No Fans Allowed? High Schools Bringing Games Home Via Streaming

Local Sports

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — There may be more cameras than ever at area high school basketball games this year.

That’s because there are fewer fans are allowed into gyms to watch games in person. The Illinois High School Association, in conjuction with the local health departments, has set 50-spectator limits for sporting events.

And some schools aren’t even allowing that many fans into games. So school administrators are quickly adding the term “live streaming” to their vocabularies.

“We are figuring it out,” said Dunlap athletics director Katie Cazalet. “Technology is not my strong suit but we’re working to figure it out and put our games on You Tube Live. Obviously, we want to get out games to as many people who want to see it.”

Some schools have been streaming games for a while. Other schools are going down this road for the first time.

And so are their fans.

“I’ve got parents anxious to watch my senior son,” said Princeville athletics director Jeff Krazter. “I’ve been over at their house many times showing them it’s not as bad as you think it is. We’re going to get you streaming.”

Streaming is essentially broadcasting the game online.

On a budget? You can video stream a game from gymnasium using a tablet or a cell phone.

Some schools have subscriptions for the live streams through organizations like the NFHS Network. Others are trying to make it happen for free by offering their games through YouTube, Facebook or other streaming services.

Notre Dame is in the streaming business for the first time. The school made a big technology purchase last week and got everything installed to live stream Tuesday night’s season openers in girl’s and boy’s basketball.

“We’re trying to go a little more high tech with it,” said the school’s technology director Mike Bare. “We ordered a camera, a computer, a lap top so it’s a portable set-up we can take somewhere else. A mixer board with head sets to have commentary as well.”

Tuesday night’s live streams at Notre Dame attracted roughly 2,500 viewers, Bare said.

And the live streams aren’t just offering fans the opportunity to watch their teams’ games. They could be using as curriculum in the school to help point students towards careers.

“We’re a high school, we’re in the business of educating youth, giving them experiences,” Bare said. ” There’s maybe someone here who might be interested in broadcasting. We want to give them that opportunity.”

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