What is the Miracle League of Massachusetts?
The Miracle League of Massachusetts is an all volunteer, non-profit organization that provides all children with the opportunity to play baseball in an organized non-competitive league at no cost to their family. Our players have cognitive, physical, emotional or behavioral disabilities that keep them from playing in a mainstream league. Our league is a high-quality, safe and inclusive experience for our participants and their families.
Where and when are the games played?
Our games are played at the Joseph Lalli Miracle Field at NARA Park in Acton, MA. The address for the field is 75 Quarry Road. GPS systems sometimes put this address at the incorrect spot on Quarry Road. However, our field can easily be seen from the road. Entrance to our parking lot is on the right hand side next to the "Joseph Lalli Field" sign. Games are played on Saturdays in the Spring and Fall.
How are the games played? How long is a game?
Games are non-competitive in nature, with every player batting, rounding the bases and scoring each inning. The score is not kept as there is no game winner. The focus is on participation and inclusion rather than on winning. Volunteer "buddies" are assigned to each player to assist them to whatever extent necessary and provide encouragement throughout the game. Each game lasts about 75 minutes and we ask players to arrive early enough to check in with their coach and find their volunteer buddy.
Are there team practices between games?
No. We just have the Saturday games.
How can I donate money to your organization?
The Miracle League of Massachusetts is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. We accept donations online or by mail. All donations are tax deductible. Visit the donate section of our website for detailed information.
My child has never played baseball or any other sport.
Can he or she participate in this league?
Yes. Girls and boys between 5 and 22 years of age are eligible to participate in the Miracle League of Massachusetts regardless of level of ability. Our athletes represent children who cannot participate in a mainstream league. Children can either be pitched to or hit off of a tee; whatever they are comfortable with.
My child cannot physically hold a bat or will have trouble with it.
Can he or she play?
Yes. All athletes are assigned a volunteer buddy to assist them with the game to whatever extent necessary. This includes helping the athlete hit the ball, run the bases, and go after the ball in the field.
My child has trouble paying attention. Can he play?
Yes. All athletes are assigned a volunteer buddy to assist them with the game to whatever extent necessary. Volunteer buddies can provide distractions while awaiting your child's turn to hit or actively try to engage the athlete in the game.
How much does it cost to participate?
There is no fee to participate in the Miracle League of Massachusetts.
How do I register my child to participate as a player?
Registration is available online through a link on our website. The registration period for players runs for a month and ends about one month before the start of a season.
As a player, what can I expect after I register?
Once teams are formed and assignments are made, athletes will be contacted with more detailed information, usually about two to three weeks before opening day. Once complete, team schedules are available online or by emailing Lauren at miracleleagueofma@yahoo.com.
What equipment does my child need?
Do I need to bring anything to the games?
On Opening Day, every player receives a Red Sox team jersey and cap that is to be worn during games. Players are welcome to bring baseball gloves (although it is not necessary). The league provides baseball bats and balls for team use. Players can wear any shoes. There are drinking fountains at the field.
What if we cannot attend one of our scheduled games?
Attendance is voluntary and there may be an occasion when you have to miss a game. Players are asked to notify Lauren at miracleleagueofma@yahoo.com as soon as they know they will be unable to attend. If you do not know until game day that you will be unable to attend, please contact Lauren at (978) 430 8914.
Do players have the same buddies throughout the season?
No. Unfortunately most of our buddies are unable to volunteer every week of the season. Therefore, we cannot assign the same buddy to a specific athlete each week. If that presents as a problem for your child, we can try to make accommodations.
Do I have to live near the field or in a certain town to be eligible to participate?
No, individuals from any town can participate in the Miracle League of Massachusetts. You don't even have to be a resident of Massachusetts.
Do you have a league for individuals over 22?
Unfortunately, not yet. If you are interested in establishing and running such a program, please contact us and we can discuss ways in which we can provide our assistance.
