams can play under official GSWL games wherever they can find a piece of grass, chasing unlimited standings points towards one of the coveted spots in Super Sixteen Bracket at Nationals. By making the Super Sixteen, teams offer themselves a 4 game road to the National Championship Game on Sunday avoiding a weekend long gauntlet of Wiffs for the other spot in the dance. MA teams, known for grabbing their fair share of the nation's top seeding positions will have to be on the lookout for emerging NY Region teams. The Wiffaddicted NY Region is known for playing Wiffle®, after Wiffle®, followed by some Wiffle®, before they play some Wiffle®. Teams in other regions will have to do all they can to keep the Super Sixteen being entirely comprised of point gobbling Long Island battalions.
Cali plays today, and 3 more events will unfold in just the next couple of weeks. The season is here. The race to Nationals has begun. Learn more about GSWL's Yard League HERE.