Bloomingdale Youth Sports Association’s Bambino Buddy Ball Division registration is open for the 2023 season, which will begin on Saturday, February 25.

The division is part of the Babe Ruth League and gives 5-to-20-year-old athletes who are physically and/or mentally challenged the opportunity to play baseball and softball. During games and practices, a volunteer ‘buddy’ will assist the athlete with swinging the bat, running the bases, fielding the ball and having fun playing baseball with their friends.

“Bloomingdale Buddy Ball provides individuals with a mental and/or physical disability the opportunity to play baseball, regardless of their abilities. Buddy Ball helps individuals learn teamwork, promote self-esteem and most important, have fun,” according to the registration flyer.

The season will begin in February and run through April with games on Saturdays. Athletes and their buddies will participate in the games and build a network of friends and teammates.

“Advancing the personal development of any child through team participation and kinship is an important step along the road to success and happiness,” according to the website.

Participation in the Bambino Buddy Ball Division encourages young athletes to become involved in physical fitness and improve social skills through a team sport. Volunteers have the opportunity to experience the same benefits while learning how to help others.

“As you can see, the Bambino Buddy Ball Division is an emotionally rewarding experience for everyone as it allows the ‘buddies’ to feel good about helping their challenged friends, while at the same time making it a fun and memorable time for all,” according to the website.

Registration is free and includes a jersey and hat for each participant, made possible, in part, by sponsorships from supportive companies. The Bloomingdale Youth Sports Association relies on sponsorships to cover the cost of uniforms, equipment, field maintenance, trophies and medals for its young athletes. There are various sponsorship levels for companies ranging from $3,000-$375.

To register online, visit and make an account to fill out the waivers and other parent information. For more information on Bambino Buddy Ball or how to sponsor the Bloomingdale Youth Sports Association, visit the website.

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Lily Belcher is a writer for The Osprey Observer and Christian Voice Monthly. She started as an intern in the summer of 2020 and has continued to write for the Osprey since completing her internship. Lily plans to attend the University of South Florida and major in Communications while writing for The Oracle.