Youth Hitting Challenge added to All-Star slate

MLB, Reds team up to host new skills event for participants aged 10-16

Youth Hitting Challenge added to All-Star slate

Imagine being able to tell your friends that you competed in an official All-Star Week event.

A new opportunity to do that exists for kids in the Greater Cincinnati area. Major League Baseball and the Reds are teaming up to host the first MLB All-Star Youth Hitting Challenge, open to participants ages 10-16 and free of charge.

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The event will be held at Marge Schott Stadium on the campus of the University of Cincinnati at 9 a.m. ET on July 12. Space is limited, so fans wishing to participate are encouraged to preregister at allstargame.com/youth.

The Hitting Challenge will consist of two scoring stations: one for bunting and one for hitting. Participants compete by age, and they will attempt to score as many points as possible by hitting various targets laid out on a scoring grid. The two best scores in each group face off in the finals, and in each of the seven age groups, the participant with the most points will be named the winner.

Winners will receive two tickets to the Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders on July 13 at Great American Ball Park.

Registration will be closed once the capacity is reached. There is no charge to register.

This event is not to be confused with the 2015 MLB Pitch, Hit & Run program presented by Scotts, which just announced its 24 National Finals participants for July 13 at Great American Ball Park. But both youth events fall under Play Ball, the new initiative between MLB and USA Baseball that encourages participation in all forms of baseball among all ages, with a special focus on youth.

By registering and competing in the Hitting Challenge, all participants will receive, at no charge, two T-Mobile All-Star FanFest tickets, two tickets to a future Reds game and a Play Ball T-shirt.

MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of All-Star Week festivities.

The 86th All-Star Game will be televised nationally on July 14 by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.

Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.