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Dr. Darrell Burnett is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, a Licensed Marriage, Family, & Child Therapist, and a certified Sports Psychologist, specializing in youth sports. He is listed in the National Register of Health Providers in Psychology. He has a certificate of Professional Qualification in Psychology from the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards.

He received a B.A. and M.A. in philosophy at the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. He received an M.A. in psychology from Xavier University before moving from his hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio to complete a Ph.D. in psychology at the United States International University, San Diego, California. He was awarded a one-year post-doctoral fellowship in psychology at the Neuropsychiatric Institute, UCLA.

Dr. Burnett is a member of the American Psychological Association, the California Psychological Association, the National Association of Sports Psychologists, and the Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology. He is also a member of the National Speakers Association.

Districts 55 & 68 Little League Baseball

Challenger Division

   In 1989 Little League Baseball established the Challenger Division of Little League, a program for youngsters with mental and/or physical disabilities. The typical disabilities include developmental delays, Down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, spinabifida, etc.
   Established in 1991, the Challenger Division of District 55 in south Orange County has grown steadily. In 2006, over 200 youngsters throughout south Orange County will participate on Challenger teams from Irvine, Lake Forest, Laguna Niguel, San Juan Capistrano, Mission Viejo, and Rancho Santa Margarita, representing Districts 55 and 68.
   The Junior Division Challenger teams, for youngsters age 5-12, play a 12 game schedule, 6 home, 6 away, usually scheduled between Major Division Little League games. The games average two innings, with each player batting each inning. Some hit off the tee, some hit a ball pitched by the coach. No score is kept. The emphasis is on fun, and on the opportunity to learn skills. Parents and fans cheer for both teams throughout the game. The season will end with a June 4th “Closing Day Games” celebration,  bringing together all the teams from all the leagues.
   An important part of the Junior Division Challenger program is the "Buddy" system, whereby Little League players (usually ages 11 and 12), in uniform, are paired one-on-one with the Challenger players throughout the game, cheering them on, encouraging them, helping out where needed, and, in general, helping the players have a good time. The “Buddy” system also involves Junior High and High School volunteers who play an essential role as “buddies” during weekly practice sessions.
   The Challenger Division also includes Senior Division Challenger teams, for developmentally disabled players in Junior High, High School, and occasionally, in community college. Their schedule is similar to the Junior Division, with a few minor rule changes to emphasize advanced skills and game awareness.

Dr. Darrell Burnett, Challenger Program Administrator
California District 55 Little League and District 68 Little League
(949) 495-3444.

***Challenger - Local League Contact Information***

Rancho Niguel Little League, Darrell Burnett, Ph.D.,

Lake Forest Little League, Ruth and Scott Birch,

Northwood Little League, Dave Miller,