The Challenge Program is designed for those athletes who, in addition to participating in the League’s regular spring season, want to experience extra baseball in a more competitive “tournament” environment. MHAA's Challenge Program provides athletes who possess above average baseball skills an opportunity to play baseball at the highest level for their age group, while maintaining the experience of playing for a regular season Championship, all without paying the same level of fees typically associated with travel or academy baseball.
Challenge Baseball will play by and abide by Little League's new expansion program incorporating 50/70 playing dimensions. Standard Little League format plays with the following dimensions in place: 46' pitchers mound and 60' bases. The Challenge Program incorporates a 50' pitchers mound and 70' base paths. Thus the reason this league is only open to 10-12 year old players.
MHAA offers a Challenge experience for baseball players, ages 9 - 12 who participate in the League’s regular season baseball program. There is one formal Challenge season, the spring season. All challenge players wishing to play in the Spring Challenge Program must also play for a regular season spring team. Players in all age groups must tryout in order to participate in the Challenge program. As with most elite/Challenge/travel opportunities, not all players will make a team. In some cases, more than one team per age group can be created. The creation of more than one team depends on four factors:
pitching and catching depth, and
availability of qualified coaches.
Further, it is possible that no team is created for a particular age group in a given season because of a deficiency in one or more of the four factors mentioned above.
While tryouts are open to all players, it should be noted that players considering this program should be able to demonstrate above average baseball skills. Moreover, for those players selected to play on a Challenge team, additional costs are associated with this program. Challenge fees are used to pay for tournament registration fees, uniforms and equipment for all age groups.
Each coaching staff will emphasize proper baseball development for each age group through planned practice sessions to ensure player and position development. Each coaching staff will focus on proper fundamentals and is encouraged to apply a fairness standard when allocating playing time for all participants. Fair playing time in a Challenge context is not the same as equal playing time in our Rec League. There are no minimum play rules in Challenge baseball. Parents who believe that the most important parts of a youth baseball experience are equal playing time and equal opportunities to play a variety of positions should not consider Challenge baseball as an option for their child.