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Challenger Overview

The Little League Challenger Division® was founded in 1989, and is Little League’s adaptive baseball program for individuals with physical and intellectual challenges.

Challenger Division is a baseball program for children and youth who have physical, developmental and intellectual disabilities (6 to 18 years of age). Our program provides these special kids with an opportunity to enjoy the full benefits of Little League participation at a level structured to their abilities. More importantly, our program allows them to be part of a team and develop their social skills and build their self-esteem. Players from our regular program act as “buddies” to assist the Challengers run the bases, catch, throw, push wheelchairs etc. Although our Challengers benefit from their assistance, the buddies are winners too as the enthusiasm and spirit the Challengers bring to the game is infectious. 


  • Teams are set up according to abilities, rather than age, and can include as many as 15-20 players, who can participate in one of three levels: Tee-Ball, Coach-Pitch or Player Pitch.

  • Each player gets a chance at bat. The side is retired when the offense has batted through the roster, or when a pre-determined number of runs has been scored, or when three outs are recorded. Little League recommends that no score be kept during games. The Challenger players wear the same uniforms, shoulder patches and safety equipment as other Little League players.

  • One of the benefits of having a Challenger Division is that it encourages the use of “buddies” for the Challenger players. The buddies assist the Challenger players on the field but whenever possible, encourage the players to bat and make plays themselves. However, the buddy is always nearby to help when needed.

Please contact Mike Tenhulzen, [email protected] to help connect with other District 9 Little Leagues to ensure we find a home for your player.      

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