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Drones finding way into athletic programs

October 28, 2014 / CoachingFootball
Football coaches are notorious for finding innovative ways to gain a competitive advantage, so it’s no surprise that flying cameras are working their way into the fold.

You’ve probably noticed that personal drones are becoming more popular. It was only a matter of time before they started to appear over playing fields.

This story comes from WBAY in Wisconsin. In it, you’ll see how one coach at an area high school is using a drone to take pictures and evaluate formations, using the information to help his players and coaches.

From the story (which includes video):

Kimberly football coach Steve Jones said,”We’ve had some great shots of the crowd, the stadium from five hundred feet above with the lights on and obviously hovering around our players as they’re playing. It gives you a unique perspective, as far as schemes, their assignments, and something that you don’t get obviously from any other footage.”

So far it’s made two game time appearances. The drone was bought by one of the coaches at a cost of about $2,000. At this point state officials say the drone doesn’t violate any rules, although guidelines could be set in the future.

State associations, not to mention the FAA, lack definitive regulations on drones, so many schools are beginning to use them. Costs can range anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, so it’s a difficult expense to absorb, especially considering they could be banned.

Still, it’s a pretty fancy gizmo. I’m sure athletic programs everywhere wouldn’t mind getting their hands on one.


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