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Challenger Baseball

The Challenger Division of Little League is a program for developmentally and physically challenged youth, helping them to enjoy the full benefits of Little League participation in an athletic environment structured to their abilities.  

Washington District 8 Challenger Division was started in 1991 by Gary and Bev Newsome to give children with intellectual and physical disabilities a chance to play ball. Today, the program flourishes with almost 100 players throughout the greater Seattle area. The program is supported by all Little Leagues in Washington District 8, as well as the Seattle Mariners, who continue to create special memories for the players.

Along with the skills of baseball learned through the experience, the Little League Challenger Division provides therapeutic and social benefits of participating in sports; strengthening of self-esteem; disciplines of teamwork, sportsmanship and fair play.

The Little League Challenger Division provides the framework for Little League programs to offer a structured, athletic activity for all youth in their communities. Playing with the same equipment on the same fields, Challenger Division participants have the opportunity to experience the joys of pulling together as a team, being cheered, and earning awards for their achievements. Today more than 30,000 children participate in more than 900 Challenger Divisions worldwide.

Games: In a Challenger game, each player gets a chance at bat. Challenger games can be played as t-ball games, coach pitch, player pitch, or a combination of the three.  The side is retired when the offense has batted through the roster, or when a pre-determined number of runs have been scored, or when three outs are recorded. 

Player Qualifications: The Challenger Division offers boys and girls with physical and developmental challenges, ages 4 to adult, the opportunity to participate in an organized game of baseball. The most fundamental goal of the Challenger Division is to give everyone a chance to play.  Teams are set-up by age and can include as many as 10-15 players.

Season: Washington District 8 Challenger season will start with practices in mid-April. Games will run twice per week from May 1st through mid-June, culminating in an end-of-the season jamboree held at Northshore Athletic Fields (NAF) in Woodinville.

Registration:  Register through Ballard Little League. Scheduling and team assignments will be handled by District 8 and their staff.  Challenger registration is $25 for the season.

Questions:  For questions regarding this year’s program, please contact Bev Newsome at (360) 805-0181.  


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