By: Jason Gay
It is that time of year, time for Wiffle ball, and not the serious, hard-throwing version—there really is such a version, and it's frightening—but the family and friends version, played for laughs, and hopefully a few beers, without any bench-clearing brawls. This is the Journal's second installment of Wiffle ball rules; everyone who read the first installment got a $100 million contract from the Los Angeles Dodgers. So here we go:
1. The best Fourth of July Wiffle ball games do not start on time, ever. The Wiffle ball game that's supposed to begin at 3 p.m. begins at 4:30 p.m., the 5 p.m. game begins at 6:45 p.m., and the 8 p.m. game never winds up happening because….well, mojitos.
2. Prior Wiffle ball experience is useful but definitely not required. For fun, you should have at least one person on your roster who holds the bat upside down and runs around the bases backward.
3. Some people play Wiffle ball without running bases. But running bases is entertaining. So is getting an out by hitting the runner with the Wiffle ball. This makes the game more action-packed, burns more calories, and most important, introduces the amazing opportunity to legally throw something at members of your own family.
4. Yes, you can play Wiffle ball in the rain. What do you think this is, baseball?
5. It's not a true Wiffle ball game until someone trips over a dog.
6. A meekly hit ground ball that doesn't reach the pitcher is not an out in Wiffle ball—it's just a strike. Anyone who insists otherwise is banned for life.
7. Bunting in Wiffle ball is a state and federal crime.
8. Wow, that is an amazing 82 mph backdoor slider you're throwing. Related: Everyone in this Wiffle ball game despises you.
9. Beware the Wiffle ball strike zone. There's always someone who wants to set up a strike zone behind home plate, and this can be an interesting wrinkle, but the "called strike" adds a mean streak to the game. The pitchers start taking themselves too seriously, and the next thing you know, Scott Boras is representing your aunt Claire.
10. In baseball, a tie goes to the runner. In Wiffle ball, a tie goes to the homeowner.
11. Look, it's fine—and common—to strike out in Wiffle ball. Don't worry: The ridicule only lasts between 10 seconds and 40 years.
12. Just let Grandpa pitch one inning. All he wants to do is his Luis Tiant impression and then go inside and read his Lyndon Johnson book.
13. There's always a mildly terrifying moment in every Wiffle ball game in which a foul ball gets a liiiiiiiiittle too close to the grill. Also: Who thought it was a good idea to light the grill?
14. There are no umpires in Wiffle ball. There's Uncle Billy watching the game on the porch, and Uncle Billy saw…OK, Uncle Billy is asleep.
15. There's only one proper way to play Wiffle ball at night: a dangerous number of house lamps, paired with a dangerous number of extension cords.
16. Yes, your cousin has a new BMW he's very proud of, and yes, every hitter in this Wiffle ball game is aiming for it.
17. Wiffle ball in a swimming pool is 70% less fun than it sounds.
18. Little kids should always be encouraged to play Wiffle ball. You just have to accept that your left fielder is eating Cheerios from a Ziploc and your second baseman went back to the house to watch "Ratatouille" for the 900th time.
19. Pay no mind to the aged gentleman in the aviator glasses, holding the clipboard; he's just a scout for the New York Yankees, looking for a third baseman to replace Alex Rodriguez.
20. Catching a fly ball without spilling your beer is amazing. Catching a fly ball and throwing out a runner tagging from third without spilling your beer is automatic first ballot admission to the Wiffle Ball Hall of Fame.
21. Mid-game trades are allowed in Wiffle ball, but be careful: feelings can get hurt. No matter how much sense it makes at the time, you cannot trade your brother for a lawn chair.
22. I Want to Be Permanent Pitcher lives with I Want to Be Permanent Quarterback at the House of the Permanently Obnoxious.
23. No, your home run did not rip the Wiffle ball in half. The neighbor's lawnmower did that.
24. Exciting news! There are more people at your Wiffle ball game than at a Marlins game.
25. The oldest rule of Wiffle ball: The person who has never played Wiffle ball before will end up getting the biggest hit of the game.
26. As Ernie Banks would say, "Let's not play two. Are you crazy? There are burgers and potato salad and I think I see chips and guacamole."
L27. Do not take Wiffle ball seriously. You are an adult trying to hit a small piece of plastic with another small piece of plastic. But yes: Everyone knows you went 4 for 5 with seven RBI.
Write to Jason Gay atJason.Gay@wsj.com