What is a Buddy?
Buddies protect and assist the player in batting and running the bases (if needed), and are a friend on and off the field.
The Buddy program has great impact on all participants. Buddies and players alike learn valuable skills like patience, understanding and compassion. By providing players with a Buddy, parents can enjoy watching their son or daughter play the game and also allows them time to socialize with other parents. Buddies partner with a player’s parents to ensure the specific needs of their son or daughter are met on the field.
The level of commitment is high for Buddies. You are expected to be at every game. If you cannot commit to the entire season, you can register to be in the Buddy Bullpen.
Who is eligible to be a Buddy and what’s the process to apply?
Buddies are youth 10 years of age and older and adults who want to assist on a regular basis and enjoy the season from beginning to end with a player. Each buddy is paired with a specific child every season and will be expected to attend games and practices regularly
for the entire season. If we have more buddies than players, you may be eligible to be in the “Buddy Bullpen.”
To apply to be a Buddy, you must complete and submit a Volunteer form. If you are over 18, you must also complete a background check. Instructions on where to send the application are included on the Volunteer form. (Forms are posted prior to each season).
- Registration forms will be available online shortly
- 18 and older? Get info on the background check process
What is expected of a Buddy?
Buddies need to be energetic, committed and enthusiastic for each game. Buddies are a player’s biggest supporter on and off the field for the season. We encourage buddies to keep a consistent schedule. This allows for Miracle players to grow more comfortable with their new friends. Buddies are responsible for their individual player from the time of introduction until the player is back in the care of their parent/guardian. This means that no matter where their player goes the Buddy must go.
On game days:
- Buddies are expected to protect the player at all times.
- When a hard hitter is up at bat, Buddies are to step in front of the player for protection.
- Always allow the player as much freedom as possible to play his/her game and position.
- Run around the bases with the player or provide appropriate assistance (example, if player is in a wheelchair, push them around the bases).
- Assist the player according to their needs.
- Notify the Miracle League Volunteer Coordinator or player’s parents at least 24 hours prior to game time if unable to attend the game.
- Demonstrate high morals and integrity on and off the field.
- Have fun with the player and enjoy the game
What’s it Like to be a Buddy?
This video, even though it’s from the San Diego league, shows firsthand what it’s like to be a buddy and focuses on some of the important points.
Do Buddies stay with the same player all season?
In order to encourage friendships and establish a level of comfort, buddies are assigned to the same child or team for the entire season. However, we also welcome buddies who may not be able to attend each game and would want to assist wherever help is needed. If a regular Buddy is unable to attend a game, you can be part of the “Buddy Bullpen” to ensure each player is comfortable and safe each game.
Is there special training involved?
Buddies will attend a brief training course before the season starts. This training provides guidelines, suggestions, and directions on how to have fun and make the experience safe and enjoyable.
Can Buddies receive credit for service hours?
Buddies can receive credit and, if necessary, a written recommendation towards service hour requirements for school or other organizations upon completion of a full season. If credit hours need to be documented, please advise the Volunteer Coordinator.
What’s the Buddy Bullpen?
If you are unable to commit to volunteering for the entire season but want to be involved on the field, you may be able to participate in the Buddy Bullpen. All new Buddies will are required to attend the annual training session to become more familiar with the program.
Buddies that are not assigned to a specific player and buddies who want help out as needed throughout the season can be in the Buddy Bullpen. If a player’s regular Buddy is unable to attend a game, volunteers from the Buddy Bullpen will be asked to fill-in.