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Minnesota bans drones at postseason events

August 6, 2015 / Athletic AdministrationCoaching
The Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) has banned the use of drones at postseason tournaments, citing player and spectator safety.

Minnesota becomes the latest state to regulate the use of drones at sporting events.
Minnesota becomes the latest state to regulate the use of drones at sporting events.

Drones have become more popular among coaches, providing an alternative view during practices to help with the development of schemes or individual players. While use during workouts isn’t a concern, the MSHSL wants to avoid accidents during its well-attended state tournaments, where a malfunctioning drone could crash and injure fans.

No such accident has occurred during a sporting event, but the organization wants to be proactive instead of reactive.

From Fox 9:

MSHSL executive director Dave Stead says the drone ban is all about safety for student-athletes and the fans.

“We’ve seen situations on YouTube and videos where drones have crashed,” Stead said. “And obviously when you have unmanned drones, it becomes a liability concern.”

The high school league is encouraging its member schools to come up with their own specific drone policies to cover regular season games, practices and activities.

The FAA has very loose regulations on drones, and some are lobbying for stricter policies — especially as people are now flying drones over airports.

Athletic associations in North Carolina and Delaware approved regulations on drones earlier this year. Most states have yet to take a formal position on how schools can use them.


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