Michael Layer, Sports Editor
Usually 60 plus degree weather in February should be cause for concern, but several have been enjoying their time in the sun. Warm afternoons at Goucher College mean classes outside, picnic blankets, and more recently, wiffle ball games on the Great Lawn. Typically found on Wednesday and Sunday afternoons, a group of about fourteen students create their own diamond out of the intersection of perpendicular walkways behind Welsh Hall.
“We want to keep it formally informal,” says senior David Sibony, one of the founding players of this new trend. Every couple of days, Sibony and junior Gianni Rodriguez take five rubber baseball plates, two balls, and a yellow wiffle ball bat that they own to set up their diamond in the corner of the Great Lawn. Two relatively even teams are created simply based on who shows up.
Goucher wiffle ball has gone under some recent changes. According to Sibony, he and a group of other students started playing wiffle ball on the residential quad in the spring of last year. Since the residential quad can become crowded, Sibony and the wiffle ball players moved to the lawn behind Pearlstone. Because of construction, players were forced to relocate to the Great Lawn, where they’ve been able to enjoy the games in front of crowds of about fifteen or twenty students. Students enjoy sitting on the hill between the T and the Athenaeum and often spectate relatively competitive wiffle ball games: “We like having the crowd; we hopefully try to play when there is a crowd… it’s fun to have people watch us play and [because of the crowd] people will play more, which we like,” laughs Sibony.
The group is organized through a Facebook group titled ‘Goucher Wiffle Ball,’ and administrated by Sibony. Though the page has plans to be public, it is currently set to private to ensure that nobody is turned away. Turnout is usually around fourteen students, so there is about seven on a team. This seems to be the most appropriate numbers as games can be competitive: “The game last week was very competitive… I don’t think anyone has decided not to play because the game has gotten too competitive; I don’t think it needs to be more competitive.”
Since many of the players are friends, the game flows naturally. Pitches are thrown not to get strikes, but for base hits, and there is also not an official umpire. In controversial plays, disputes are often settled through the good nature of both teams, “if there’s a really close call, we’ll switch off who gets the call, so if one team gets it this time, the other team will get it the next time.”
Sibony has plans for expansion and promotion of the game. He has plans for games on Wednesday and Sunday afternoons at 3:30pm, a bigger game on GIG in early April, and a tournament during senior week, leading up to graduation. “I want more people to join,” says Sibony.