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Challenger League Baseball

What is “Little Challenger Division” Baseball?
The Challenger League is a division of Little League baseball. It is a program for mentally and physically challenged youths, to enjoy the full benefits of “Little League: participation in an athletic environment structured to THEIR abilities. The Challenger Division accommodates participants ages 5 through 18 (or through the completion of high school). FL District 20 is charted by the United States Congress as an education program. It is also a non-profit organization.

What’s our philosophy?
The philosophy of Little League Challenger Division is to provide the framework so the every program may offer athletic activity for ALL it’s youths within a community/district. More than the skills of baseball 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. (Which some of our children have NEVER been able to do before!) The strengthening of the children’s self-esteem, the disciplines of teamwork, citizenship and fair play, which are hallmarks of the Little League program.

So what’s the bottom line?
All children want to run, jump and play; be successful; to feel worthwhile, and to just have some FUN! Children want to belong no matter what their challenges in life may be. The Challenger Division provides a safe environment in which our kids can BE kids and participate in America’s favorite pastime, barrier free. It’s like a dream come true for these special children to actually be on a real team and playing real baseball!

Here’s how we do it …
 The Challenger Division makes some rule changes to make the games more enjoyable for the kids. We either “coach pitch” to the kids or use a tee-ball stand, whichever is more comfortable for the player. We bat through the line-up each inning. The last batter in the inning runs around the bases until all the base runners reach home plate. No score is kept all games end in a tie. Everyone is a WINNER! We also implement the use of the “Buddy” system in our games. Each child may have a buddy, which can be a parent, sibling or other friend or helper that would like to participate. Our Buddy System really enhances the game. Each buddy provides assistance as needed. A child in a wheelchair may need a push around the bases, or a child with developmental delays may need assistance with batting or throwing, others may need help catching or simply finding the bases. We have children with a wide variety of special needs. Buddies are very important, providing encouragement to help our children achieve their goals. Which simply put means …. To have a GREAT TIME!! It truly is a memorable experience for all.

What are our needs?
We are always looking for volunteers to help make our leagues a success. Our entire league is made up of volunteers, the board members, coaches, umpires, team mom’s, buddies, various committees including our fundraising group and public relations. We can always use more help in any of these areas.

Contributions are what help to give these children the opportunity to play ball. Since the Little League Challenger Division is a non-profit organization, contributions are tax deductible. All contributions go directly to the FL District 20 Challenger Division for things like uniforms, equipment, trophies, insurance, and other needs.

So help us spread to word about the Little League Challenger Division. Help us grow. Your participation is appreciated.

For additional information, please call or email:

FL DISTRICT 20 LITTLE LEAGUE CHALLENGER DIVISION
Attn: Mandy Rudd or Mindy Rudd
Email: sports4specialkids@yahoo.com

Leon County Division of Parks and Recreation
Attn: Dean Richards, Parks Supervisor
Phone: (850) 606-1477
Email: RichardsD@leoncountyfl.gov

FL District 20 Little League
Attn: Gary Gentry, District Administrator
Email: gentryg@hotmail.com


Leon County Division of Parks and Recreation

Director: Leigh Davis

2280 Miccosukee Road
Tallahassee, Florida 32308
(850) 606-1470
(850) 606-1471 (fax)