National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security e-newsletter | March 31, 2021

NCS⁴ Partners with Crowd Science Expert to Provide Online Course

The National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS⁴) at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) and GKStill International announce partnership to jointly offer the Fundamentals of Crowd Safety online E-Learning course to address capability gaps in crowd behavior and sciences.

Professor Dr. G. K. Still, Professor of Crowd Science at Manchester University, developed this certified, accredited course. The course offers an 8-hour online interactive experience designed to teach the essential elements of crowd safety and crowd risk analysis.

The course is especially valuable to event organizers, as it ensures that those who complete it are compliant with the NFPA 101 - Life Safety Code — specifically, the areas of section 12 of the code that require a venue to provide a crowd manager trained in crowd management techniques for occupancies exceeding 1000.

Professor Still commented, “We are delighted to launch our new partnership with the NCS⁴, the U.S.’s leading academic institution in this field. Our partnership will contribute to a broader application of crowd safety and crowd science in the U.S. market to help ensure safer and more secure venues.”

NCS⁴ Announces 2021 Technology Alliance Members

The NCS⁴ introduces 2021 Technology Alliance members, an international consortium of leading service providers and technology companies dedicated to spectator safety and security at sports and entertainment events. The Alliance consists of researchers, engineers, computer scientists, architects, and other stakeholders dedicated to spectator safety and security excellence through innovation. Most members are involved in safety and security at venues across the U.S. and around the world, while others are seeking opportunities to integrate new and emerging technologies that have the capacity to contribute in a meaningful way. Current Technology Alliance members are: Axis Communications, Honeywell Building Technologies, Intel, Johnson Controls, and S2 Global.

Find out more about members on our website by clicking below, or if you have any questions about NCS⁴ Technology Alliance Membership, please contact Daniel Ward, Director of Training and Exercise, at Daniel.L.Ward@usm.edu.

NCS⁴ Research Seminar Series Launches Tomorrow!

The NCS⁴ is pleased to announce a new research seminar series that aims to showcase sports safety and security research directed by faculty and staff across various disciplines at universities and institutes in the U.S. and worldwide. The NCS⁴ research staff will present the first seminar. We hope you will make plans to join us.

The NCS⁴ has begun the development of an index that evaluates stadia and arenas by their vulnerability to quantifiable problems. It aims to help those responsible for the safety and security of venues identify problems and improve outcomes, as well as raise the profile of professionals charged with keeping spectators safe and secure. This seminar will provide unique background related to the history and motivation behind the index, what has been done so far, and what we would like to incorporate into future iterations.


Justin Kurland, PhD, Director of Research, NCS⁴

Joslyn Zale, PhD, Research Associate, NCS⁴

Tyler Jacobs, Graduate Research Assistant, NCS⁴

NCS⁴ Hosts Industry Forums to Aid in Professional Development

The National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS⁴) at The University of Southern Mississippi recently completed its 2020-2021 Forum Series, reaching approximately 500 sports safety and security stakeholders.

The industry-specific forums were held in a two-day live virtual format between December 2020 and March 2021, attracting professionals working with marathon and endurance events, intercollegiate athletics, professional sports and entertainment venues, and interscholastic athletics and after-school activities.

“We worked closely with our advisory committees to identify relevant programming and speakers. The forums were designed to account for each industry's unique safety, security, and business challenges and provided a platform for information sharing and peer-to-peer learning,” said Dr. Stacey Hall, NCS⁴ Director and Professor of Sport Management. In addition to keynote speakers and panel presentations, attendees participated in moderated discussions and workshop-style sessions.

“The NCS⁴ forums allowed professionals in our industry who share a common focus to discuss issues and challenges that we are facing today. I always come away from the forums with great ideas, new insights, and a meaningful TO DO list,” said Paul Turner, Senior Director of Event Operations, AT&T Stadium, Dallas Cowboys.

Make plans to join NCS⁴ November 9-10, 2021, in sunny Phoenix, Arizona. Details coming soon.

NCS⁴ Completes Operational Exercise for XonarSafe™

The NCS⁴ recently completed a product operational exercise for Xonar Technology’s XonarSafe™ technology, a millimeter wave detection system. The two-part exercise included a demonstration of the technology in their laboratory and observation of it in use at a concert at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, Fla. The findings are available in a white paper published this week on the NCS⁴ website.

XonarSafe™ is a scanning system designed to detect weapons as people walk through it. It can be used at sports events, concerts, and other events of mass gathering.

Key features include:

  • Touchless scanning
  • Outer garments and bags do not need to be scanned separately
  • The location of the potential threat is indicated on a diagram of a person's body
  • Weather-resistant
  • Can perform temperature checks in addition to scanning for weapons

Select DHS/FEMA-Funded Training Courses Available in a Live Virtual Format

The NCS⁴ is currently offering three safety and security courses in a live virtual format. Each DHS/FEMA-funded course has been converted from the original in-person format into a virtual format in order to adapt to the challenges resulting from the pandemic and meet current training needs.

Each of these courses is designed to be interactive and allow individuals to become more confident in their ability to identify, prevent, and manage incidents. The key principles that individuals will learn range from risk management, evacuation messaging, threat prioritization, and communication. Each class is being presented in a virtual format online that requires five hours each day for three consecutive days.

You can learn more about each of these courses by visiting the NCS⁴ website or by clicking on one of the following courses below:

AWR-167: Sport Event Risk Management

MGT-412: Sport Venue Evacuation and Protective Actions

MGT-466: Sport and Special Event Enhanced Risk Management and Assessment

These courses represent a cooperative effort between The University of Southern Mississippi’s National Center for Spectator Sports Security and Safety (USM/NCS⁴) and the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service’s National Emergency Response and Recovery Training Center (TEEX/NERRTC), a member of The Texas A&M University System.

If you are interested in attending or hosting a virtual training, please email us at NCS4train@usm.edu.

Watch Now: COVID Testing for Events and Schools Webinar

When hosting a large gathering, be it one-time or every day, there is only so much that can be done to keep people socially distanced. The safest environments are the ones where COVID-positive individuals never enter in the first place. In this presentation, industry experts will discuss customer experiences from those who have tackled the challenge of testing their university or sporting event successfully. Presenters will also share the science behind the different types of tests and which ones work best for certain scenarios. Lastly the webinar will outline the different services available to help do this at your own institution or how to do testing all on your own.


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