WHAT IS CHALLENGER BASEBALL?
San Francisco Little League's Challenger Division provides an opportunity for any boy or girl over six-years-old (as of April 30, 2014) with a disability, physical or cognitive, to join a baseball team, get some exercise, and learn some baseball skills with other kids in an informal, supportive environment. We invite your child or children you know to join our team.
The Challenger Little League baseball season runs from mid-March to mid-June, and includes about ten games on Sunday afternoons. San Francisco’s teams (called the Giants, of course) begin their season with a motorcade parade for all the City’s Little League teams from the Presidio through the Marina District, followed by an Opening Day ceremony and barbecue. Home games are played at either China Basin Park, across "McCovey Cove" from AT&T Park, or at Little League’s fields on Treasure Island. Home games are interspersed with away games with Challenger teams on the Peninsula. (I can provide you contact information for these other teams in South San Francisco, Foster City, Sunnyvale, Palo Alto, San Jose, etc.)
Kids learn the basics of baseball, and how to play as part of a team. However, games are non-competitive, with full participation by all. Every player takes a turn at bat every inning, and always gets on base and gets to advance around the bases. There are no outs, no one keeps score, and everyone has a great time for one to two hours, once a week. Parents and coaches and occasionally players from Little League’s other programs provide support and as much (or little) assistance as each player wants or needs to participate to the best of their ability and enjoy the game. San Francisco Little League provides each player a uniform identical to those of other Little League teams. Most importantly—everyone has a great time!
We also offer a number of supplemental events, such as group attendance at Giants and A’s games, and an end-of-season June "Jamboree" with the other Bay Area teams we play. In many years, the San Francisco Giants have graciously also invited our kids to attend a "clinic" hosted by members of the Giants' team, always a highlight.
Little League’s Challenger Division was founded in 1989 and includes over 22,000 players nationally. Little League is an all-volunteer, not-for-profit organization. While fees are requested to defray costs, waivers are offered and no children will be denied the opportunity to play.
Here's what else you need to know:
Little League is an all-volunteer organization that depends on fees and contributions to cover expenses. The fee for Challenger Division registration is $100 (less than for other Little League divisions). The final date for Challenger registration is March 1, 2014, however, to help us plan for the Spring, we ask parents and caregivers to please register as early as possible, preferably before January 1, 2014. Please note that early registration will also ensure that your child is able to participate in case available spaces on teams fill up this year!
We want you to play ball with us regardless of economic circumstances. The SFLL application form includes a menu option under "Spring Season Fees" to request "a fee waiver due to economic hardship," and asks that you include a note with your application, such as "Please waive my registration fees as they would be a hardship." If you cannot pay the entire fee but are able to make a smaller contribution to defray expenses, we’d suggest a note such as "Please waive my registration fees, but I would like to make a donation of $___ to defray expenses."
If you know additional families who may be interested in Challenger baseball in the Spring, please send me their names or have them contact me. You can also forward this e-mail if you want.
For more information about the San Francisco program, contact:
Challenger Program Director
Phone: (415) 864-2939
To learn more about Little League in general and Challenger baseball in particular, check out the Little League International website (Challenger Division, under Special Programs or Divisions).
Let's play ball!
SPRING 2014 CHALLENGER REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN.
Our League is always looking for good coaches. We hope to confirm coaches as soon as possible so please get those applications in now.