SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT — President Tony Tarnalicki and safety officer Rob Abbey enjoyed a special week at the Little League Baseball World Series where they represented the Plains Little League in receiving an award for safety awareness.
Plains was one of 10 leagues around the country that received honors in the A Safety Awareness Program (ASAP), which, according to Little League’s announcement of the winners, “recognizes leagues that go above beyond with their ASAP plans each year.”
Sponsor Musco Sports Lighting, which presents a lighting system to one of the winners, and Little League insurance partner AIG sponsor the program, which is designed to encourage local leagues to create safety plans specific to their facilities and league.
Representatives from the leagues that were recognized were honored at a luncheon Thursday, then again with ceremonies prior to Thursday’s U.S. elimination bracket final.
Tarnalicki, Abbey and their families were guests of Little Leagues throughout the week.
“We had a luncheon Thursday at the building up the hill overlooking center field while there was a consolation game going on,” Tarnalicki said. “It was really cool. They treated us like VIPs the whole time we were here.”
The Plains representatives sat in special sections behind home plate during the week, then behind the dugouts for the U.S., international and world championship games on the weekend.
“It’s been fantastic,” Tarnalicki said.
The Plains Little League managed to keep players and parents involved in safety awareness.
“Every Little League is asked to follow procedures and a set of standards for safety,” said Tarnalicki, a first-year president who credited Abbey with making sure the league had extra steps in place.
The above-and-beyond part at Plains included a safety poster contest for players that involved a prize for the best poster along with displaying others on site at the league’s facilities. Parents and others were involved through a suggestion box that allowed them to point out additional safety concerns that they thought needed to be addressed.
Glenburn, Maine joined Plains as those recognized the East Region.
Other leagues to be honored were: Grant County from Crittenden, Ky. And Gull Lake from Richland, Mich. in the Central Region; Central Springfield (Va.) and Greater West Melbourne (Fla.) in the Southeast Region; High Plains from Falcon, Colo. and Three Rivers from Eagle, Colo. in the Southwest Region; and Chino American (Calif.) and Cupertino (Calif.) from the West Region.
Part of ASAP is the encouragement of league volunteers to submit details of successful safety programs that have been adopted in their league so ideas can be shared nationwide. According to Little League’s release, since the inception of the ASAP program, the number of injuries reported has been reduced by 79 percent, and 91 percent of all programs that submit ASAP plans each year.
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