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Manalapan Challenger selected to compete at Williamsport

By Michael Melman, 02/26/24, 3:15AM EST


NJ and CA teams set for Little League exhibition

Earning the trip to Williamsport, Pennsylvania, to compete in the 2024 Little League Challenger Division® Exhibition Game are teams from Manalapan, New Jersey, and Mission Viejo, California.  

“In its 22nd year, the Little League Challenger Division Exhibition Game continues to be one of the most memorable events as it brings together two outstanding local Little League programs for a morning of fun competition,” said Sam Ranck, Little League Senior Director of Strategy and Development. “We are incredibly grateful for the hours and hard work the volunteers in each league’s community have dedicated to these players, and we are excited to welcome them to Williamsport in August.” 

Since 2001, the Little League Challenger Exhibition Game has been a memorable part of the Championship Weekend experience at the Little League Baseball® World Series. Little League® International will continue to support this year’s participating leagues with a $15,000 grant to help offset the costs for the teams to participate in the Exhibition Game.   

As part of its ongoing support of the Little League Challenger Division, Eggland’s Best, the Official Egg of Little League Baseball and Softball, will match Little League International’s grant value, donating an additional$15,000 each to the participating leagues. Eggland’s Best will also be supporting the first-ever Challenger Exhibition Game pin contest. Players traveling to Williamsport will have the opportunity to design their own unique pin design and one lucky winner from each team will have their custom pin design produced and distributed at the 2024 LLBWS Challenger Exhibition Game. 

“Eggland’s Best is proud to once again pledge support to Little League’s Challenger Division, reinforcing our commitment to fuel the next generation of sports families,” said Kurt Misialek, President and CEO of Eggland’s Best. “We’re also excited to extend our support this year through the inaugural Challenger Exhibition Game pin contest, celebrating creativity and participation. This initiative embodies our dedication to fostering inclusive opportunities for young athletes, reflecting our core values of community support and the promotion of healthy, active lifestyles.” 



Established in 2016, Manalapan Township LL volunteers and leadership have worked hard to grow its Challenger Division. The division has gone from only meeting a few times a season, to participating in the league’s Senior Division championship game each year, competing against its neighbor league, Freehold Township (N.J.) Little League, and having its own mascot – Buster.  

In 2023, the Challenger Division held the New Jersey Statewide Challenger Exhibition tournament, hosting eight teams from across the state for a day of skill drills and competitive games. It was the division’s first step towards its goal of bringing communities together to provide athletes with a fun, community-driven experience.  

“The Challenger team from Manalapan Baseball Association is absolutely thrilled to be participating in the 2024 Challenger Exhibition game at the Little League World Series,” said Kevin Horstman, Manalapan LL Challenger Division Coordinator. “This golden opportunity is a dream come true for our Challenger family. We are so honored and excited to take the field with the Challenger team from California and make memories that will last a lifetime for our players, buddies, parents, and coaches.”  

Keeping track of your child’s sports schedules can be a full time job. We’ve made it easier with the easy to use team management and communication features within your team’s SportsEngine website and mobile app. You can manage your child’s schedule by responding to invitations to games and events in real time. You can communicate with your team manager, coach, and other parents directly within the app and receive notifications of messages as text messages and email.

Visit the help page on the MBA website to access an in-depth guide to getting the most out of the SportsEngine system.

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