Spring: NALL Challenger Program

The North Andover Little League (NALL) Challenger Program is for players born between September 1, 1997 and August 31, 2014 and will be entering its fifth season this spring. In its inaugural season the Challenger program had 31 players, the numbers have grown every year since.

The Challenger Program is for developmentally and physically challenged youth, helping them to enjoy the full benefits of Little League participation in an athletic environment structured to their abilities. More than the skills of baseball learned through the experience, the value of the Little League Challenger Division is found in the therapeutic and socialization benefits of participating in sports; strengthening of participants’ self-esteem; the opportunities to mainstream into other divisions of play and the discipline of teamwork, sportsmanship and fair play, which are hallmarks of the Little League program. The Little League Challenger Division provides the framework so Little League programs may offer a structured, athletic activity for all youth in their communities. Playing with the same equipment on the same fields, Challenger Division participants have the opportunity to experience the joys of pulling together as a team, being cheered, and earning awards for their achievements.

The Challenger Program would be not possible without volunteers who ‘buddy’ with Challenger players. The main goal of the ‘buddies’ is to make sure players stay safe while assisting them as needed. Whether it be helping swing a bat, pushing a wheelchair, or simply playing catch, ‘buddies’ are crucial to the program’s success.  And many who volunteered last year provided feedback on how rewarding it was for them to be involved.

NALL does not charge a registration fee to participate in the Challenger Program. In 2015, a donation from the Lowell Five Cent Savings Bank (498 Chickering Road) allowed NALL to provide Challenger participants with uniforms (shirts, hats, socks, belts), equipment, end of season trophies, a pizza party and an ice cream party.  With the continued support of Lowell Five, NALL has been able to offer the Challenger Program with no registration fees for participants.

If you would like to make a donation to the NALL Challenger Program please contact Mike Bono (C:  339-227-0078 or e-mail [email protected])

To register for the Challenger Program click on the "REGISTRATION" tab on the menu bar.  Note there are separate registration options for Challenger players and 'buddies'.  

Here is a video that will provide some insight on what the Challenger Division is all about: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3c9nl6W5XOY

And lastly, here’s some feedback from a parent of a Challenger participant from the inaugural season:

“Emmett is so excited to play this Sunday that we adjusted our family plans so he can be there. I wanted to let you know. He is LOVING baseball with the team and being with his buddy, Steve. What a great experience for our little guy. Thanks for all you do”

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