Picture of Burdick Hall at Towson University
On March 1st, we took the short trip from Richmond, Virginia to Towson, Maryland to live-stream the last collegiate East Coast Dodgeball Tournament before COVID-19. The featured teams on the live-stream were University of Maryland, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), and the host school Towson University. Click on the links to view the games.
Towson vs Maryland: https://youtu.be/vkeTlRSHx5c
Towson vs VCU: https://youtu.be/4okRKp4GZnM
Maryland vs VCU: https://youtu.be/x4AXCSr3mRI
It was a successful day of live-streaming. We were able to stream at 720 HD with Facebook and YouTube at the same time with zero frame drops during a 3 hour time period utilizing our own internet. The remote audience could easily hear the commentators and the ambient crowd noise without any issues. Originally, we were planning on streaming on Court 1 to implement multi-camera streaming, but found out a few days before the event that Court 1 was not available to us. Due to a lack of personnel, we decided it would be ideal to use one camera for streaming instead of three. In the future, we will revisit the idea of multi-camera streaming on Court 1 and set aside more time for pre-production.
We were extremely grateful to Mr. Dominick Borgia, the USA Dodgeball Photographer, for taking over 1500+ photos of the players, coaches, commentators, and fans. His candid photography truly captured the emotions of everyone within the tournament.
Picture of the Student Recreation and Wellness Services at Akron University
The War (Akron Tournament)
On March 7th, we traveled from Richmond, Virginia to Akron, Ohio to stream the annual "The War" Tournament, where teams from different regions around the league played against each other in a pre-Nationals tournament. Currently, the War Tournament is the largest tournament in the spring outside of Nationals, averaging between 8-14 teams.
The featured teams on the live-stream were Cleveland State University (CSU), West Virginia University (WVU), Bowling Green State University (BGSU), Miami University (OH), University of Cincinnati (UC), and the host school Akron University. Click on the links to view the games.
Miami (OH) vs CSU: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-Wzf-1vYjA
WVU vs Akron: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7P9CGZBOLs
BGSU vs UC: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAELZ5v25m0
BGSU vs CSU: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9iFUHjY3yw
It was a challenging yet rewarding day of live-streaming. The 1st game between Miami (OH) and CSU was streamed on Facebook Live because we forgot some of our equipment in our car. As a result, that match did not have a clean final composition and the video quality wasn't as clear even though it was streamed at 1080 HD. The 2nd game between WVU and Akron was streamed on our equipment. The video quality was fine; the audio was not. The commentators could hear themselves on the mics, but the remote audience watching the live-streaming were unable to hear the commentators. Instead, the audience heard a significant amount of crowd noise, where the voices on the other courts were bouncing off the walls affecting our audio. We spent the majority of this game troubleshooting the audio issues. This was our 13th live-streaming event, having plenty of experience and practice under our belts. This should not have happened! However, Rule #1 must be applied at all times throughout the entire phase of video production.
Rule #1: Audio is more important than Video!
A video at a lower video quality with great audio quality is better than a video at a higher video quality with bad audio quality. Fortunately for us, we were able to take this setback as a humbling, learning experience to check the audio and adjust the noise accordingly to the size of the venue. The last two games of the live-streaming ran smoothly: video and audio quality were on point and the remote audience was able to have a wonderful experience. Originally, we were planning on implementing multi-camera streaming, but found out a few days before the event that the court setup wasn't ideal for multi-camera streaming. Due to the size of the venue, we decided it would better to use one camera for streaming instead of three. We were fortunate to have NCDA executive board members as well as Alumni doing commentary throughout the day; it enhanced the experience altogether.
Our next dodgeball tournament should either be in July 2020 or August 2020. Stay tuned.