When Natural Disasters Strike: School Sports Edition
You may have heard by now that we had ourselves a little bit of an earthquake over here on the East Coast on Tuesday. (In fact, my colleagues over on the Politics K-12 blog highlighted the "Top Ten Edu-Earthquake Tweets.")
You may also be aware, if you're an avid ESPN/ESPN2 watcher, that the annual Little League World Series has been going on this month in Williamsport, Pa. So, you can probably see where this is going.
The quake struck during the Rhode Island-Netherlands consolation game, although the Rhode Island players and team manager didn't seem to notice. Play never stopped during the game, according to ESPN. (A stark contrast from the flocks of workers fleeing out onto D.C. streets, wouldn't you say?)
While the players may not have noticed, the ESPN cameramen filming the event sure did.
"I thought somebody was shaking the cart. I thought somebody hit it with a baseball or something. It shook for probably about five seconds," said ESPN videographer Jeff Riney to the Williamsport Sun-Gazette. "(The other videographer and myself) both looked at each other like 'what the heck's going on?' and next thing they start saying on headset that it was an earthquake like three minutes ago in Virginia and it just hit us."
Little League spokesman Lance Van Auken told the Sun-Gazette that there was no consideration given to delaying or postponing the Rhode Island-Netherlands game already in progress when the earthquake struck.
"We have a sort of incident-response system here, and I think it was pretty obvious that the effects here were very minimal," Van Auken said. "Like even down here in the media office, some people said they could feel their chairs shaking slightly and other people couldn't feel a thing."
In other natural disaster news: Just when you thought it was safe to go outside again, Hurricane Irene appears to be headed up the East Coast this weekend.
Already, the South Carolina High School League has moved up more than two dozen football games across the state, according to the Associated Press.
The league moved 26 games from Friday to Thursday this week—largely at coastal schools—to avoid any side effects from Irene. The latest forecast from the National Weather Service projects Irene to largely miss South Carolina, but it's expected to touch ground on the coastline of North Carolina with winds over 110 miles per hour this weekend.
Photo: Cumberland R.I., manager David Belisle, left, joins in the celebration as James Belisle (6) and Max Hanuschak (10) jump on the pile after the game-winning run was scored in the sixth inning of a consolation baseball game against Rotterdam, Netherlands at the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pa., on Aug. 23. Rhode Island won the game 8-7. (Tom E. Puskar/AP)
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