High schools use televisions on the football sideline to immediately review game video

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FINDLAY, Ohio (WTVG) - If you caught a high school varsity football game in-person over the last two seasons, you might be wondering why some schools now have a television on the sideline about the same size some of you may have at home.

They are not streaming movies during water breaks, but watching what they just did on the field.

"You're trying to find a way to get as many people to view," Findlay head coach Mark Ritzler said. "It feels like a theater there. If I had an ability to raise that second step up and then our other players standing behind."

Each play on the field is its own clip in the software making it easier for the coaching staff to select the play or plays they want to quickly review.

"I don't think people really like understand like what we're doing," Findlay wide receiver Ben Ireland said. "I think people are just like seeing if we are looking at highlights or anything."

Gone are the days for the Trojans of seeing the old game tape for the first time Saturday mornings. Now it happens immediately.

They can correct mistakes through this glorified DVR system.

"(I use the screen for review) with my blocking especially to how I approach it, or how I run my routes or if I am jogging it or I'm going hard," Ireland said.

The coaches will always tell you that the video does not lie.

"I remember last year, it was one of those games where we were just throwing the ball around on both sides of the ball," Findlay wide receiver Parker Fetterman said. "As a (defensive back), we were getting beat up the middle so when we sat down and we watched it we understood what we needed to do, what steps we needed to take."

Starting in 2015, prep football teams had the option of using tablets on the sideline but that makes it tough for an audience of 22 or more eyeballs to see the screen at the same time.

This video review on the sideline is not allowed in the college game but it is in the NFL with plenty of sponsored tablets.

"You become dependent upon it," Ritzler said. "If there is a game that for whatever reason the system is not working or one of the camera is not working you feel a little bit lost, you feel a little bit blinded when you don't have that there at your finger tips to be able to use in-between series."

Findlay is not the only high school using this system. There is an annual subscription fee in the thousands of dollars depending on the tier of service the school buys. For that reason, not many small schools use this on the sideline today.

Findlay's pricing tier includes a video app players may use on their devices and Ritzler says the investment is worth the price.

"It keeps us from watching a ton of film at practice," Ritzler said. "It keeps us .. I'm trying to get the most value out of their time. They've got a lot of school work they've got to do, they need to have rest, they've got other things going on in their lives.

"So this software and everything it just allows them to better use their time and take advantage. You know they're all on their phones and everything so let's give them something that's worthwhile being on for."



 
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