Charles County Youth League has partnered with Special Olympics of Charles County
to make the Bambino Buddy Ball experience one to remember!
Mentally and/or physically challenged athletes of all ages
enjoy a friendly and fun game of softball.
At least once a week, from April through June (plus a few games in September), something very special happens on The Field of Dreams at Laurel Springs Park in La Plata. Special Olympic Athletes, ages 5 an up, are "buddied up" with a partner, whose primary job is to ensure their safety while helping them to play the most amazing game of softball you’ll ever witness. The buddies provide as much or as little help, as needed. Each week, the buddies vary from members of other CCYL teams, to parents, to any number of other special guests (i.e., local Fire/EMS/Police, high school sports teams, etc). This not only promotes overall inclusion but also helps bring the community together in such an incredible way.
During the games, we use an optic-yellow safety softball and the Athlete can either hit from a tee or have the ball pitched to them. Every Athlete gets to bat during each inning and everyone gets to travel around all the bases to score a homerun. Each athlete’s name is announced over a loud speaker every time they bat, and the announcer provides play-by-play calls to help create a fun atmosphere. In the field, the buddies try to make sure every Athlete handles the ball as much as possible. The teams are divided equally and they usually play a 2-3 inning game that takes approximately an hour to complete.
The Field of Dreams was made possible by The Greater Waldorf Jaycees and is an adaptive ball field, designed especially with the accessibility requirements of the special needs population in mind. The field is covered in a special rubber material and the dugouts are each at surface level, allowing equipment including, but not limited to, wheelchairs, scooters and walkers to easily navigate throughout.
At least once during the summer, we are able to go to Regency Stadium and play a game on their field with the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs players acting as the buddies. This is a fan favorite for most of the athletes and many great friendships between the players on both sides have developed as a result.
Bambino Buddy Ball not only brings the community together, it has also proven to be very beneficial to the Athletes themselves, not only socially, but in some cases, functionally, as well. We hope you’ll join us for a good dose of softball, smiles and genuine fun.
If you have any questions, or would like more information, please contact Bambino Buddy Ball Commissioner Buffy Lyton at firstname.lastname@example.org.