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Oyster Bay inaugurating new special needs baseball field in Plainview

The Town of Oyster Bay is inaugurating a new baseball field specially designed for kids with disabilities.

An opening-day ceremony is at noon Sunday at the field, which is at Fern Place School in Plainview.

Among the special features of the new “challenger baseball field” are bases and a pitcher’s mound that are marked on the surface but not raised, to make it easier and safer for players, including people in wheelchairs, Councilwoman Rebecca Alesia said in a news release.

The field has a shock-absorbing synthetic turf and wider gate openings to accommodate wheelchairs.

The field will be the town’s second challenger field. The first one, in Massapequa, has been open a few years.

Little League created its challenger division for boys and girls with physical and mental disabilities in 1989. Teams are put together according to abilities, rather than ages, and can include up to 20 players, according to the Little League website. There are a number of variations from typical baseball games, including that every player has an opportunity to bat.

There are more than 900 challenger divisions worldwide, Little League says on its website.

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