Shaler Area live streaming some sporting events

Shaler+Area+live+streaming+some+sporting+events

Tom Rekowski

Anthony Cugini

Shaler Area has invested in technology that is allowing the district to live stream sporting events taking place in the high school gym and Titan Stadium.

“We purchased probably about $10,000 worth of equipment for cameras and things like that,” superintendent Sean Aiken said.

While it would seem that this was a reaction to the pandemic and the issue of no fans or limited fans at sporting events, the decision to look into live streaming from some of the district venues had been made pre-COVID.

“The system we have in the gym in the high school and the stadium was actually already something I looked at before the pandemic hit,” athletic director Mr. Clint Rauscher said. “(After the virus) hit then it became very important to try, when we didn’t think we’d have any fans in the stands, to alleviate some of those concerns of parents so that they could see their sons or daughters compete.”

Allowing parents and relatives to see their athletes play was a big issue that the district hopes it has resolved now and for the future.

“Eventually we’d like to be broadcasting most of our events to be able to have whoever, if they can’t get there, watching their grandson or niece or nephew,” Rauscher said.

From the start, it was not a smooth process. Installing the equipment in Gym A and at Titan Stadium wasn’t easy.

“The problem is that we only have one electrician on staff so it took a considerable amount of time to get everything installed,” Aiken said.

Eventually we’d like to be broadcasting most of our events to be able to have whoever, if they can’t get there, watching their grandson or niece or nephew”

— Clint Rauscher

Once it was installed, as everyone has been learning with technology, issues come with anything new. The cameras weren’t positioned correctly for the start of the first football game and Rauscher said the hardware has crashed and needed reset on a couple of occasions.

With the high demand for this type of service, getting support from the company has not been easy either.

“It sounds like the company is overwhelmed right now,” Aiken said. “It’s a new technology for us. We are still working through it.”

One thing the district can’t work through are the trees that border Biles Field, which have made it impossible to do any live streaming of events there.

“We don’t have any fiber optic lines that run down there,” Rauscher said. “All those trees that separate the high school from the field, while cosmetically nice, make it difficult to get a signal down there.”

On the other hand, Rauscher said there haven’t been any issues with the events in the high school gym. He noted that the technology inside the gym “has worked out very nice.”

If you’d like to watch our football or volleyball teams play during this pandemic, Shaler Area is streaming on a website called NFHS Network. Although NFHS Network isn’t free, it costs the same as about two tickets to a varsity game for a month subscription.