LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The challenge with team sports in the era of COVID-19 is playing while staying socially distant. Enter Blitzball.
It’s a Wiffle-ball-like game, played with 2 to 3 players per team. The pitcher is about 50 feet from the batter, and an outfielder is positioned well beyond both players. It’s one sport that is still going during the pandemic shutdown.
Louisville friends and competitors Sean Stiles and Nick Lewis discovered the game a few years ago and liked it so much that they created a league, which is now part of a national Blitzball organization.
“Now we have access to different tournaments," said Lewis, who is an incoming freshman at Bellarmine. "There’s a world series down in Tampa every year. There’s also a Blitzball tournament in Chicago that we’re going to try to go to. There’s MLB players that go to that. It’s a lot of fun."
The Bluegrass Blitzball League plays weekly on the front lawn at Hunsinger Lane Baptist Church.
Six teams are taking part in the 2020 season, which can be often pitcher-oriented.
“We’ve had some (games) last 15-20 minutes. That’s just if the pitchers are at it," said Stiles, who will head into his junior year at the University of Kentucky this fall. "Then we’ve also had other games that last an hour to an (90 minutes)."
Blitzball is fueled not just by competition but also social media. Each team is required to run social media accounts to stay active in the national league. Bluegrass Blitzball operates YouTube and Instagram accounts, where players post highlights and updates. They even host a podcast.
The league is full this season but is accepting applications for 2021 via Instagram direct message.
Copyright 2020 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.