“Providing a safe and enjoyable environment for our teams and spectators at the Little League Baseball World Series is crucial.”
The Little League Baseball® World Series (LLBWS) hosts youth athletes, volunteer coaches and spectators from around the world for the annual premier youth sporting event. For more than 70 years, the Little League® program has instilled hard work, sportsmanship and dedication that is matched only by the determination and commitment of the players and coaches. The event has grown to host more than 300,000 people over 10 days and is televised on ABC and the ESPN network family.
Nestled in the small town of Williamsport, Pa., the 75-acre Little League World Series Complex hosts attendees from around the world as 16 teams of 10-to-12-year-old baseball players compete for the title, make new friends and enjoy time with their families.
The complex includes two stadiums, a museum, parking, concessions, a gift shop, sponsor booths, a concourse pavilion, and a media center — not to mention security and medical facilities. The Dr. Creighton J. Hale International Grove houses the players and includes dining recreation halls. There are also a number of practice fields and batting cages for the teams’ use between games.
It all adds up to a large, dynamic area that requires world class security teams and technologies. In addition to the security personnel, volunteers and local, state and federal agencies, Little
League International deploys an integrated video surveillance and intelligence technology solution to keep everyone safe and operations moving smoothly.
“Providing a safe and enjoyable environment for our teams and spectators at the Little League Baseball World Series is crucial,” said Brian McClintock, Senior Director of Communications for Little League International. “A big part of that effort is ensuring that we are working with technology partners such as BriefCam® that provide us with the ability to monitor the entire complex so we can analyze and respond to incidents quickly and efficiently
This year BriefCam, a leader in comprehensive video analysis and Deep Learning solutions, teamed up with the Little League Baseball World Series to deliver entry and checkpoint security alerts and operational efficiency insights at key traffic and retail locations. The BriefCam Video Content Analytics platform, seamlessly integrated directly into the Milestone Systems XProtect Smart Client, enabled the security operators to seamlessly transform the video data from the more than 150 Axis Communications cameras positioned across the grounds into actionable intelligence. The BriefCam solution was installed on dedicated hardware provided by Rasilient, and the Little League security staff were trained to use the solution effectively. Additionally, BriefCam was on hand for support throughout the event.
Empowered by BriefCam’s fully integrated, intelligent video solution, the LLBWS could detect, track, extract and identify people, objects, their attributes and behavior from raw video feeds, based on artificial intelligence and Deep Learning techniques
Over the course of the series, BriefCam’s Video Content Analytics (VCA) solution was used to process 1,700 hours of video footage which was used to help to ensure players, teams, staff and spectators were safe and had a positive experience all tournament long. Delivering comprehensive video intelligence, BriefCam allowed Little League staff to dynamically trigger real-time alerts based on object detection and face recognition technologies; quickly review video for accelerated analysis and investigation; and visualize aggregated video data for trend analysis.
BriefCam’s RESPOND capability enhances real-time situational awareness with dynamic alerts based on object identification and face recognition. This artificial intelligence-driven technology triggers real-time notifications when specific user-defined criteria is met, at which point qualified security personnel can quickly assess and determine the appropriate response. Leveraged to monitor video, identify objects of interest and match faces from a suspect watchlist, BriefCam’s platform was used at more than a dozen Little League Baseball World Series Complex entry points to ensure no possible offenders were on the tournament grounds. Fortunately, no individuals on the compiled watchlist were identified on the premises at any point over the course of the event.
In addition to identifying specific people and objects, the platform was configured to trigger alerts to security staff any time individuals were seen to be displaying pre-defined inappropriate behaviors. This allowed the team to proactively intercept any possible issues as they developed.
Of course, not every public safety threat can be identified proactively and preventatively, and BriefCam’s innovative forensic solutions were also critical investigation enablers for the LLBWS. The security team relied on BriefCam’s REVIEW capability to rapidly review video and accelerate the identification of people and objects of interest in the aftermath of a security incident. One key application for the LLBWS was reuniting parents and children who were accidentally separated in a moving crowd: By making surveillance video searchable, BriefCam accelerates video investigation and object identification, ensuring missing persons can be reunited quickly with their parties.
The LLBWS also relied on BriefCam’s innovative VIDEO SYNOPSIS® technology, which makes it possible to review hours of video in minutes by simultaneously presenting objects that have appeared at different times within the video. This important security advantage enables investigative teams to quickly understand incidents and identify persons, objects or behaviors of interest – especially at the onset of an investigation before the incident is full understood or a suspect is identified. With these robust security resources, the LLBWS gained a competitive edge in the face of developing public safety threats.
Beyond security, the Little League Baseball World Series team used BriefCam’s RESEARCH solution to optimize operations such as attendee and vehicle traffic flows and help ensure a safe and positive experience for teams and fans. BriefCam’s Deep Learning technology allows users to visualize and quantify different classifications of vehicles and visitors, discover their movement patterns, identify hotspots, maximize space utilization, and optimize traffic flows.
This year, the BriefCam solution was configured to issue RESPOND alerts any time larger than anticipated crowds congregated in certain areas. This allowed the event organizers to be quickly prepared with adequate personnel to greet and support the visitors. Improved response to crowds also allowed the team to immediately improve the flow and security so that visitors had a more enjoyable and safe experience.
With BriefCam and its partners in the security line up, the security and event staff were well prepared to handle any potential security issues as well as improve traffic.
“Every year, we work to up our security game at the Little League Baseball World Series,” said Samantha Mahaffey, Security Manager for Little League International. “The technology team we assembled for the 2019 tournament was our most advanced to date and hit a home run for us in helping to ensure participants and players are able to focus on enjoying America’s favorite past-time, without having to worry about being safe.”
“The Little League World Series is a great tradition that requires the best security solution so that players, families and fans can enjoy the event worry free,” said Stephanie Weagle, CMO, BriefCam. “We are pleased that our technology was so valuable in creating a safe environment and enjoyable experience all tournament long.”
BriefCam’s Video Content Analytics platform also helped the Little League Baseball World Series event staff gather insights about the activity at event retail locations. With 80,000 people visiting the Third Base Gift Shop over the course of the event, BriefCam revealed new data that helped them to improve the shopping experience, such as where shoppers lingered for longer durations or the objects with which they interacted. The platform identified previously undetected trends such as which areas of the store shoppers spent their time and where bottlenecks could be avoided. With more than 5,000 visitors per hour, understanding shopping behavior was key to creating a relaxing and fun experience.