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 > Little League Online > Media > Little League News Archive > 2012 > May-August > Challenger Exhibition Game at Little League Baseball World Series will be Televised Live by WVIA; Also Carried Live by ESPN3

Challenger Exhibition Game at Little League Baseball World Series will be Televised Live by WVIA; Also Carried Live by ESPN3

Challenger Exhibition Game at Little League Baseball World Series will be Televised Live by WVIA; Also Carried Live by ESPN3

2011 Challenger TV 152px

Again this year, the annual Little League Challenger Division exhibition game that is part of the Little League Baseball World Series schedule, will be televised.

Since 2001, two Little League Challenger Division teams have been invited to play in the exhibition game. The first three years the teams came from local programs.  Since then, teams from nine different states, from as far away as Arizona, have participated.

The 2012 Little League Baseball World Series Challenger Exhibition Game, scheduled for 10:30 a.m. (Eastern U.S. Time) on Aug. 25, will air live on Northeastern Pennsylvania’s and the Central Susquehanna Valley’s PBS Station, WVIA TV (Comcast Cable Channel 7). In addition, the game will be carried live on ESPN3, accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app and through ESPN on Xbox LIVE.

“We are pleased to be able to televise this important aspect of the Little League Baseball World Series again this year,” Stephen D. Keener, President and Chief Executive Officer of Little League Baseball and Softball, said. “I know viewers will enjoy watching the game, and we hope this added visibility will spur more communities to add the Challenger Division.”

WVIA-FCFP-Logo-152pxUnderwriting for the telecast is being provided by the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania (FCFP). The foundation works regionally and locally serving Lycoming, Montour and Union Counties, to bring together people, partners and places to grow local giving and investment, strengthen area organizations and results, and take on the critical issues and efforts needed to build vibrant communities and a thriving north central Pennsylvania region.

“Providing regional access to this special event was a highlight of the past year at FCFP and we look forward to doing so again in 2012,” Marshall D. Welch III, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania, said. “The partnership between FCFP, Little League Baseball and Softball, and WVIA is reflective of the collaborative spirit of the nonprofits in North Central Pennsylvania and demonstrates the power of working together for the betterment of our collective communities.”

The Challenger game will be played at Volunteer Stadium on the Little League International Complex in South Williamsport, Pa.

This year’s game will feature teams from Southwest Forsyth Little League in Clemmons, N.C., and Rhode Island District 2 Challenger from Portsmouth, R.I. Both teams are from states that have not been represented in the Little League Baseball World Series Challenger Exhibition Game in previous years.



“WVIA is proud to continue its relationship with Little League Baseball and Softball in providing the Little League Baseball World Series Challenger Exhibition Game to the people of our region,” Thomas M. Currá, Executive Vice-President and Executive Producer at WVIA Public Media, said. “We also are happy to work with UNC-TV, North Carolina’s statewide public television network, and Rhode Island PBS, which will broadcast the game to the participating teams’ home markets, and ESPN, which allows the game to be available to a worldwide audience. All of this would not have been possible without the support of the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania.”

Southwest Forsyth Little League has 40 players in its Challenger program, which started in 2006. Rhode Island District 2 has 50 players participating in its program which is in its sixth season.

Gary Chrisman and Tom Speicher, both members of the WRAK Radio crew for the World Series, along with Dr. Darrell Burnett, will provide the commentary on the game. Mr. Burnett, a clinical psychologist and certified sports psychologist specializing in youth sports, serves on the Little League International Board of Directors and coordinates the Challenger Division for California Districts 55 and 58. WRAK is the flagship radio station for the Little League Baseball World Series.

Some of the buddies for the Challenger team from Southwest Forsyth Little League are expected to be members of the 2002 all-star team from the same league who were the Southeastern Region Champions, earning a berth in the Little League Baseball World Series.



2011 Challenger Teams 500px

Players and their buddies get together for a team photo after the Challenger Exhibition Game last year.  Lafayette (La.) Little League and Baugo Little League from Mishawaka, Ind. participated in the 2011 game.

 

The Challenger Division was established in 1989 as a separate division of Little League that enables boys and girls with physical and developmental challenges, ages 4-18, or up to age 22 if still enrolled in high school, to enjoy the game of baseball.

The teams playing in the Challenger game as part of the World Series are representing more than 30,000 Challenger players in more than 900 leagues worldwide.

More information on Little League’s Challenger Division can be found on the Little League website, at: www.LittleLeague.org; or on Facebook: www.facebook.com/LittleLeagueChallenger; or by contacting Sam Ranck, Little League’s Director of the Challenger Division, at: Challenger@LittleLeague.org

History of the Challenger Exhibition Game at Little League Baseball World Series



2001 – The three teams in the South Challenger Division of Pennsylvania District 12 (the district Williamsport is in) were split into two teams and the first game was played at the World Series.

2002 – Danville (Pa.) Area Little League vs. Pennsylvania District 12

2003 – East Lycoming Challenger Division from Hughesville Pa. vs. Danville (Pa.) Area Little League

2004 – Canton (Ohio) Little League vs. Horsham (Pa.) Little League

2005 – Peachtree City (Ga.) Little League vs. Frederick (Md.) Little League

2006 – Shamokin-Coal Township Little League (Shamokin, Pa.) vs. Front Royal (Pa.) Little League

2007 – Lewisburg (Pa.) Little League vs. Danville (Pa.) Area Little League

2008 – Tucson (Ariz.) Little League vs. West University Little League (Houston, Texas)

2009 – Lackawanna County Challenger (South Scranton Little League – Clarks Summit, Pa.) vs. Springfield (Va.) Little League

2010 – Cherry Hill (N.J.) American Little League vs. Friendswood (Texas) Little League

2011 – Lafayette (La.) Little League vs. Baugo Little League (Mishawaka, Ind.)

2012 – Southwest Forsyth Little League (Clemmons, N.C.) vs. Rhode Island District 2 Little League (Portsmouth, R.I.)