SPRINGVILLE — Springville Little League baseball and Springville Youth Inc. are seeking children who wish to participate in a new division of baseball, this season. The new Little League Challenger program is designed to give children with physical and cognitive challenges the opportunity to play baseball. This division was established in 1989, by Little League International, as a separate division of Little League.
The league unveiled this category with a stated goal of enabling children with physical and mental challenges to participate in the game, along with the millions of others who play the sport, worldwide.
More than 30,000 children take part in more than 900 challenger divisions, worldwide.Teams are set up according to participants’ abilities, rather than age, and may include up to 15 – 20 players. Challenger games may be played as T-ball games, coach pitch, player pitch or a combination of the three. Each player gets the chance to bat and play defense, in the field.
Challenger divisions encourage the use of “buddies,” for the players. These buddies assist the challengers on the field, but encourage the players to bat and make plays themselves, whenever possible. Buddies are always nearby, to help, when needed.
Both parents and local young people may become involved in this division of Little League. SYI is looking for children who are in kindergarten – fifth grade and who have physical or cognitive challenges that prevents them from playing traditional T-ball or baseball.
The division is open to residents of Springville and the surrounding areas, including Cattaraugus-Little Valley, Gowanda, Holland, North Collins, Pioneer and West Valley. Children from other areas may also be included. The cost of registration includes a jersey, hat, pants and socks. Players must bring their own baseball gloves. Practice and games will be held on Saturday afternoons at 4 p.m., from May 4 – June 29, at Concord Community Park. Opening day celebrations and the first game will be held on May 18.
Visit www.syionline.org to register. Choose “registration” on the left side of the page. For more information, contact Kelly Baker at email@example.com