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Every Child Deserves a Chance to Play Baseball

Join the fun with Challenger League!

The Blaine Little League Challenger Series is a division of BALL that provides children with special needs the opportunity to play baseball as a team member in a organized league. 

We believe every child should be able to get out in the sunshine and enjoy playing the game of baseball in a non-competitive and supportive environment. 

Challenger League is run by special needs parents and is designed to be low maintenance with one fun filled game a week. 

 

2024 Challenger League Season

  • Registration: February 1st - March 30th, 2024 
  • Season: May 11th - August 10th, 2024 (No games May 25th or July 1st -6th, 2024)
  • Cost: $85/player 
  • Teams: Games are played on the same day every week and there is no practice. 
    • Little League: up to age 22 has Monday night or Saturday morning teams.
    • Senior League: age 15 and up, plays on Wednesday nights. 
  • Location: Blaine Baseball Complex, 1150 Paul Parkway NE, Blaine, MN 55434

what to expect

  • Families like yours: Challenger league is run by special needs parents for special needs kids and families - we get it. The game is flexible to allow for breaks if players need them and family members or PCAs are welcome in the dugout and on the field. 
  • A baseball field designed for special needs:  Our field surface is made out of a rubber surface that cushions falls and prevents injury and the entrances, exits, and dugouts are designed to be wider to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers.
  • Non-competitive game: In Challenger League every player bats every inning until they get a hit off a tee or from coach pitch, there are no outs, there is no score, but everyone crosses home plate with a smile. Games are typically one hour or 3-4 innings.
  • Buddies: We partner with other teams in the Blaine Little League or through volunteers to have "buddies" for players during the game so parents can relax and cheer. Having a buddy is optional and availability is based on the number of volunteers. 
  • Fun! Music and announcers when available, dancing, smiles, and an adaptive playground behind the field.  

Click here to Register for the 2024 Season!

Buddy and Volunteer Guidelines

Please arrive at the field 15 minutes before the start of the game.
Each buddy will be assigned a BALL Challenger player, and be introduced to them. Each BALL Challenger player will have a shirt on, identifying their name. Some things you might like to talk to them about is what grade they are in, what school they attend, their hobbies, how long have they been playing ball, their favorite music, etc.

Buddies should help the BALL Challenger player with batting and fielding. Every player will have different needs in playing the game. Most of them need just a little extra help. Let them do as much as they are capable of doing.

Some BALL Challenger players do not need much help at bat. Please make sure they have a helmet on, assist them in getting a bat; if they need a tee, help that get placed. You may also need to help them in holding and swinging the bat. BALL Challenger players get to swing at the ball as many times is necessary until they hit the ball.

After the ball is hit, encourage them to run to the bases. Even if they get out, they stay on the base. There are no strike-outs or outs. If your player uses a wheelchair and needs help, push them around the bases. Just make sure you aren’t going too fast! They also love to steal bases.

In the field, you can help them stop and throw the ball as needed. Again, some players do not need much help, where others do, let each player do what they are capable of. Toss the ball to them, give them the ball to throw or if they are unable to throw the ball, touch them and throw the ball for them. Also, help direct them to what base they should throw the ball. Some kids don’t have the ability to protect themselves from a hard hit ball so look out for hard-hit fly balls and protect your player.

Buddies should also make sure the BALL Challenger player knows his or her order in the lineup. BALL Challenger coaches will have a roster and will help with this as well.

After the game, each team celebrates with high fives and also a cheer. Help your buddy with this process! Your main goal as a buddy is to have fun with them and assist as needed!

Volunteering and Parental Involvement
Just as with other community sports programs, the success of the BALL Challenger is directly tied to volunteer and parental involvement. BALL Challenger is an all-­volunteer program where our kids can learn and play baseball and is dependent on volunteers and parents! There are many volunteer opportunities during the games such as coaching, announcing or helping as a buddy.

There are also additional opportunities to volunteer with helping with one of our annual activities such as Opening Day Ceremonies, End of Season Celebration, one of our fundraisers or you could sponsor a team by making a monetary contribution.

When your team’s coach or league director approaches you to volunteer some of your time to the success of the League, please do so enthusiastically – and keep in mind without our parents and volunteers, the League could not exist.

Looking for more information?

Monica Fisher - Vice President 

monicaf@ba-littleleague.org

Click here to register for the 2024 Challenger Season!