The fundamental goal of Challenger Baseball is to give everyone a chance to play. To realize that goal, Challenger has two basic rules: every player bats each inning, and every player plays the field. We don't count strikes, and we don't count outs. Everybody scores, and everybody wins.
Challenger Baseball participants learn not only the fundamentals of baseball, but also experience pulling together as a team, be cheered on by a crowd, and being encouraged by their peers. All players are named all-stars, and all receive trophies at the end-of-the-season picnic.
How it's Played:
Beyond following basic safety rules, Challenger tailors certain rules to the skill levels of the players. Challenger players play on the same fields, use the same equipment, and wear the same full uniforms as non-disabled teams.
Teams are supported by coaches and by a buddy system in which young volunteers (ages 10 to 20) that don't have a disability assist Challenger players when needed both at bat and in the field. Buddies help by pushing players using wheelchairs around the base paths after a hit or by helping a player retrieve a ball that gets past them. But the biggest thing a buddy does is to be a friend to our players.
Each week, teams play alternate teams within their skill level. All teams play next to each other, on attached fields. Players can either hit from a batting tee or off a pitcher.
Become a Buddy:
We're all about making friends! Challenger Baseball is looking for volunteers. We need buddies (kids and young adults ages 10-20 who don't have disabilities) to help our kids who have developmental disabilities play baseball. For example, buddies help push players using wheelchairs around the base paths after a hit and help players get balls that get past them in the field.
Many adults have inquired about volunteering as buddies for Challenger Baseball. Our main goal with St. Louis Challenger Baseball is to make friends. We feel very strongly that children and young adults ages 10 to 20 make the best buddies for our players as they play baseball. Our players and these buddies can relate to each other on similar levels and make great friends with each other. Adults can make the biggest difference by making it out to the games and cheering on our players from the sidelines.
Many adults have inquired about volunteering as buddies for Challenger Baseball. We feel very strongly that children and young adults ages 10 to 20 make the best buddies for our players as they play baseball. Adults can make the biggest difference by making it out to the games and cheering on the players.
If you would like to be a Challenger buddy or know someone who might be interested, please contact Buck Smith at 314-822-2518 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.