2010-01-15 / Sports

Rockaway Little League Announces New Programs

While Major League baseball players report for spring training in such warm locales as Port St Lucie, Tampa, Scotts - dale and Mesa, local children can shake off the cobwebs and get into throwing and fielding shape at Rock - away Little League’s Spring Training which is being held at Scholars’ Acad - emy in their expansive gym.

Spring Training will consist of six sessions over a seven week period be - ginning the first week in February. The clinical baseball instruction will be directed by Rockaway resident Matt Roventini, the head baseball coach of Poly Prep in Brooklyn.

The clinic will consist of two separate age groups: 6- to 8-year-olds and 9- to 12-year-olds. The 6- to 8-year-olds’ clinic will be held on Tuesday nights on the following dates: February 2, 9, 23 and Mar 2, 9 and 16.

The 9- to 12-year-olds’ clinic will be held on Thursday nights on the following dates: February 4, 11, 25 and March 4, 11 16. Each session will be an hour and a half in duration, taking place between 7:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Each child will get a spring training tshirt as well.

Why travel to Long Island or other parts of the boroughs where you’ll be required to sit through numerous traffic delays when your child can receive quality off-season instruction only a few minutes from home, the directors ask. They add that participants can possibly look forward to special guests stopping by as well. The cost is $60 per child.

To reserve a spot or inquire about the clinic, e-mail rockawaylittleleague@ gmail.com or sign up at Little League registration at the clubhouse at Fort Tilden. Space is extremely limited.

RLL Challenger Division

The Challenger Division was established in 1989 as a separate division of Little League baseball to enable boys and girls with physical and mental challenges, ages 5-18, or up to age 22 if still enrolled in high school, to enjoy the game of baseball along with the millions of other children who participate in this sport worldwide. Today more than 30,000 children participate in more than 900 Challenger Divisions worldwide.

Teams are set up according to abilities, rather than age, and can include as many as 15-20 players. Challenger games can be played as t-ball games, coach pitch, player pitch, or a combination of the three.

In a Challenger game, each player gets a chance at bat. The side is retired when the offense has batted through the roster, or when a pre-determined number of runs have been scored, or when three outs are recorded.

The Little League recommends that no score be kept during Challenger games. The Challenger players wear the same uniforms, shoulder patches and safety equipment as other Little League players.

One of the benefits of having a Challenger Division is that it encourages the use of “buddies” for the Challenger players. The buddies assist the Challenger players on the field but whenever possible, encourage the players to bat and make plays themselves. However, the buddy is always nearby to help when needed.

Due to the generosity of the local civic minded groups such as the Gray - beards, the RIBs, The Jetty, WISH and others, there will be no charge to participants of the Challenger Division.

The dedicated volunteer coaches of the Rockaway Little League will be coaching and organizing this endeavor under the guidance of Joe Featherston who is also the president of the Rockaway Chapter of the Special Olym pics.

If anyone has any questions please call Joe Braskey at 347-558-6231. If you would like to sign up or register your child please e-mail rockawaylittleleague@ gmail.com.

Please put Challenger Division in the subject line, or come to the clubhouse at Fort Tilden during the times and dates of registration.

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