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New Challenger League Brings Baseball to All North Andover Youths

New Challenger League Brings Baseball to All North Andover Youths

Written by Mike Bono, North Andover Youth Baseball

In an effort to expose children of all levels and ability to the game of baseball, North Andover Youth Baseball is introducing a Challenger division this upcoming spring. 

The Challenger division is a separate division in Little League that enables boys and girls ages 4 through 18, or up to 22 years old if still enrolled in high school, with physical and mental challenges the opportunity to play baseball. Games will be played in a fun, safe and stress-free environment where no score is kept, no outs are recorded and everyone plays.

Assuming there are enough players, the team structure in the Challenger division will be based on ability rather than age. Since this is the first year, it’s difficult to determine whether participation will allow for more than one team. 

Challenger games can be played as t-ball games, coach pitch, player pitch or a combination of all three. 

Each Challenger participant will be ‘buddied’ with a volunteer who will support their partner in whatever way is necessary. Whether it be pushing a wheel-chair, helping them swing a bat or assisting them in the field, the ‘buddies’ will provide support in a way that corresponds with the Little League motto of Courage, Character and Loyalty. 

All Challenger players will receive a uniform, use the same equipment and play on the same fields as the other divisions. They will also be part of the North Andover Little League Opening Day Parade in May that marches through downtown North Andover to the Carl Thomas Fields Complex.

Participation in the Challenger division is free thanks to Interactive Data Corporation in Bedford, MA who is donating uniforms. 

The Challenger division is seeking volunteers to help with the program. If you’re interested in volunteering as a buddy, umpire or a coach, please contact Mike Bono at mikeybono@ymail.com.

If you’re not sure whether the Challenger division is the right fit please consider attending an introductory Challenger division practice on Saturday, March 22 from 10 a.m. to noon at the North Andover Middle School Gym. We’ll have a fun ‘practice’ to get everyone in the mood for baseball!

Go to http://www.nayouthbaseball.org/ to register today!

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