Johnson City Press Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Sue Guinn Legg

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slegg@johnsoncitypress.com
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Wiffle World Series to benefit city schools

March 2nd, 2014 9:21 pm by Sue Guinn Legg

Wiffle World Series to benefit city schools

The Johnson City Schools Foundation is partnering with the Positive Approach Group to host the city’s first Northeast Tennessee Wiffle World Series.

Set to play April 5 at Metro Kiwanis Park, the tournament is open to school, community and corporate teams of all ages and skill levels. Proceeds will go to the nonprofit foundation to help fund special school projects, classroom needs, equipment purchases, technology and higher education scholarships for graduates.

Sanctioned by the National Wiffle League Association, the tournament will be the first of its kind in the region.

With the fun, simplicity and widespread popularity of Wiffle ball in other parts of the country, Travis Woodall with Positive Approach said organizers hope the tournament will help the sport grow into a local league activity that will, in turn, increase participation in the annual fundraiser for city schools.

“When we first put it up (online) on our site last year, there were a couple of teams from Texas that called me to inquire. We think it may be something that will really attract people from all over,” Woodall said. “We think it’s going to be a hit.”

For the first-time event, organizers are swinging for a roster of about 30 teams and a fundraising goal of $10,000 to $15,000. And they are off to a good start.

Corporate sponsors with teams already on deck include Bank of Tennessee and Summers-Taylor. Several school and community teams have also registered, including one team of women all over age 60 that includes Johnson City Commissioner Jenny Brock.

Rebecca White, who serves on the nonprofit foundation’s volunteer board of directors, said the foundation loves the Wiffle World Series idea for several key reasons.

“It’s unique. It’s family friendly. It’s corporate friendly. It has a fitness element that’s going to get us active, get us off the electronics and get us outside to have fun with our coworkers and families. And all the money raised is going to directly benefit our schools,” White said.

“There are several businesses with teams and some of them are using it as a business-building tool.”

On the day of the tournament, the park’s two softball fields will be reconfigured into up to four Wiffle ball fields each. The foundation will be selling concessions and a sponsor/vendor booth area will be set up.

Games will begin about 10 a.m. and wrap up around 4 p.m. with an individual Home Run Derby, with a $1,000 cash prize.

Correction: The Northeast Tennessee Wiffle World Series to benefit Johnson City schools will include a Home Run Derby with a $1,000 derby sponsorship opportunity. A story in Monday’s paper incorrectly reported the derby winner would receive a $1,000 cash prize.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Woodall said.

The registration fee for community teams of four to five players age 18 and up is $175 and includes team T-shirts. For corporate teams, the registration fee is $350 and includes team T-shirts with the company’s name on the back, inclusion in the tournament program and booth space at the event. Registration for the Home Run Derby is $25.

Rules, registration forms, sponsorship opportunities and more information about the tournament and how to organize a team are all available online at www.netnwiffleworldseries.com or may be obtained by calling Woodall at 434-2005 or emailing travis@positiveapproachgroup.com.

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