Catching the moment: In-game video allows for sideline corrections


While the defense clashes against the opposition on the gridiron, key members of the offense huddle around a TV behind the sideline studying film bits.

The offense watches clips from the last drive, picking apart formations on both sides of the ball before returning to the field.

On the next play, the running back hits an opening on the line he saw from the video for a touchdown.

Technology has changed the way live football games are played across the country.

About three years ago, the National Federation of State High School Associations expanded its rules in regards to tech during games.

These days, teams can tape during games in short clips and send them to tablets on the sidelines live.

Seymour High School has taken that one step further, hooking up their iPads through HDMI to a TV behind their bench.

Each coach has a tablet, and they can bring their video up on the TV at any time.

The program Seymour uses is called Echo, and they have used it for the past two seasons.

“Some companies emerged that built technology to take film and send it to the sideline,” Owls coach Josh Shattuck said. “Echo was the program we chose, and it that’s essentially what it does. It takes 5 to 10 seconds to load in real time. We have a nice setup where it shows what’s on the iPad from our sideline and end zone cameras.”

In 2015, the Owls used Echo with just one camera high above the end zone.

This season, they are using cameras from both the end zone and pressbox.

Seymour offensive line coach Brice Darling attended a conference with Shattuck two years ago surrounding the tech, and has helped spearhead the operation.

“For me, as an O-line guy, the end zone is all I need,” Darling said. “But, with the pressbox we can see safety depth a little better and the secondary coverage. We can get more in-depth with our pass game not just our run game like we did last year.”

Last week against Silver Creek, the Owls used echo to their advantage.

“We scored a touchdown because of it last week,” Shattuck said. “We saw a cut (on film) that we thought would be there. There was a run for about five or six yards, and we showed that to our running back that it would be there the next time.

The very next play, we ran the same play and scored a touchdown. Obviously the players still have to go out there and make the plays, but they can see the film before the next time they take the field.”

Both the offense and defense utilizes the video, and the Owls bring the equipment to both home and away games.

Shattuck acknowledged that the speed of the game doesn’t always allow players to go over the in-game film.

“It’s one of those things where the game goes so fast, and there are so many sudden changes in football — a touchdown could happen in any play,” Shattuck said. “You want to utilize the film, but at the same time you could have your offense punt and have your guys watching the film and then there’s a fumble and they’re right back on the field.”

On most all occasions, Shattuck doesn’t feel the video will determine the final outcome of the game.

“I don’t think that it gives us a huge advantage in terms of whether we win or lose a game,” Shattuck said. “But, it could come down to that point. If we see something late in a game that we can fix, it doesn’t hurt. It’s not some magic wand, but a tool that helps us.”

While many teams don’t have the equipment yet, botch coaches expect many schools to adapt to the technology soon.

“When it first started coming out, some of the older coaches thought it was ridiculous,” Darling said. “We have a young enough staff that’s willing to adapt to technology changes. Not every coaching staff is like that. There’s nothing against that, our system isn’t necessarily better, it’s just the way we do it.”

On the way back from games, the coaches watch the film on the buses, Darling said.

Shattuck said that the team still watches film on Saturdays despite having already seen some of the in-game video.

No posts to display