Posted on June 22, 2022

Wheelchair Softball Action was Back with a Tournament in Grand Rapids

America’s favorite pastime is in full swing, and last weekend’s tournament was a home run for everyone. After a four-year hiatus, the Mary Free Bed Wheelchair Softball Tournament had a full lineup and knocked it out of the park.

The tournament was hosted at the Mary Free Bed YMCA and played on their outdoor wheelchair softball field. The home team was Mary Free Bed’s West Michigan Rollin’ Whitecaps.

The Rollin’ Whitecaps were joined by two visiting teams from Illinois – the Lincolnway Special Recreation Association LWSRA Hawks and a combined team from Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, the SRAL Cubs, and the Chicago Park District’s White Sox. Nearly 60 wheelchair athletes were here to compete.

Wheelchair softball takes the traditional ballgame up a notch; it’s tough to play and a thrill to watch. All athletes use manual wheelchairs – pushing by hand instead of a powered chair. They’re challenged to simultaneously maneuver, catch, throw and bat using their hands. Specially designed, hard-surfaced diamonds – combined with the exceptional skill and agility of the players – make for thrilling, fast-paced innings.

The tournament was played in a round robin format and the Lincolnway Special Recreation Association LWSRA Hawks won all their games. West Michigan Rollin’ Whitecaps and the combined Chicago Cubs/White Sox team both finished 1-3.

Mary Free Bed’s wheelchair softball team, the West Michigan Rollin’ Whitecaps, is a proud member of the National Wheelchair Softball Association. If you are interested in joining, the team practices weekly during the summer at the Mary Free Bed YMCA. Email Mary Free Bed Sports Coordinator Christy VanHaver for more information:


Looking for more ways to support Mary Free Bed’s Wheelchair and Adaptive Sports Program? Get branded sports gear supporting all of our WAS teams! High School Fan Stand gives a portion of each purchase back to Mary Free Bed, so we can continue bringing these experiences and opportunities to our community.

Mary Free Bed Wheelchair & Adaptive Sports Teams Sportswear & Merchandise

Check out a photo gallery below of some of the action from this weekend’s games!