How can I volunteer?
Visit the Volunteer section of our website for detailed information on volunteer opportunities and registration. Volunteer positions include buddies and umpires. All volunteers must pre-register.
What are Buddies and how do they help?
Buddies are volunteers who assist our athletes with the game of baseball. Our athletes have a wide range of abilities. Some of our players simply need help paying attention to the game and encouragement while others physically need assistance with hitting and fielding the ball, as well as moving around the bases. A buddy's duties include not only helping with the game, but keeping the athlete safe from hard hit balls, encouraging the players and being a friend. We encourage you to watch our videos of game footage (located on the "photos" page of our website) from previous seasons to get a feel for what our games are like.
Does a volunteer have to be available to help every week of the season?
Volunteers do not need to attend every game, every week. Any level of commitment is great. However, we strongly encourage a multi-game or multi-week commitment.
What qualifications do I need to have to be a buddy?
Buddies must be 12 years of age or older. As our games are very low key, baseball skills are not necessary.
How do I register to be a volunteer? Can I just show up on game day?
All volunteers must pre-register. Registration is available online through a link on our website. Registration for volunteers starts about a month before the start of the season and continues throughout the season.
What can I expect after I register as a volunteer?
When you register as a volunteer, you will select at which dates and game times you are available to help. Each week you will receive an email informing you which games you are helping on that upcoming Saturday. As we sometimes have more volunteers available than players, there are times when we have to restrict the number of games when you can be a buddy. If you sign up to help on a particular date and then subsequently determine you are no longer available to help on that date, you must email Lauren at miracleleagueofma@yahoo.com as soon as you know. As we pre-assign buddies to athletes, if we do not know you are unable to attend the game, then your assigned athlete will be without a buddy for that game.
What should I expect on game day?
All volunteer buddies receive a Miracle League t-shirt that should be worn to the games. You will receive this shirt on the first day you volunteer. For each game, we ask that volunteers arrive 15 minutes before their assigned game time and check in at the registration table to learn the team and player to which you are assigned.
What if we cannot attend one of our scheduled games?
Volunteers sign up for games at the time of registration. We realize that a volunteer's schedule may change after this sign up date. Volunteers are asked to notify Lauren at miracleleagueofma@yahoo.com as soon as they know they will be unable to attend on a date for which they have already been scheduled. If we believe you are attending the game, you will have an athlete assigned to you. If you don't show up to the game, that athlete will not have a buddy. If you do not know until game day that you will be unable to attend, please contact Lauren at (978) 430 8914 at that time.
Can I receive credit for community service hours?
Yes. Volunteers can receive community service hours for their time helping the Miracle League. We've seen that many schools or religious organizations requiring community service hours have different methods of collecting the information. If you have a form that requires a signature from us, please contact Lauren either at the games or at miracleleagueofma@yahoo.com. If you need a letter from us, please contact Lauren at miracleleagueofma@yahoo.com allowing enough time for us to write the letter.
What is the Miracle Field?
The Miracle Field is a custom-designed field with a cushioned and completely flat rubberized surface enclosed by a fence to help prevent injuries. The bases are painted on the surface thereby eliminating barriers for wheelchairs and walkers. The field is enclosed by a fence making it safe for any of our athletes who tend to wander. The result is the removal of barriers that normally keep children and young adults of all ages with physical and cognitive disabilities off the traditional baseball field. In addition, the new field allows us to expand our capacity and increase the number of athletes who can enjoy playing baseball in our league.
Is the Miracle Field project complete?
The Miracle League of MA (MLM) is partnering with the Town of Acton to build the NARA Sports Pavilion adjacent to the Joseph Lalli Miracle Field at NARA Park in Acton, MA. The Pavilion includes an accessible family restroom which completes the original vision of the Miracle Field as a premier baseball facility for athletes of all abilities. Until the Pavilion project is complete, MLM will continue to rent temporary facilities for each season.