We recently had the opportunity to test out the Blitzball, a new type of wiffleball from College Hill Games. This ball is unlike any other that we have tried. The only hole in this ball is a small, pin-sized one, probably meant to prevent the ball from getting permanently dented. Instead of a perfectly round sphere, the Blitzball has 72 hexagonal sides that deflect air in all directions when thrown.
Three-time MLW All Stars Shaun Breen and Quentin Jensen returned to “The Sac” in Cohoes, NY to try the ball on their home field. Overall, they liked the ball, but they noticed a couple of things that could use improvement.
Pitching the ball was a bit of a challenge at first. The ball had a natural rising motion every time it was thrown, causing the ball to rise up to a foot or more at times. With some minor adjustments, this became easy to control.
Throwing curve balls was amazing. Although the ball doesn’t curve on its own, like a regular Wiffle Ball, the Blitzball does curve with minor effort. And the curve is great. A pitcher could probably throw all curve balls and dominate nearly all batters.
Hitting the ball was difficult at first. When contact was made, the majority of the balls went foul. After a little practice, the hitters were able to start hitting the ball fair.
However, the ball did travel much further than our official Easton practice baseballs when hit. Just about every hit was a home run, which takes away from our objective — to make our version of wiffleball as close to actual baseball as possible. Perhaps if we had a bigger field, this wouldn’t be a problem.
Fielding though could be a nightmare. When hit, a ball that looked like a home run to left-center field would curve enough in the air to land in right field. A regular, in-play fly ball would be almost impossible to catch. Also, after fielding a ground ball, throwing back to the mound, which acts as the lead base, may often be a problem because of the ball’s natural rising action.
Even though we found a few things that we didn’t like about this ball, the amazing curving action alone far outwweighed the negative aspects. I’d rate this ball a 7-out-of-10. It won’t replace our official game ball, but I could see using it for one game a year, much like we’ve done with the Sandlot Diamond Ball in the past.
For more information about the Blitzball, head on over to the College Hill Games web site, and be sure to check out the videos on their site to see the amazing curve action for yourself.