Challenger Baseball is back for the 2014 season!
In following the model designed by Little League Baseball, our own local District 15 will once again offer Challenger Baseball this spring for boys and girls
ages 5-18 that have physical, developmental and intellectual disabilities which may prevent them from participating in a mainstream Little League program. Last season we had over 50 children participate. This year we are prepared to grow larger!!!! This will be our FIFTH year of this very special program. As in the past, games will be played on Sundays at Tapley Park in Danvers. This year, depending on our registration numbers, we may expand, which will allow us to offer two levels of ability. Games will be played on Sundays again with our start time at NOON.
District 15 includes the communities of Amesbury, Beverly, Boxford, Byfield/Newbury, Danvers, Gloucester, Groveland, Hamilton/Wenham, Ipswich, Manchester-Essex, Merrimac, Middleton, and Topsfield. We have had some reorganization within the District this year, therefore if you do not see your town listed above, please note: You do not need to live within the District to participate. ALL CHILDREN ARE WELCOME!!!
This program will once again provide these special children with an opportunity to enjoy the full benefits of Little League participation at a level structured to their abilities. More importantly, the program will allow them to be part of a team, develop their social skills and build their self-esteem. With the Little League Challenger Buddy System, we will provide a chance for players in our other Little League Divisions to work with these Challenger players and assist them during the games. “Buddies” will assist the Challengers running the bases, catching, throwing, pushing wheelchairs etc. Although our Challengers benefit from their assistance, the buddies are also winners as the enthusiasm and spirit the Challengers bring to the game is infectious. There were wonderful relationships developed between the players and buddies during our last four seasons. Being on the field is just one of the benefits resulting from playing Challenger Baseball – socialization skills, friendship, and a feeling of success are also recognized.
For families, we will offer camaraderie with other parents and siblings and a chance to
cheer on their special player and his or her teammates. All players will receive uniforms and trophies. We plan on offering League Pictures, a League Cookout and many other Special Events. Last season, we were able to take our older participants on a trip sponsored by CVS to Fenway Park where they were treated like royalty. We also were able to play a very special game prior to the District 15 Little League Championship Game. A preseason pizza party and dance began our season. We also had a special party to close our season with trophies, moon bounce and more. We returned for four weeks of fall baseball, as our players can never seem to get enough. Last season we were able to provide end of season trophies and small
gifts for our buddies. Although we are in the midst of a difficult economy, we hope our sponsors will be generous again this coming season, which will allow us to provide the special “extras” for our players and buddies once again. We need to work hard this year, to expand our sponsorship. As many are aware, we run this program solely on sponsorships. There is no registration charge for a child to participate.
With the support of all of the Leagues in our District, and the help of many dedicated volunteers, this program grows stronger each year. Although Little League baseball offers a rule book and guidance to running this division, the rules of our division are flexible. Each child is an individual and we adapt to each and every player’s needs.
The Special Rules of the Challenger Division
- All Children ages 5 through 18, or who remain in school, with physical or mental disabilities are encouraged to participate.
- Level of play based upon player’s size, age and skill level are recommended where numbers allow. We are flexible to meet each individual child’s needs.
- Teams can include as many as 15 to 20 players.
- Players can participate in one of three levels: Tee Ball, Coach-Pitch, Player-Pitch.
- Each player may use the buddy system, however, it is not mandatory.
- Every player on the roster is in the batting order and shall play defensively for the entire game.
- The side is retired when the offense has batted through the roster, or when three outs are recorded.
- Little League recommends that no score be kept during games.
- Challenger Division players wear the same uniforms, shoulder patches, and safety equipment as other Little Leaguers.
Once again, this program is offered at no cost to the children and families. All expenses are paid through our fund
raising efforts and donations to our program. We welcome new families and are happy to answer any additional questions you may have. Questions should be directed to Karen Devaney, firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 978-774-0520.
A registration form is attached, yet the preferred registration process is to go to the Danvers National Little League website at www.danversnats.com. There is a link on the home page for registration. Go through the steps, making sure you click on the Challenger Division when you register. For those of you who registered last year, you just need to log in to your account, and register for this season.
We look forward to seeing both old and new faces in the spring.
Asst. District Administrator – Challenger Division
MA District 15 Little League