2011/12' KWL Winter Meeting Recap PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brian Meyers   
Monday, 27 February 2012 14:23
2011/12' KWL Winter Meeting Recap 2/27/20112

It’s been just over a month since the KWL hosted its offseason winter meeting.  During the last 30 days, the KWL front office has been working to implement the new changes and make many adjustments to make 2012 the most successful season to date!  We had a record turnout for the meeting, which lent to much discussion and many great suggestions.  Thanks to all of those that took the time to come out and make your voice heard!

The first order of business was the introduction of Brian Lewis as the new “President of Wiffleball Operations”.  Mr. Lewis will be taking over many of the day to day operations of the KWL from the Commissioner and will be relieving many duties Brian Meyers has held for the past 6 seasons.  Commissioner Meyers informed everyone that Brian Lewis would have the full capacity to act on his behalf during any league game or event.  (more on this later).

The 2011 season was completely dominated by pitching from start to finish.  Nearly 20 no-hitters were thrown during the season and playoffs.  With the help from Eric Grimm, we put together some interesting data to help us grasp how pitching, runs scored, walks and batting averages have changed to effect our game.  During the 2011 season, we saw the k’s per game rise to an all-time high 6.6 per game.  That means, the average KWL pitcher would strike out 6.6 batters per game, or 13.2 total K’s per game between the teams.  The highest prior, was 6.45 in the inaugural season of 2006, which our talent pool was lower and everyone was new to the game.

We also saw a rise in walks to nearly match our 2007 season, where we added 8 expansion team, to a season where we added no expansion teams.  With pitchers dominating the season, many hitters found it easier to walk than to get a hit.  This could also have added to the rise in K’s per game. 

With K’s up and BB’s up, next we looked at batting averages.  As you can see in the graph, Batting Averages have been free falling since 2008.   We have now reached an all-time low league average of .259.   That means, the average hitter in our league gets roughly 1.93 hits per double header. 

So with all this information in tow, we decided it was time to address some of these issues directly:

Pitching Distance.
Starting this season, we will be moving the mound back to 45’.  Two feet back from our past mound distance.  The intention of this move is to help give the hitters a little bit more time to see the ball and try to hit.  Hopefully the K’s per game will drop, ideally we would like to see them around 5-5.5 K’s per game.

Pitchers Hand Circle.
We tried this in FallBall with great success.  There will now be a painted circle around the mound that will act as the new area for pitchers hand.  The pitcher will need to be inside the circle to enforce pitchers hand on any ball hit outside of the infield.  On any ball that does not leave the infield, then pitchers hand will be active anywhere inside of the infield.  The idea behind this is to make defense a little harder and make it easier for hitters to get hits.  We hope that this will increase batting averages and cut back on the walks per game; walks per game need to be around 3-3.5 per game/per team.

Pitcher Inning Limit.
The 3-man rotation will remain intact; however, we will be adding a new wrinkle.  Each pitcher will be limited to 56 total innings for the entire regular season.  What this means, three pitchers can cover ALL the regular season innings, however teams will have to be more strategic about leaving pitchers in for long extra inning games and may want to start to groom a 4th pitcher to pick up some innings here and there.

We hope that these adjustments will affect the game play and make it more enjoyable.  We all know that wiffleball is fun because of the pitching, but there has to be a balance of hitting and pitching.  We can’t make the game so hard to hit that it drives away players that struggle to get just 1 hit a night.  That was never the intention of the KWL.  Our goal is allow everyone to play and enjoy themselves.

With the data based adjustments out of the way, we moved on to some smaller, but equally important details:

Start Season Later.
We’ve wrestled with this for the past two seasons, but after the spring (or lack thereof) this past season, we feel it’s time to move the start of the KWL season.  The season will be moving 2 weeks ahead and will be adding two weeks to the end of the season.  This will not cause problems with the Playoffs or Fallball, as we shorted nearly a week and half off the Playoff schedule by changing the format last season.  The official opening day will be April 30th.  Hopefully this will allow us to enjoy better weather and will also make us less cramped for spring training.

Over Throw rule.
We implemented an overthrow rule last season that just simply didn’t work.  We will no longer be using the following rule:

6.03 OVER THROWS: Runners may advance at will, as long as the overthrown ball stays inside the fair field of play.  If the ball continues into foul territory, the lead runner is awarded the base they were headed plus one base (1.5 bases).  Example: Running is heading to third; fielder makes a throwing attempt at the runner.  The ball continues out of play, the lead runner would be awarded home.  The trailing runners would ONLY be award the next base.  Example: Over throw at a runner heading to third of a hit ball.  The hitter would be awarded second base on the pass ball, but no further.  The hit would be scored as a SINGLE.

The new rule will be as follows:

6.03 OVER THROWS: Runners may advance at will, as long as the overthrown ball stays inside the fair field of play. Any ball thrown into the bench area or in/around/beyond the backstop will be considered out of play.   If the ball continues out of play, the lead runner is awarded the base they were headed plus one base (1.5 bases).  Example: Running is heading to third; fielder makes a throwing attempt at the runner.  The ball continues out of play, the lead runner would be awarded home.  The trailing runners would ONLY be award the next base.  Example: Over throw at a runner heading to third of a hit ball.  The hitter would be awarded second base on the pass ball, but no further.  The hit would be scored as a SINGLE.

Balls Supplied.
Trust us, we know how bad the balls were last season.  So we are going to try something new.   This season, we will be providing every team with a bucket of brand new balls.  Each team will use their own balls for the entire season.  If any balls become cracked, lost or otherwise unusable, it’s the team’s responsibility to replace them.  You will use these balls for batting practice as well as games.   If the budget allows, we will try to give more balls to teams at the season halfway point.

New Playoff Format.
Four teams from each league will still make the playoffs (two division winners, two wild cards), but teams will be seeded 1-8 and NL teams could end up playing AL teams in the playoffs.  This is to change up the scenery a little, as well allow the two best teams to play in the Township Series, regardless of their league affiliation.  The Division winners will be ranked 1-4 (based on records), than the wild card teams will be ranked 5-8 (based on records).  The top 4 teams will play on their normal night, however, the bottom teams could end up playing on the opposite night if they are matched up against a higher ranked team from the opposite league.  Example:  Hitless ranked #1 overall vs. Chuckers ranked #8.  The Chuckers would play on Thursday night against Scared Hitless.

Playoff Pitcher Declarations.
The away team will declare their starting pitchers first.  No exceptions.

 

League Dues.

These will be due April 1st.  Dues will be $275 per team.


We still have some stuff to finalize, but for the most part these are the changes you will see for 2012.  Division alignment is still in the works.  Once we fill our last team spot, we can move forward with this. 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 May 2012 11:06
 

Standings

American North W L
Friars 20 9
PF Flyers 19 10
Wiff This 18 11
Shanghai Chuckers 16 13
Special K's 14 15
The Sandlot 11 18
Angry Balls 8 21
National North W L
Glory Days 7 24 5
Diablos 17 12
The Scared Hitless 17 12
Growlers 16 13
Ice Cold Pitchers 15 14
Graboids 6 23
Firebirds 2 27
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