Cameras in place for viewers to watch games
Fall sports begin this week for the city high schools. With spectators not allowed to attend games, Foran and Jonathan Law each have NFHS Network access from its turf field and is in the process of getting it set up in their gymnasiums.
“When the NFHS Network started this network, the CIAC was given cameras as a promotion to get the word out,” Law athletic director V.J. Sarullo said. “They gave it to any schools doing CIAC finals in the initial package. We’ve hosted the girls’ lacrosse finals for the CIAC every year. We had them installed in the summer of 2019 and last fall was the first time we were able to do it.”
Foran athletic director Anthony Vitelli said: “We are getting the camera calibrated in the gym and then we will be ready to go. We got it last May or June. At the end of last year, with the school year ending, we weren’t sure what the plans were for graduation. In case we couldn’t have parents, we had this so that the parents could watch it live.”
Foran and Law were able to graduate outside and broadcast the ceremony on the city-run website.
Sarullo loves having the camera option.
“It worked out great,” he said. “You don’t have to man the camera because it just follows the action automatically. It is an excellent piece of equipment. We had a lot of viewers. There are different things that we will try this year. As you get more comfortable with it, you can add an option where you see the scoreboard as you watch the game.”
Vitelli said: “Eventually we had wanted to get it for sports. If we get a camera, we can show pep rallies and any school event in the gym. It is a great opportunity for parents. If we are playing an away game, say at Shelton (which has NFHS) and you are a member you can still log onto the game, that is a bonus.
Law will have to wait to get a camera inside the building.
“We don’t have one yet because our new gym is going through a construction project right now,” Sarullo said. “Eventually, our plan is to increase the number of cameras we have, with at least the one in the gym. With no spectator rules throughout most of the country, there is a demand, but also some pretty good deals. Right now, for installation and the purchase of the camera is $1,500.”
The NFHS, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, has 51-member state associations (including Washington, D.C.) and serves 19,500 high schools.
According to its website at nfhsnetwork.com, games can be watched live and on-demand events across a variety of platforms: computer, tablet, mobile phone through the website or mobile app, and on the big screen with ROKU, Amazon Fire and tvOS apps. Fees are billed annually (equal to 12 months at $5.83/mo).