Each year across the United States, thunderstorms produce an estimated 25 million cloud-to-ground flashes of lightning – each one of those flashes is a potential killer. According to the National Weather Service, an average of 73 people are killed by lightning each year and hundreds more are injured, some suffering devastating neurological injuries that persist for the rest of their lives. A growing percentage of those struck are involved in outside recreational activities. Officials responsible for sports events often lack adequate knowledge of thunderstorms and lightning to make educated decisions on when to seek safety.
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officials base their decisions on personal experience and, sometimes, on the desire to complete the activity. Due to the nature of lightning, personal experience can be misleading. While many people routinely put their lives in jeopardy when thunderstorms are nearby, few are actually struck by lightning. This results in a false sense of safety.
Unfortunately, this false sense of safety has resulted in numerous lightning deaths and injuries during the past several decades because people made decisions that unknowingly put their lives or the lives of others at risk. For organized outdoor activities, the National Weather Service recommends those in charge have a lightning safety plan, and that they follow the plan without exception. The plan should give clear and specific safety guidelines in order to eliminate errors in judgment. Prior to an activity or event, organizers should listen to
the latest forecast to determine the likelihood of thunderstorms. NOAA Weather Radio is a good source of up-to-date weather information. Once people start to arrive, the guidelines in your league’s lightning safety plan should be followed. A thunderstorm is approaching or nearby. Are conditions safe, or is it time to head for safety? Not wanting to appear overly cautious, many people wait far too long before reacting to this potentially deadly weather threat. The safety recommendations outlined here based on lightning research and the lessons learned from the unfortunate experiences of thousands of lightning strike victims.
Thunderstorms produce two types of lightning flashes, ‘negative’ and
‘positive.’ While both types are deadly, the characteristics of the two are quite different. Negative flashes occur more frequently, usually under or near the base of the thunderstorm where rain is falling. In contrast, positive flashes generally occur away from the center of the storm, often in areas where rain is not falling. There is no place outside that is safe in or near a thunderstorm. Consequently, people need to stop what they are doing and get to a safe place immediately. Small outdoor buildings including dugouts, rain shelters, sheds, etc., are NOT SAFE. Substantial
buildings with wiring and plumbing provide the greatest amount of protection.
Allowed Ratio (see Section IV).
In all cases, if the tie-breaking principles herein are correctly applied and fail to break the tie, or if these guidelines are not applied correctly (in the judgment of the Tournament Committee in Williamsport), then the matter will be referred to the Tournament Committee, which will be the final arbiter in deciding the issue. If a tie cannot be broken through the proper application of these guidelines (in the opinion of the Tournament Committee), then a playoff, blind draw or coin flip will determine which team(s) will advance. This is a decision of the Tournament Committee.
SECTION IV – RUNS-ALLOWED RATIO A. For each team involved in a tie in which head-to-head results cannot be used (because no team defeated each of the other teams in the tie each time they played, or because no team has defeated all of the other teams involved in the tie in everyone of the pool play games played between those teams, or because the teams involved in the tie did not play one another an equal number of times during pool play), the tournament director will calculate: The
total number of runs given up in all pool play games played by that team,
divided by the number of half-innings played on defense in pool play games by that team. This provides the number of runs give up per half-inning by that team: the Runs-Allowed Ratio.
1. Example: The Hometown Little League team has given up eight (8) runs
in all four (4) of its pool play games, and has played 23 innings on
defense in those four games. 8 divided by 23 equals .3478
2. The Runs-Allowed Ratio for Hometown Little League (.3478 in the
example above) is compared to the same calculation for each of the
teams involved in the tie.
B. The Runs-Allowed Ratio is used to advance ONLY ONE team.
C. If, after computing the Runs-Allowed Ratio using results of all pool play games played by the teams involved in the tie:
1. one team has the lowest Runs-Allowed Ratio, that team advances.
After one team has advanced using the Runs-Allowed Ratio, the breaking
of any other ties must revert to the methods detailed in Section III –
Tiebreaker Procedures, before the Runs-Allowed Ratio is used to break
2. two or more teams remain tied, and the methods detailed in Section III
– Tiebreaker Procedures cannot be used (because no team defeated
each of the other teams in the tie each time they played, or because no
team has defeated all of the other teams involved in the tie in everyone
of the pool play games played between those teams, or because the
teams involved in the tie did not play one another an equal number of
times during pool play), then the Runs-Allowed Ratio must be
recomputed using statistics only from the pool play games played
between the teams involved in the tie. The results are used to advance
ONE team, and any other ties must revert to the methods detailed in
Section III – Tiebreaker Procedures, before the Runs-Allowed Ratio is
used to break the tie.
D. Any part of a half-inning played on defense will count as a complete half-inning
on defense for the purposes of computing the Runs-Allowed Ratio.
E. If a game is forfeited, in most cases the score of the game will be recorded as 6-0 (for Little League Divisions and below) or 7-0 (for Intermediate (50-70) Division/Junior/Senior/Big League). However, only the Tournament Committee in Williamsport can decree a forfeit, and the Tournament Committee reserves the right to disregard the results of the game, to assign the score as noted above, or to allow the score to stand (if any part of the game was played). F. If a game is forfeited, in most cases each team involved in the forfeit will be deemed to have played six defensive half-innings (for Little League Divisions and below) or seven defensive innings (for Intermediate (50-70) Division /Junior/Senior/Big League). However, forfeits and the final score and number of innings charged or credited in forfeits, can only be decreed by the Tournament Committee in Williamsport. G. In the event a team (defined for this purpose as a minimum of nine players) fails to attend a scheduled game, and it is determined by the Tournament Committee in Williamsport that the failure to attend was designed to cause a forfeit or delay the tournament for any reason, the Tournament Committee
reserves the right to remove the team from further play in the International Tournament and/or remove those adults it deems responsible from the team and/or local league.