Automation assistance Podcast: The March Madness Ladder

A Pennsylvania company builds a better way to the top.

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For more on basketball ladders, an explanation of how this year's Iditarod mushers are coping with the warmer temperatures, and a new spray-on bacteria that just might preclude the need for daily showers, 


March 8, 1947. North Carolina State has just won the Southern Conference men's basketball tournament. To celebrate, the Wolfpack's second-year head coach Everett Case proposes something strange: He wants to cut down a net. That's what state champs used to do back when Case coached high school in Indiana. A fun idea, but damned if anyone at Duke Indoor Stadium can find a ladder. So Case and his boys simply lift one another up on their shoulders.

That's how the college tradition continued until the mid-1980s, when someone realized a ladder would be more humane after the athletes had spent an hour sprinting and jumping. Since 2008, that ladder, for both the men's and women's NCAA tournaments, has been built by Werner.

This year, the 94-year-old Greenville, Pennsylvania–based company is making the ceremonial snip even easier for players—swapping the traditional ladder for a customized Podium model, whose oversize platform has been enlarged to better suit size-19 high-tops. The guardrail is also elongated and, as on all Werner Podium ladders, features a magnetized "locktop" to secure scissors.


For more on basketball ladders, an explanation of how this year's Iditarod mushers are coping with the warmer temperatures, and a new spray-on bacteria that just might preclude the need for daily showers,

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