By Denis House
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
As I stood baking in the hot June sun over the weekend at Little League All Star games, it got me thinking.
Does Little League have a rule regarding when it is safe to play in extreme heat conditions?
I mean at the high school level if the heat index reaches a certain point, all activities are shut down until it drops to a safe level. Prior to that, teams are forced to take water breaks every so often, depending on where the heat index is. At the 2011 state softball tournament games had to be stopped several times due to the heat index, and I know this year during the baseball and softball region tournament at South Laurel Karen Broughton, the South athletic trainer, diligently monitored the heat index as to avoid any potential problems.
Getting back to Little League, I went to their web site to see if they have specific rules regarding the stoppage of play. While they do have a section devoted to heat and humidity, including a heat index chart, no where does it state that the heat index should be checked and games stopped if it reads in the danger zone. It gives tips to protect players, and even says that “On hot days, many leagues have a mandatory break every three innings for all participants—especially needed for umpires, catchers and pitchers—to cool off and rehydrate. On especially hot days, take a break more often.” But not a mention of mandatory stoppage due to the heat index.
That really surprises me. I would have figured that an organization like Little League would have this. According to The Weather Channel, temperatures in London on Thursday and Friday are supposed to reach 101 degrees, with humidity on Thursday at 41 percent and Friday at 47 percent. Now, if this was a KHSAA event, it would be dangerously close to stoppage of all outdoor activity. If the temps and humidity do reach those levels on Thursday and Friday, and if this was a KHSAA event, there would be mandatory water breaks every 30 minutes for 10 minutes in duration, and there would be reduce time for outside activity.
But unfortunately, this isn’t a KHSAA event.
Little League needs to address this situation before something tragic happens that forces them to. And then, it will be too late.
• Staying with Little League, for the first time since the local chapter was split to make South London and North Laurel, South London is not fielding a girls’ 11-12 year old All Star team.
Why, you might be asking yourself. Well, according to a couple of well-informed sources, it seems that the girls were told not to play because it would interfere with middle school basketball practice.
If this is so,then it is a shame. Making a child choose at this young of an age is wrong. If anything, stuff like this will drive a child away from sports.
• North Laurel’s Marcus Carson and South Laurel’s Trent Abner both played in last week’s East-West Junior All-Star baseball game at the University of Louisville. Both players turned in a fine performance during the two games.
• So Jerry Sandusky was found guilty on 45 of 48 charges of allegations of child sex abuse. He now faces a maximum sentence of 442 years and will likely be sentenced to life in prison.
Of course there will be an appeal, but it won’t do any good. According to CNN, he has been put on a suicide watch while in protective custody away from other inmates as he waits for his sentencing.
Sandusky is 68 years old. Had Penn State officials addressed this situation when it was first brought up, they could have saved a lot of young men a lifetime of emotional scars. Sandusky could have also gone to prison sooner and really had to suffer behind bars for his crimes. As is, he probably won’t last too long behind bars.
And that’s a shame. He should have to suffer as long as his victims have.
• Euro 2012 is down to the final four as Portugal takes on Spain today, then Italy and Germany battle on Thursday. The winners will advance to Sunday’s final to decide who will be crowned the best team in Europe.
Before the event started, many were predicting a Spain-Germany final, and that could easily happen. But don’t be surprised if either Portugal or Italy pull off an upset.
Spain will be looking to defend its Euro title won in 2008 in a 1-0 victory over Germany, while the Germans will be looking to become champs for the fourth time, the most of any European nation. If Spain wins, it will be their third title, tying them with Germany. Should Italy win, it will be their second, while Portugal has never won the title.
And boy did Holland stink things up in the tournament, going out in the group stage without a single point. And they were one of the favorites going into the event.
And poor England, losing to Italy in the semifinals in a shootout. That means England falls to 1-6 all-time in shootouts during international competitions.