EA uses iPads for instantaneous film

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Having to wait for game film is a thing of the past for football teams.

Through the popular highlight film website Hudl, Escambia Academy is using an add-on package that allows it to receive game film instantaneously.

Board member Tim Doerr said the add-on package is called Sideline.

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Sideline consists of a wireless router, a power adapter, an Ethernet cord and a window mount.

Doerr said the assembly of Sideline is quite simple.

“You simply mount the router on the press box, and what it does is send a broadcast signal to the iPads down on the field,” he said.

Down on the field, coaches can view a previous play within seconds of it occurring.

At a typical game, volunteers film the entire contest.

Sideline, through recording from an iPad, allows the cameraman to select and record plays, whether it’s on offense, defense or special teams. The hardware can be used on road games as well. The Cougars visit Clarke Prep this week for a key region matchup. If EA wins this week’s game, then it will host the first round of the AISA state playoffs.

Doerr said right now, Sheila Sawyer is recording the games using the new software.

“We can only record from the iPads,” he said. “In about a week, Hudl will send another box that will allow for another camera. She (Sawyer) can continue to record like she always has with the iPad.”

Doerr said once Sawyer clicks record and stop for a particular play, the recording gets sent directly to the iPads on the sideline.

“Everything is in sync,” he said.

Doerr said what the school has done in the past is Kharina Gorme would stand on top of the press box with a camera and record play by play.

“At halftime, she would run down the steps and into the field house, and start off loading that video to the laptop for the coach to review,” he said. “The problem with that is that it’s just video. There’s not an offense or defense. There’s not a kick.”

Doerr said one of the negatives that comes from the package is that the video isn’t time stamped. Instead, each play is numbered. In fact, coaches can bring up a certain play and draw on it as well, as is done on interactive boards.

“The reason we went for this is because Ditto (Gorme) does so much for us; his wife (Kharina) does so much for us,” Doerr said. “At halftime, you have 20 minutes. If you spend 10 minutes downloading film, what have you done?”

Pretty soon, Doerr said the team will be able to have four camera angles to draw plays.

For EA head football coach Hugh Fountain, having this new film package is beneficial to the team.

“In 1989, when I was at W.S. Neal, we film games on 16 millimeter film,” Fountain said.

Fountain said the game film was then sent developer, and the team wouldn’t get to watch film until Sunday or Monday.

“This is tremendous for us,” Fountain said about Sideline. “It’s instantaneous.”