The 2008 East Carolina baseball team will host a Challenger League game this Sunday (April 27) at Clark-LeClair Stadium starting at 2:30 and will last until about 4 p.m. (EDT) with free admission to all fans.
The Challenger Division is for children with any special needs who are from the ages of 5-18 and plays each Saturday from the end of April through mid June.
The Pirates (29-13, 8-7 C-USA) will act in a buddy system for the participants helping them with all phases of the game such as hitting, fielding and throwing.
”Hosting this event for the Challenger League means as much to our players and program as it does to the kids in the league,” said Head Coach Billy Godwin. “It is a great way for us to share the game we love with some very special young people.”
More than the skills of baseball learned through the experience, the value of the Little League Challenger Division is found in the proven therapeutic and socialization benefits of participants' self esteem, the opportunities to mainstream into other divisions of play, and the disciplines of teamwork, sportsmanship and fair play which are hallmarks of the Little League program.
The philosophy of the Little League Challenger Division is to provide the framework so that every Little League program may offer a structured, athletic activity for all youth in the community.
Playing equipment, uniforms, official shoulder patches, and announcers will be available for the Little League Challenger participants as well.
A special group of children, who shun the description "special", can now enjoy all the benefits Little League Baseball has been offering to youngsters worldwide since 1939. Playing with the same equipment on the same fields, Challenger Division participants learn not only the fundamentals of baseball, but also how it feels to be just like other children, pulling together as a team, being cheered, and earning awards for their achievements. Greenville Little Leagues' Challenger Division is co-sponsored with the Greenville Recreation and Parks Department. For general information (registration info., game times and locations, etc.) regarding Challenger Baseball contact Brian Weingartz (252) 341-5680. For more specific information regarding Challenger Baseball call John Harer at (252) 353-5167.
Basic Rules of Challenger Baseball are as follows:
1. Teams can include as many as 6-10 players.
2. Each player has a "buddy" which is usually a Little Leaguer or a service organization volunteer. These "buddies" assist each Challenger player during the course of the game.
3. Every player on the roster gets to bat and play the field each inning.
4. No score will be kept.