Challenger Division

Challenger Division @ The Miracle Field

The Challenger Division was established as a separate division of Little League to enable boys and girls with physical and intellectual challenges, ages 5-18, or up to age 22 if still enrolled in high school or a transition program, to enjoy the game of baseball along with the millions of other children who participate in this sport worldwide.  Today, more than 30,000 children participate in more than 900 Challenger Divisions worldwide.

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. Parents and teenagers are strongly encouraged to become involved in this uniquely rewarding division of Little League. 

The fundamental goal of the Little League Challenger Division is to provide an environment where participants can learn and enjoy the game of baseball in an environment structured to their abilities.  The buddies are used to assist players in the areas of batting, fielding and base running when necessary.  In addition to assisting players, buddies also help teach players baseball skills and fundamentals.

The baseball skills and abilities of players on a typical Challenger team may vary greatly.  The coach of each team should work with the players and buddies to set individual goals for each player.  For some players, a goal may be learning how to throw a baseball, while for others a goal may be learning to field a ground ball, catch a fly ball or swing the bat without the assistance of a buddy.  Some players may even work towards improving their abilities so that they do not need regular assistance from a buddy.  In these cases, one buddy may be able to “float” between several players on the field and provide assistance when needed.

As players improve their baseball skills, they enjoy a sense of accomplishment as they achieve their goals.  It is important to remember that the role of the buddy is to assist when necessary and to help the participants learn the game, not to play the game for the participants.

Below are some details about Vernon-Rockville’s Challenger Team:

  • The season starts in mid-April and continues until mid-June.  
  •  Practices and games are generally on Tuesdays & Thursdays although sometimes a weekend game is scheduled.  
  •  Games are 2 innings long, and every player bats each inning. 
  •  Players hit coach pitched balls or off a tee. 
  •  Buddies in the field assist the players when needed.  
  •  Players are encouraged to participate, but never pressured.
  •  A typical season is 8 to 10 games.  

Vernon may play Challenger teams from other area towns, with some of the games on the road.

There are no residency or school requirements to play in the Challenger Division.  Players from both Vernon and neighboring towns are welcome to join the Challenger Team.

Who can play

  •  5 – 18 year olds who are differently abled 
  • New and experienced players are welcome

Where is the Miracle Field
       Northeast School: 69 East St Vernon, CT 06066

What is included?

  • A jersey and hat that players get to keep!
  • A team photo
  • Use of all basic playing equipment
  • Practice and Game schedule
  • 1 manager (Leader) and multiple dedicated coaches and buddies per team
  • All coaches are background checked with 1 or more coaches certified in CPR & First Aid
  • Easy to use team specific web and mobile platform for schedules and communications


What equipment is needed?

  • Glove
  • Appropriate Attire
  • No Cleats Please
  • Hydration
  • Individual safety protection that your player may need to remain safe

Vernon-Rockville Little League is offering this program for FREE for the 2024 Spring season!

If you have questions about the team, please contact the manager for the 2024 season: 
Steven Leibowitz via [email protected]


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