Those with physical, mental challenges can play ball in Arlington

ARLINGTON – For the first time Stilly Valley Little League will be offering the Little League Challenger Division this spring.

The Challenger Division was established to enable boys and girls with physical and mental challenges, ages 4-18, or up to age 22 if still enrolled in high school, to enjoy the game of baseball. More than 30,000 children participate in more than 900 Challenger Divisions worldwide.

League president Greg Dunc said teams are set up according to abilities, rather than age, and can include up to 20 players. Challenger games can be played as t-ball games, coach pitch, player pitch or a combination.

Each player gets to bat. 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. No score is kept, but players wear the same uniforms, shoulder patches and safety equipment as other Little League players.

One of the benefits of the league is that it encourages the use of “buddies” who are always nearby to help when needed.

Teens are needed to be buddies and adults as coaches, managers, umpires, etc.

Games are played at Quake Field. Teams also will travel to surrounding leagues that have Challenger programs.

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