THE BUDDY PROGRAM
2021 Challenger Game - Date TBD
The Big 26 Baseball Classic's Buddy Program pairs Big 26 athletes with a buddy who has a physical and/or intellectual disability. Buddies and Big 26 players spend time together on and off the field through a series of events that include an opening picnic and the Challenger Game. Big 26 players are by their buddy's side at the plate, on the bases and in the field.
Format: Each challenger athlete will bat once and field at least once and up to twice for the event. Batters will use a tee if needed. Balls are soft "incrediballs" to ensure safety. Organizers will prepare a lineup that's distributed to each Big 26 players so that they can help their buddies to be in the proper positions.
Our Big 26 athletes compete in this event to test their skills and compete at a high level field to impress coaches and scouts, but they all say the same thing after the event; that the new friendship and experience with their buddy is just as important - and maybe even more impactful - as the competition.
BUDDY PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS (2021)
Age: Athletes turning 5 years by July 1, 2021 and up to age 21 on the date of the event are age-eligible.
Ability: The Buddy Program is designed for athletes with physical or intellectual disabilities. Athletes should be identified by the school or other human service agency as having a physical or intellectual disability, or having a developmental disability with functional limitations in general learning and adaptive skills.
All paperwork/online registration must be completed and received by the due date.