The Challenger Division was established in 1989 as a separate division of Little League Baseball to enable boys and girls with physical and mental disabilities, ages 5-on up (we do not enforce an upper age limit) or the completion of high school, to enjoy the game of baseball along with the millions of other children who participate in this sport worldwide.
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:
This is the entry level league intended for individuals under the age of 11, or who have limitations that would not allow them to play in the higher leagues safely.
This is a less competitive league that is intended for individuals between the ages of 11 and 18, or who are above the Minor League level, but not at the Major League level.
This is a competitive league that is intended for individuals 18 years or older, or have the ability to prove they can play in a competitive league.
Each player gets a chance at bat. The Challenger players wear the same uniforms 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.
“The kids are having a ball and that's what makes this so rewarding,” Bruce Katz said. “To see them smile, to hear them laugh and have fun. It's a great family time, and for the kids, it provides them with a chance to participate and be a part of a team activity. It's something all kids want to do and this league gives these players that opportunity.”
~ QC Times, June, 19, 2004