Is any baseball experience required?
No experience necessary! Players will participate in the game to complement their particular needs and interests. Basic adaptations will be implemented when necessary. Parents may watch from the stands or participate on the field. The fundamental goal of Challenger Baseball is to give everyone a chance to play. To realize that goal, Challenger has two basic rules: every player bats each inning, and every player plays the field. We don’t count strikes, and we don’t count outs. Everybody scores, and everybody wins.
When and where will games be played?
Games will be played on Saturday at 3pm from late April 29 to June 10 (no session Memorial Day Weekend)
April 29, May 6, May 13, May 20, June 3 and June 10
The Turf Diamond at Memorial
Who can participate in the Challenger Division?
Any boy or girl ages 4 - 18, or up to age 22 if still enrolled in a school program,
Are there different rules for the Challenger Division?
The Challenger Division uses Little League rules with some modifications. For example, 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 entire roster. Little League recommends no score be kept during games.
What equipment does a player need?
Challenger Division players wear the same uniforms and safety equipment as other Little Leaguers. Needham Baseball & Softball will provide jerseys and hats. The league has bats and helmets for players to use but they are welcome to bring their own. Players will need a glove. The league uses a softer, low flight baseball.
Will participants learn to play baseball?
The fundamental goal of the Little League Challenger Division is to provide an environment where participants can learn and enjoy the game of baseball in an environment structured to their abilities. Buddies are used to assist players in the areas of batting, fielding and base running when necessary. In addition to assisting players, buddies should also help teach players baseball skills and fundamentals
The baseball skills and abilities of players on a typical Challenger team may vary greatly. The coach of will work with the players and buddies to set individual goals for each player. For some players, a goal may be learning how to throw a baseball, while for others a goal may be learning to field a ground ball, catch a fly ball or swing the bat without the assistance of a buddy. Some players may even work towards improving their abilities so that they do not need regular assistance from a buddy.
As players improve their baseball skills, they enjoy a sense of accomplishment as they achieve their goals. It is important to remember that the role of the buddy is to assist when necessary and to help the participants learn the game, not to play the game for the participants.
Are Games Competitive?
No. While players will learn basic baseball skills and rules, no score will be kept, no outs will be recorded and no one will strike out. Everyone bats every inning, and everyone plays the field.
How will practices/games be structured?
Each week will begin with players trying a series of fun baseball drills. These drills will help develop throwing, fielding, and hitting skills. Then, teams will play a 1-3 inning game. As the season progresses, the emphasis will shift from drills to games.
How can I get involved?
Needham Baseball and Softball is a volunteer organization. The Needham Challenger Division has plenty of opportunities to get involved.
- Volunteer to be a head coach or assistant coach for a Challenger team. No baseball coaching experience is required.
- Sponsorship programs
- Buddy Program (Please see Challenger Buddy Program)