The Jefferson Township Recreation Department is offering a baseball Little League Challenger Division for the special needs youth of the township again this spring, following successful programs since 2007. The registration fee – which includes a jersey, cap, and award for the spring 2018 team – has been waived due to fundraising efforts.

Flyers can be downloaded from www.jeffersontownship.net. Click on Form Center, scroll down to Recreation Forms, and click on Challenger Baseball.

The Challenger Division was established in 1989 as a separate division of Little League Baseball to enable boys and girls with physical and mental disabilities to enjoy the game of baseball along with the millions of other children who participate in this sport worldwide. Boys and girls ages 5-18 (or the completion of high school) with physical or mental challenges are invited to participate. Scott Luker, a resident of Jefferson Township, will return as director of the league.

Over the years, the Challenger Division has removed barriers that keep children off the baseball field and prevent them from being treated like other kids. Players have the opportunity to participate in Tee Ball, Coach-Pitch, or Player-Pitch levels with the option to use the “buddy” system for assistance on the field. Players wear the same uniforms and use the same equipment as other Little Leaguers. Everyone on the roster plays the entire game, and no score is kept. The program has proven to be therapeutic, strengthen self-esteem, encourage teamwork and sportsmanship, and provide a new avenue of socialization.

Registration to play, manage, umpire, assistant coach, serve as a team parent, or become a “buddy” to a player is online only through Community Pass. Log on to https://register.communitypass.net/reg/index.cfm. Sign in or follow the prompts to set up your own account through the Jefferson Township community. Choose “Winter-Spring Season 2018” to register. For assistance, contact the recreation office at 973-663-8404 x4 or cpunturieri@jeffersontownship.net.

For more information about Jefferson’s league, contact Luker directly at 973-270-8356 or email him at airforceonenjllc@gmail.com. Questions can also be directed to the Jefferson Township Recreation office at 973-663-8404.

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