The Challenger League is a Nationally recognized Division of Little League.
The Challenger Division is a program for mentally and physically challenged youth, helping them to enjoy the full benefits of Little League participation in an athletic environment structured to their abilities. A non-Challenger league player, otherwise known as a “buddy,” ideally shadows each special needs child.
Affiliation with Little League means that the special needs children were able to sign-up free of charge, with insurance (and uniforms) provided to all players.
Helping the special needs children feel included in Little League, not separate, is another key reason for the program.
More than the skills of baseball are learned through the experience, the value of the Little League Challenger Division is found in the proven therapeutic and socialization benefits of participating in sports, the strengthening of participants’ self-esteem, the opportunities to mainstream into other divisions of play, and the disciplines of teamwork, sportsmanship and fair play, which are hallmarks of the Little League program, according to information provided by the league.
Playing with the same equipment on the same fields, Challenger participants have the opportunity to experience the joys of pulling together as a team, being cheered, and earning awards for their achievements.
Games were played every Saturday in April and a few were held in May.