Guidelines for photos/video at events?

Wanted to reach out to the community and see what guidelines other district and state competitions have for photographers and videographers on the the field that are designated team media people, not local or national news outlets. I shot video at two events recently that had completely different standards, one event freely open and the other very restrictive.

I couldn’t find anything in the admin manual regarding this topic, but maybe I missed it? This is my first year being involved in FRC and wanted to get a lay of the land. What has been your experience?

I want to report back to our regional coordinator so we can arrive at a compromise that allows for open sight lines for photos/video, while maintaining a high standard for safety.

It is something that varies greatly event to event.

Some events have media passes that they give teams allowing field side access. One particular example of this is at SBPLI. However, at the other local regional of ours (NYC) taping is very hard. Getting field level recordings is impossible wih them having 3 rows of volunteer seating on one side of the field and the equipment on the other. The stands are also too crowded and not steep enough to ever get good video.

I personally wish FIRST would mandate at least 1 media pass at every event especially until every event has a livestream.

Michigan events have media passes, one for each team, along with a photographer volunteer who shoots all teams and RoboZoneTV has a small crew as well for LiveStream and rebroadcast on FoxSports Detroit.

I have proposed some things to make the sight lines better for everyone and wish to get some standards added to the admin or volunteer manuals, since video is so prevalent and it still seems to be an afterthought at the event. Let me know your experiences and what you would do to make things better

Part of the problem with standardizing it is that every event is different. The venues themselves play a large role in what can happen, and sometimes there just isn’t enough room field side to fit an area for team media. And when there is enough room, it may not be exactly where you would like it. The event staff is focused on creating a good event, and that means focusing on how the game plays out on the field, how refs can move around, how field reset can do their job, and how queueing can get teams In and out. Adding a bunch of media people right in the middle of all that doesn’t always work out in some of our more cramped venues. Here in MN, I know the 10K Lakes regional is fairly cramped, and team media there does not have the same level of access as they do at some of our other venues. Unfortunately, there really isn’t anything we can do about it!

Okay, maybe standardizing isn’t the cure-all I would hope for. I would say this. I believe its entirely possible to allow for good video coverage in a safe, unobtrusive manner. If we can train the kids to queue the robots in such a manner that doesn’t interfere with the main event, then allowing videographer/photographers on their knees or in seats around the sidelines or with their team behind the driver station should be a trainable goal as well.

What I was thinking was in order to obtain a media badge, a session prior to the match MUST be attended or the badge will not be given out. This session goes over ground rules to ensure everyones safety and demonstrates how to queue along with the team drivers. Then as the team queues onto the field, either take position in a sideline chair or kneeling position clear of the barriers or one of the available corners of the field. Another nice spot is directly behind the drivers station. This access would be available during qualifiers.

For championship rounds, a select group of media members with the best equipment available at the time of the event are allowed access on the field only. In the spirit of gracious professionalism, those selected will record and share the footage for all teams that are in the final rounds.